How to Bake

How to Bake

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780486829180
Publisher: Dover Publications
Publication date: 10/17/2018
Edition description: Revised
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 300,002
Product dimensions: 7.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.90(d)

About the Author


Nick Malgieri is Director of the Baking Program at the Institute of Culinary Education and a frequent guest teacher at schools across the United States. His recipes and articles have appeared in The New York Times, Gourmet, Chocolatier, Food & Wine, and many other periodicals, and he is the American correspondent for the Italian magazine La Pasticceria Internazionale.

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CHAPTER 1

Quick Breads, Scones & Muffins

The first project many novice bakers undertake is a quick bread, or one of its many variations, the muffin, scone, or biscuit. All are easy to prepare and even fairly fast in baking time. The "quick" refers, however, to the fact that these yeastless breads require no waiting time for the dough to rise.

Quick breads originated in the mid-nineteenth century both as an alternative to and a substitute for breads made with yeast. With the invention of baking powder — chemicals that have some of the properties of yeast in that they form carbon dioxide gas in the dough or batter that causes leavening or rising to take place during baking — many thought unreliable and often allergy-causing yeast would be replaced. Occasionally, a quick bread is leavened by baking soda or a combination of baking powder and baking soda. When baking soda is used, there is always an acid ingredient — cocoa, chocolate, sour cream, yogurt, honey, brown sugar, or molasses — present. The baking soda foams in the presence of the acid and causes a supplementary leavening that counteracts the heaviness of the acid ingredient or provides all the leavening for the dough or batter.

Fortunately for us, an intelligent public did not give up its fondness for real bread made with yeast. Even more fortunately, the discovery of baking powder contributed to many wonderful new baked foods such as muffins and biscuits as well as new cakes and contributed a lighter and better texture to many existing foods.

The recipes in this chapter fall into several categories:

SODA BREADS: Variations on the classic Irish quick bread, a baking soda–leavened bread usually made with buttermilk.

LOAVES: Classic not-too-sweet quick breads studded with dried fruit, nuts, or both.

CORN BREADS: Quick breads containing cornmeal and little or no sugar.

BAKING POWDER BISCUITS: Individual, usually unsweetened quick breads, most often served with meals.

SCONES: A sweet, rich cross between a baking powder biscuit and a muffin.

Scones tend to be richer than biscuits, but not so sweet or rich as muffins.

MUFFINS: Individual quick breads with berries and grains; can be made low-fat, too.

Quick Breads

What distinguishes a quick bread from a loaf cake? They look the same, and if you made a random arrangement of loaf-shaped quick breads, pound cakes, and fruitcakes, it would be difficult to tell them apart on the basis of appearance. There are, however, fundamental differences:

1. Quick breads are not as sweet as loaf cakes. They do contain sugar, but never in as high a proportion as a cake.

2. Quick breads are lower in fat than cakes. Although they may contain eggs, butter, or oil, the proportion of fat is much less than in a cake batter.

3. Quick breads use dried fruits and nuts not only for flavor, but also for moisture, and to help make up for the low proportions of sugar and fat.

4. A quick bread has a somewhat drier texture than a cake. This is why many are served with a spread of some kind — date nut bread with cream cheese, for instance, is a classic.

5. When mixing quick breads, be careful not to overmix or the bread will be tough and heavy.

6. Finally, quick breads can be served as breakfast, brunch, and late-supper breads. They are perfect when something slightly sweet will be welcome, but a full-scale cake would be too rich.

IRISH SODA BREAD

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
ONE 7- TO 8-INCH LOAF, ABOUT 8 SERVINGS

Most American versions of soda bread are slightly sweet and contain raisins and/or caraway seeds — a variation of the classic called Seedy Bread (see below). This plain soda bread and its whole wheat variation are adapted from Full and Plenty: Breads & Cakes(Anvil Books, 1985) by Maura Laverty, a classic Irish cookbook (see an adaptation of Laverty's barm brack, a yeast-risen tea cake on page 401).

1. Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir well to mix.

2. Add the buttermilk and stir gently with a rubber spatula — it will form a slightly sticky dough. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rest for about 5 minutes.

3. Set a rack at the middle level of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.

4. Remove the dough from the bowl to a lightly floured work surface and knead it until it is smooth, about 1 minute. Form into a round loaf and place on the prepared pan. Use a sharp knife to cut a cross about 5 inches long and 1 inch deep into the top of the loaf. Let the loaf rest, loosely covered, for about 15 minutes, while the oven is heating.

5. Bake the soda bread for about 45 minutes, until it is well risen, a deep brown color, and a skewer or toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean. Slide the loaf onto a rack to cool.

Serving: Serve the soda bread for breakfast, brunch, or tea with butter and marmalade or jam.

Storage: Keep the soda bread in a plastic bag at room temperature — it is good for a day or two. Unfortunately this type of soda bread when toasted only becomes hard and crumbly, so it must be used fresh.

VARIATIONS

PART WHOLE WHEAT SODA BREAD: Substitute 2½ cups all-purpose flour and ½ cup whole wheat flour for the flour, above.

