Perfecting recipe techniques.

Author
nibiru_3600
Junior Burger
  • Total Posts : 43
  • Joined: 2003/12/10 19:17:00
  • Location: Bermuda, TX
  • Status: offline
2004/03/07 10:02:11 (permalink)

Perfecting recipe techniques.

How many times have you tried perfecting recipe techniques? Adding this, taking out that, etc. I'm trying to do it for scones but sometimes, they don't come out right. Do you ever go through this problem?
#1

12 Replies Related Threads

    Stogie
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 128
    • Joined: 2003/03/12 09:21:00
    • Location: Ft. Wayne, IN
    • Status: offline
    RE: Perfecting recipe techniques. 2004/03/07 13:59:51 (permalink)
    ALL the time! I believe the secret is to change only 1 aspect/ingredient at a time. This lets you know the results are from that change.

    Having said this, keep in mind baking is ALL science! Your measurements must be exact...unlike cooking where "rounding" is OK. So, you will have many more variables. eg. When cooking, oven temps will not have a major impact...except if your temps are extreme. In baking, oven temps do have an impact as different temps mean different reactions with the baking powders, sugars, baking sodas, etc.

    Finally, copious notes are called for. I write them on my recipe so as not to lose. Once I make the changes, I then change the entire recipe and date it.

    Good luck!

    Stogie

    #2
    Cakes
    Double Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 562
    • Joined: 2003/09/11 16:38:00
    • Location: Sarasota, FL
    • Status: offline
    RE: Perfecting recipe techniques. 2004/03/07 18:39:37 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Stogie

    ALL the time! I believe the secret is to change only 1 aspect/ingredient at a time. This lets you know the results are from that change.

    Having said this, keep in mind baking is ALL science! Your measurements must be exact...unlike cooking where "rounding" is OK. So, you will have many more variables. eg. When cooking, oven temps will not have a major impact...except if your temps are extreme. In baking, oven temps do have an impact as different temps mean different reactions with the baking powders, sugars, baking sodas, etc.

    Finally, copious notes are called for. I write them on my recipe so as not to lose. Once I make the changes, I then change the entire recipe and date it.

    Good luck!

    Stogie




    Stogie,

    Baking would be more of a science if it weren't for the flour. Here in Florida with our humidity, one never knows why a recipe works one time and not the next. That's my story and I am sticking to it. The art of baking is knowing how to tweak a recipe.

    Cakes

    #3
    ocdreamr
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 1110
    • Joined: 2003/03/12 22:03:00
    • Location: Wilmington, NC
    • Status: offline
    RE: Perfecting recipe techniques. 2004/03/07 21:01:20 (permalink)
    Cakes,
    when dealing with humidity & flour, weigh your flour don't measure it by the cup. If you check out the recipes in the better cookbooks they all give weight measures as well as cup measure, this is why. Try it you'll like it

    OCDreamr
    #4
    Cakes
    Double Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 562
    • Joined: 2003/09/11 16:38:00
    • Location: Sarasota, FL
    • Status: offline
    RE: Perfecting recipe techniques. 2004/03/07 21:32:53 (permalink)
    OCDreamr,

    I hear what you say and I can't dispute it. The comment about baking being scientific is true. You can't play it by ear except maybe for biscuits.

    I stay away from recipes that have to be too exact or involve mechanics. By mechanics I mean rolling or stuffing or that type of thing. One of my pet peeves are recipes that call for rolling a stuffing in 2 chicken breasts. Pound the breasts down to 1/4 inch, put the mixture on the breasts and roll them up and pin them with tooth picks. Right. First of all, women have 2 breasts, do chickens? When you buy a package of chicken breasts, how many do you get? Furthermore, todays chicken breasts resemble Dolly Parton. How do you pound a 3/4 inch thick chicken breast out to 1/4 inch? It would cover the entire counter! Unless chickens have breasts then it would only cover half of the counter!

    Am I the only one that has these problems with recipes?

    Cakes





    #5
    lleechef
    Sirloin
    • Total Posts : 6825
    • Joined: 2003/03/22 23:42:00
    • Location: Gahanna, OH
    • Status: offline
    RE: Perfecting recipe techniques. 2004/03/07 22:38:01 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Cakes

    How do you pound a 3/4 inch thick chicken breast out to 1/4 inch?



    Butterfly it! Or just plain slice it in half lengthwise and then pound and stuff or whatever.

    To a certain extent, baking (and cooking) is a science, but sure not ROCKET scientry or brain surgery. You don't need to know that there are 729 layers of butter and 730 layers of dough in a proper puff pastry! Just get your hands in there and make the darned thing. Experiment. Improvise. Taste. Have fun!

