Sunday, September 11, 2011

Baking is different

Of course, baking is a different animal. There often are precise
ratios that must be followed if a cookie is to come out tender or if
pizza dough is to rise properly. Baking is less forgiving if you have
too much flour for the amount of salt or leavening. Add a bit of
cinnamon or more lemon zest if you like, but some other ratios are
critical, such as the amount of butter, sugar or egg. Substituting
margarine for butter can make an entirely different product. It's even
worse if you substitute "whipped" or "soft" margarines, which contain
a lot of water and vegetable oil.

When you bake, follow the recipe exactly the first time. If you want
to experiment, then do it with flavorings, nuts or other less-critical
ingredients. Keep the ratios of flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and
other "basics" intact. And don't substitute unless you know what
you're doing or you're prepared to have a less-than-perfect result.
For instance, whole wheat flour will not substitute exactly for white
flour, if at all. Brown sugar is not the same as granulated sugar, and
granulated sugar is not the same as powdered sugar, which has a lot of

Donna Maurillo, Food for Thought

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