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Best 54 Ultimate Tips in Professional Baking

TIMEXING shares 54 tips and tricks about baking hope you find them helpful.

1.  When did baking start on earth?

5th and 6th centuries B.C. Ancient Greek period

2. What caused pastry chefs and bakers to go their separate ways from the 17th century onwards?

Pastry making and bread making require separate oven temperatures, which cannot be easily adjusted in a modified oven, so bakers and pastry chefs find it more convenient to use separate ovens from now on.

3. What is the formula for the percentage of ingredients in bread making?

Total weight of ingredients / Total weight of flour x 100% = % of ingredients

4. What does grease do when baking?

It can shorten the length of the gluten and coat the cake to lubricate the gluten so that it does not stick together.

5. How many steps are there in the baking process?

Whether bread, cake or biscuits, the baking process follows this process

① the formation and expansion of gases (yeast, soda releasing carbon dioxide, water vapour)

② Coalescence of gases in bubbles (bubbles in gluten, gases in protein paste)

③ Gelation of starch (starch absorbs water and begins to gelatinise when heated to around 60°C, giving the product its shape)

④ Coagulation of proteins (at 74°C, proteins begin to coagulate)

⑤ Partial evaporation of water (so the baked bread will be light and the uncooked ash will be heavy)

⑥ Melting of fat (different fats melt at different temperatures and release gas)

⑦ Crust formation and colouring (the water on the surface of the product evaporates and dries to form a crust, milk, cane sugar and eggs increase the colouring.

6. Why shouldn’t bread be refrigerated?

Ageing begins as soon as the bread comes out of the oven, with the loss of moisture and chemical changes in the starch structure. This change occurs more quickly in refrigeration, while it almost stops in freezing.

7. Why is wholemeal flour containing germ not easy to store?

Wheat germ is high in oil and is highly nutritious, yet very prone to rancidity.

8. Is bread flour the same as high gluten flour?

Bread flour contains about 12% protein, while high gluten flour should be at least 14%.

9. How many types of sugar (sweeteners) can you name that are used in baking?

①Increases sweetness and flavour

②softens the gluten structure and refines the tissue

③Increase surface colour and lustre

④Retain moisture and prolong shelf life

⑤Mix with fat to make emulsifier, mix with egg to make foaming agent

⑥ It is the object of yeast

10. When grinding the sugar into icing sugar yourself, add 3% cornstarch.

11. An equal amount of milk does not equal an equal amount of water in bread making.

Fresh milk contains 88% to 91% water, with the remaining solids being protein, lactose and minerals, so if substituting milk for water in a recipe, add a little more as appropriate to keep the dough from drying out too much.

12. What are the three types of whipping cream?

Low fat whipping cream 30% to 35%

High fat whipping cream 36% to 40%

Heavy cream 48%

13. The optimum storage temperature for eggs is 2°C.

14. What are the grades of eggs according to their weight (in shell)?

Jumbo 2.5 oz
Extra large 2.3oz
Large 2 oz
Medium 1.8oz
Small 1.5 oz
Very small 1.2 oz

15. The role of eggs in baking?

① Produces structure / Proteins coagulate during the baking process; eggs make the food more chewy and al dente, adding the right amount of fat or sugar makes the finished product softer.

② Emulsification of fats and liquids / Egg yolks contain natural emulsifiers which make the dough smoother, help to increase its volume and give it a softer texture.

③ Foaming / The process of whisking the egg yolk envelops a large amount of air, which expands when exposed to heat during baking and helps the batter to puff up.

④ Fat use / The fat in the egg yolk can be used as fat. The role of the fat in the egg is important when the fat content of the product is low.

⑤ Moisture / The egg mixture contains a large amount of moisture, which can be seen as part of the total amount of water in the recipe.

⑥ Flavour / Egg flavour

⑦ Nutritional value

⑧ Colour / The egg yolk gives the dough and batter its yellow colour. At the same time, the egg turns brown easily with heat, which in turn enhances the colour of the exterior of the product.

16. What do you mean by fermentation?

Fermentation is the process by which yeast interacts with sugar to produce carbon dioxide and alcohol (the alcohol will evaporate and the carbon dioxide will expand, thus increasing the volume of the product)

17. Is the activity of yeast related to temperature?

Inactive at 1°C (storage temperature)
15-20°C low activity
20-32°C high activity
Above 38°C – reaction slowed down
60°C loss of activity

18. What are the two types of baking powder? What are their characteristics?

①Single-acting baking powder / Gases immediately on contact with water, only for products that are baked immediately after mixing.

②Double acting baking powder / releases some gas at low temperature, reacts completely only after heating, batter can be left for some time after preparation.

19. Can gelatine powder and tablets be substituted for each other?

Yes, it works exactly the same except that it is treated differently, 1 tbsp gelatine powder = 2.8g / 1.6 dr

20. What is the water absorption of gelatine?

Gelatine can absorb up to 5 times its own water weight.