    My cooks used to ask me, "Chef, whaddaya gonna do with the striped bass special tonight???" To which I would reply, "I won't know until I'm done."
    #6
    JimInKy
    Double Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 599
    • Joined: 2000/11/29 11:55:00
    • Location: Lexington, KY
    • Status: offline
    RE: Perfecting recipe techniques. 2004/03/08 01:41:13 (permalink)
    Cakes, I recently read a short article about decreasing the amount of liquid ingredients for baking recipes, in locales where the humidity is very high. If I can find the piece, I'll post the relevant part here.
    #7
    Stogie
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 128
    • Joined: 2003/03/12 09:21:00
    • Location: Ft. Wayne, IN
    • Status: offline
    RE: Perfecting recipe techniques. 2004/03/08 09:58:23 (permalink)
    Perhaps I was using the wrong word..science. lleechef, you are correct....ALL cooking has its roots in science. What I meant was, when cooking that striped bass, if you used a heaping TBS of garlic, the recipe will most likely be OK. However, if you use a heaping TBS of baking soda or powder when baking, your recipe will be greatly affected.

    Cakes...you are correct about humidity playing a role. Important in baking, but really no impact when cooking. I guess this is what I meant by "all science". GREAT comments on the chicken!! LOL

    As to breasts...and I DO love them(wink, wink, nod, nod).....an easy way to pound them is to put in a heavy duty freezer bag and add some water. The water will keep them from sticking and you contain your mess. I make both chicken parm and tenderloin sammiches. Both need pounding and I found this is an easy way to do it.

    Stogie
    #8
    ahmicchick
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 107
    • Joined: 2004/02/16 09:45:00
    • Location: Auburn, AL
    • Status: offline
    RE: Perfecting recipe techniques. 2004/03/08 10:14:12 (permalink)
    Stogie,

    Thanks for the tip! One reason I don't make chicken parmigiana more often is that I hate the mess; even though I covered the chicken with wax paper to contain the gook, I'd usually punch holes in the stuff by the time I was done. Freezer bags, ingenious!
    #9
    ahmicchick
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 107
    • Joined: 2004/02/16 09:45:00
    • Location: Auburn, AL
    • Status: offline
    RE: Perfecting recipe techniques. 2004/03/08 10:22:12 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by nibiru_3600

    How many times have you tried perfecting recipe techniques? Adding this, taking out that, etc. I'm trying to do it for scones but sometimes, they don't come out right. Do you ever go through this problem?


    Yep, All the time. I'm trying to make my family's diet more healthy in several ways. Less fat and fewer carbs (just because, if we can avoid eating them, why not?), and not as much meat for health reasons. It's tough! And I hate going to a lot of work, just to have something turn out nasty and inedible. Then we have to order a pizza (back to more fat and meat!), or have spaghetti... again.

    But when you achieve success, ahhh! And I did yesterday, making substitutions in a banana cake recipe (prune puree for some of the butter, soy flour for some of the all-purpose flour, and Splenda for some of the sugar), and came up with a really good dessert (REALLY!) that we don't feel too guilty about.
    #10
    SteveB9
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 46
    • Joined: 2004/03/31 17:07:00
    • Location: Jefferson, GA
    • Status: offline
    RE: Perfecting recipe techniques. 2004/04/02 18:56:49 (permalink)
    Regarding baking as a science: it is, but there is a lot of art mixed in. Local environmental differences can make a lot of difference. I used to work a lot with the large cookie/cracker (called biscuits in the industry) bakers, and learned a lot of strange things. For example, Nabisco uses a slightly different recipe for Saltines in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh (when they had a bakery in Pittsburgh, that is). One of the bakers told me that the mineral content, or hardness, of the water is different, and that this causes the proportion of ingredients to have to be slightly changed. On top of this, you have the effects of varying humidity as the other poster mentioned. Finally, flour is not flour. Is it made from winter wheat or spring wheat? This can be controlled if you know what you are using, as the pros do. But, it is hard for normal consumers to know this. About all we can differentiate is the Pillsbury (good for yeast bread) and the White Lily (good for biscuits.
    #11
    b-n-kchefservice
    Hamburger
    • Total Posts : 69
    • Joined: 2003/10/09 01:27:00
    • Location: P.H., MI
    • Status: offline
    RE: Perfecting recipe techniques. 2004/04/03 00:08:21 (permalink)
    To me the scientific part of baking comes from the leavening agent. I generally know how much flour to use by feel, some recipes are a little more spacific such as puff pastry and more delicate things, but bread, pizza, cookies and things like that are too feel.
    #12
    Stogie
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 128
    • Joined: 2003/03/12 09:21:00
    • Location: Ft. Wayne, IN
    • Status: offline
    RE: Perfecting recipe techniques. 2004/04/04 10:30:07 (permalink)
    Steve....

    You bring up things that make my point! These are all scientific in nature. The difference is....in regular cooking, the mineral content of the water has no bearing on the outcome of the recipe. To thicken a sauce, it doesn't matter when the wheat was grown/harvested. As far as humidity, again, doesn't matter a bit when cooking.

    These are all the things I meant to say about baking. While I agree there may be some art involved in getting to know the changes, it comes down to science.

    Anyway, don't want to turn this thing into a flame war......just trying to say that baking is much more exact than cooking.

    With respect to all bakers and cooks,
    Stogie
    #13
    Jump to:
    © 2014 APG vNext Commercial Version 5.1