21. Why is it important to cool the bread after it comes out of the oven?

Once the roasting is complete, it should be cooled immediately on a wire rack to release excess water, alcohol produced during fermentation and residual carbon dioxide.

22. How do you keep the crust soft and tender on soft crust bread?

Brushing with a layer of melted butter before it cools in the oven will prevent the crust from hardening.

23. How should I store crusty bread (French)?

Best served within 6 hours of storage at room temperature, not wrapped unless frozen, otherwise the crust will soften and the texture will be like a leathery version of unpalatable!

24. How many ways are there to ferment the dough? What are the characteristics?

① Direct / quick results, not as good flavour organisation as the last two

②Refrigerated fermentation / good flavour, but time and temperature are not easy to control, easy to over-ferment

③Secondary fermentation / Second fermentation using refrigerated fermentation; flexible production time, less yeast consumption, much better flavour organisation than direct method, resistant to storage, not easy to age.

25. What is the direct method and secondary fermentation of bread? What is the difference?

The direct method, also known as the primary fermentation method, is a method of operation in which the bread production process goes through a primary fermentation procedure.
The secondary fermentation method is a method that involves a second fermentation stage in the production process. The secondary fermentation method allows the dough to form a better network and produces a characteristic fermented flavour.

26. Can I put the toast squares in a 28℃ oven to rise in winter due to the cold weather?

It should be left to rise in a rising cabinet at 28℃ and 75 to 85% humidity.
It should not be placed in the oven, as the oven does not have the appropriate humidity.

27. Why do you add the salt and cream at the end of the mix?

The addition of salt and cream at the same time as the dry yeast directly inhibits the growth of the yeast and the salt is added last to reduce the mixing time and energy loss.

28. Can an oxidising additive be used at the same time as an emulsifying additive?

Additives are auxiliary materials that are added to address the lack of a particular characteristic of the bread.
Oxidisers and emulsifiers are both used for different properties and should not be mixed.

29. What is the difference between high sugar yeast and low sugar yeast?

High and low sugar yeasts are produced according to the adaptability of the yeast to the raw material.
High sugar yeast is used when the sugar content of the recipe is above 10%
Low sugar yeast, on the other hand, is used when the sugar content is below 10% and is more effective.

30. What is the difference between a horizontal and a vertical mixer?

Horizontal mixers have difficulty in expanding the gluten due to their slow mixing speed and different physical action.
The mixing speed and mechanics of the vertical mixer allow the gluten to expand directly during mixing.

31. Is it possible to add ice pellets to the mix in summer when the temperature is too hot?

Yes, you can. You should mix at a slow speed with the raw material until dissolved before switching to fast mixing.

32. Why is an oxidising additive necessary for rapid production?

Because the rapid method does not go through the normal fermentation stage, it is necessary to add an oxidising ingredient to help the gluten to oxidise and mature and to shorten the fermentation time.

33. Why does the top of the bread collapse after baking?

A. Over-risen.
B. Under baked
C. The dough has aged during handling.
D. The dough has not been defrosted as necessary.
All of these will cause the surface to collapse after baking.

34. Why does the toast gather up after baking?

A. Too strong gluten
B. Insufficient gluten relaxation during forming and too tight forming.
C. Failure to release the mould in time after baking can lead to lumping.

35. Why is the bread not shiny enough after baking with egg wash?

Sweeping egg water on the surface of the bread before it has dried will cause the surface to lack lustre after baking.

36. Why are there large air bubbles under the crust of the bread after it has been baked?

The temperature is too high during rising, which causes the surface to become mushy and therefore bubbles tend to form under the skin after baking.

37. How much sugar should I use in bread making?

The amount of sugar can be in the range of 0 to 25%.

38. What is the difference between fresh and dry yeast?

Fresh yeast, also known as pressed fresh yeast, has a large water content and needs to be kept at low temperatures for a shelf life of 3 months, using 2 to 3 times the amount of normal dry yeast.
Dried yeast is subjected to a dehydration and drying process and can be kept for about 2 years after vacuum packing.

39. Why does water come out of the surface of the dough after mixing?

The addition of too much water to the flour can result in low protein content, insufficient gluten, immediate use of the flour after production without peroxide, and excessive mixing, all of which can reduce the water retention of the dough and cause the surface to become watery.

40. What happens when the bread does not rise enough?

After baking, the starting volume is insufficient. Rough tissue with a burnt smell.

41. What is the cause of the thick crust after the bread has been baked?

Insufficient humidity during rising and lack of appropriate baking temperature and time, resulting in excessive water evaporation.

42. Why does packaged bread have a short shelf life?

After baking, bread is not sufficiently cooled and water tends to cling to the packaging, making it susceptible to bacterial infection and mould.

43. What is the cause of crepey bread surface?

A. The bread is not loosened enough when it is formed.
B. Too much moisture during the rising stage
C. Too much cooling temperature difference after the oven can cause the surface of the bread to crease.

44. What is the optimum temperature of the dough after mixing? How do I get hold of it?

The best temperature for mixing the dough is between 26 and 28 degrees. This can be controlled by the temperature of the water.

45. Can I eat freshly baked bread?

The lactic and acetic acids in the bread tissues do not evaporate completely until about 2 hours after the bread has come out of the oven, so leave the freshly baked bread to cool for 2 hours.
This is because the leavening process is still going on when the bread is freshly baked at a high temperature, and a lot of carbon dioxide is produced at this time. It is not until the central temperature of the bread drops to around 40°C that the leavening process stops and the carbon dioxide is fully expelled.

46. How can I tell when a cake is cooked?

①  Look at the colour and puffing

Generally speaking, when a cake is ripe, it will puff up to a certain extent and then fall back a little, when the cake has basically set; then look at the colouring situation, the colouring is even, which means the cake is probably ripe.

② Poke holes to see if there is slime

You can use a toothpick or bamboo skewer to poke into the cake and pull it out to see if there is any slime.

③ Tap the cake and listen for an echo

If the cake makes a “rustling” sound, it is not fully cooked.

④ Press lightly to see the elasticity

Press your finger gently on the skin of the cake and see if it pops up quickly. If it does, the cake is cooked through and has good elasticity, if it pops up slowly, it needs to be baked for a while.

47. What should I do if the cake comes out undercooked?

If the cake is not cooked, you can put it back in the oven to continue baking, but you should pay attention to the oven temperature and time control. Note the following 3 situations

A. Fresh from the oven

If you find that a cake is not cooked right out of the oven, put it back in the oven immediately. As the temperature of the cake does not change much, it is fine to continue baking at the same temperature.

B. Out of the oven for a while

When the cake has been out of the oven for a while, the temperature on the surface has dropped, but the temperature inside is still very high and may be affected if the cake is baked at the same temperature and time. It is advisable to lower the temperature or cover with tin foil for a second baking.

C. Completely cooled

A little trickier. When the cake has cooled completely before it is found to be undercooked, it is no longer appropriate to put it back into the oven to bake. The oven is heated from the outside in, so the inside will heat up more slowly than the outside and the crust will be more severely heated.

48. Why does the dough not rise when making bread?

There are many factors that can affect the fermentation of dough, the first thing to consider is whether the yeast is no longer active.
We can test whether the yeast is still active by a simple method.
Prepare half a cup of warm water at 30°C, add 1.1 dr of sugar and stir until dissolved, then add 2.8 dr of yeast and stir to dissolve. It will not be possible to continue using it.
Therefore when buying yeast you can choose a small packet. In addition to this excessive mixing when mixing the dough, too much moisture in the dough, the temperature during fermentation and the amount of salt used may all affect the speed and effectiveness of the fermentation.

49. Why do chiffon cakes shrink back and collapse?

The whisking of the egg whites is the first factor that affects the success of the chiffonade. The whisking of the egg whites can be tested by inserting a chopstick into the whipped egg whites and turning the bowl upside down so that the chopstick does not fall off.
Do not mix in a circular motion, but quickly toss from the bottom up to prevent the whites from frothing.
Adjust the time and temperature according to the performance of your oven. Turn the cake upside down after baking to prevent it from shrinking.

50. Why do biscuits seem to be baked but not yet cooked inside?

Each oven is different, so there will be some variation in temperature.
Your own home oven will require several trials to determine the right temperature. If the temperature of the upper and lower heating tubes of the oven cannot be controlled individually, there are some small ways to control the oven temperature.
By placing another baking tray underneath the baking tray to block some of the heat and prevent the lower heat from being too high, and by using tin foil to cover the top heat to prevent the biscuits from getting too hot and causing the top to colour too early before they are fully cooked

51. How can I whip animal cream into place?

Animal cream is natural and healthy, but has the disadvantage that it is not easy to whip.
After whipping it tends to melt when exposed to heat. If the weather is hot and the operating room is too hot, this can affect the whipping of the cream.
To ensure that the cream is whipped successfully, the first thing to note is that the container in which the cream is whipped should be free of oil and water, clean and dry, and it is recommended that the cream for whipping is refrigerated for 24 hours.
You can also fill a large bowl with ice and place it underneath the whipped cream. Stop whipping until the cream is significantly larger and has clear lines, to avoid the cream becoming oily and watery, which is not suitable for framing.

52. How do I check if my eggs are fresh?

Place an egg in a bowl of water and if it sinks downwards, the egg is fresh.

53. What happens if I don’t sift the flour for the dough?

Sifting the flour before mixing it with the other ingredients is important for making the dough or batter.

Try to mix in as much air as possible when sifting at first, because slowly you can get a light texture no matter when you bake.

Also, if you are adding cocoa powder or other dry ingredients like sugar, it is recommended to sift all the dry ingredients. This will allow all the ingredients to be mixed better and more evenly.

54. What is the best level of wet and dry for making puffs?

Pick up the puff pastry dough with a wooden spoon or chopstick so that the batter is in an inverted triangle shape and the tip is about 1.6 inches from the bottom and will hold its shape without dropping.


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