Substitute an equal amount of honey for the sugar, if you wish.

SEEDY BREAD: This sweet and rich version of soda bread is probably familiar to the American palate. Although the caraway seeds are a typical part of this preparation, you may of course leave them out, if you wish. If you like raisins, add up to 1 cup dark raisins to the dough, right before adding the buttermilk.

Increase the flour to 3½ cups and sugar to 3 tablespoons; after adding salt and soda, rub in 3 or 4 tablespoons unsalted butter and add 1 tablespoon caraway seeds; mix in the buttermilk and proceed as in step 2.

QUICK BREAD WITH DRIED FRUIT

One 11- or 12-ounce package mixed dried fruit, coarsely chopped by hand or in the food processor
ONE 9 x 5 x 3-INCH LOAF, ABOUT 10 SERVINGS

Once every winter I make a compote from a supermarket box of mixed dried fruit, and this quick bread also uses the mixture to make an interesting, not-too-sweet breakfast bread.

1. Set a rack at the middle level of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees.

2. Place the chopped dried fruit in a saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a simmer. Drain and spread out on paper towels to soak up the excess moisture.

3. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl; stir well to mix.

4. In a separate bowl, beat the butter, then beat in the sugar, just until mixed. Beat in the eggs and milk, then the flour mixture and dried fruit.

5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the loaf for 45 to 55 minutes, until it is well risen and a skewer or thin knife inserted in the thickest part of the bread emerges clean.

6. Cool the loaf on a rack for 5 minutes, then unmold and finish cooling.

Serving: Serve thin slices with butter or cream cheese.

Storage: Keep well wrapped at room temperature for a day or two. For longer storage, refrigerate, tightly wrapped in plastic.

This freezes well, wrapped tightly, for up to several months. Defrost and bring to room temperature before serving.

VARIATIONS

PRUNE AND APRICOT BREAD: Substitute 1 cup each pitted prunes and dried apricots, both coarsely chopped, as above, for the mixed dried fruit.

RAISIN PECAN BREAD: Substitute 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 cup dark raisins, and ¾ cup coarsely chopped pecan pieces for the dried fruit, above. (It is not necessary to bring these ingredients to a boil, as with the dried fruit, above.)

Substitute golden raisins or currants or a combination for the raisins. Walnuts or almonds may be substituted for the pecans. Omit cinnamon and replace it with 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, if you wish. For an all-nut bread, omit the raisins and double the quantity of nuts.

DATE AND WALNUT BREAD: Substitute 1 cup coarsely chopped pitted dates and 1 cup coarsely chopped walnut pieces for the dried fruit, above (no need to simmer). Substitute ½ cup dark brown sugar for the sugar, increase the baking powder to 1 tablespoon, and decrease the butter to 4 tablespoons.

FIG AND ALMOND BREAD: Substitute chopped mission figs (be sure to remove the hard, sharp stems) and coarsely chopped toasted whole blanched almonds for the dates and walnuts in the variation above.

COCOA QUICK BREAD

1¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
ONE 9 x 5 x 3-INCH LOAF, ABOUT 10 SERVINGS

This rich, chocolate-flavored quick bread is a good tea or afternoon bread with a spread of tart raspberry jam, butter, or cream cheese.

1. Set a rack at the middle level of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees.

2. Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder and soda, salt, and spices together into a mixing bowl; stir well to combine.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and whisk in the sugar. Continue whisking until light, a minute or two. Whisk in the butter or oil and the sour cream. Stir the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients, being careful not to overmix.

4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the loaf for 45 to 55 minutes, until it is well risen and a skewer or thin knife inserted in the thickest part of the bread emerges clean.

5. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then unmold and finish cooling.

Serving: Serve the cocoa bread with cream cheese and/or jam or preserves.

Storage: Keep well wrapped at room temperature for a day or two. For longer storage, refrigerate, tightly wrapped in plastic. This quick bread freezes well, wrapped tightly, for up to several months. Defrost and bring to room temperature before serving.

SANDY LEONARD'S BANANA RAISIN BREAD

1 cup dark raisins
ONE 8½ x 4½ x 2¾-INCH LOAF, ABOUT 8 SERVINGS

My friend Sandy Leonard, an expert home baker, recently devised this recipe to use up some bananas that were rapidly growing too brown to eat.

1. Set a rack at the middle level of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees.

2. Place the raisins in a bowl. Remove a tablespoon of flour from the measured amount and toss with the raisins to coat them.

3. Combine the remaining flour, the baking powder and soda, salt, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl and stir to mix.

4. By hand or with an electric mixer, beat the butter with the sugar until soft and light, 2 or 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla.

5. By hand, being careful not to overmix, fold in the bananas, flour mixture, then raisins.

6. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the loaf for 45 to 55 minutes, until it is well risen and a skewer or thin knife inserted in the thickest part of the bread emerges clean.

7. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then unmold and finish cooling.

Serving: Serve thin slices with butter or cream cheese.

Storage: Keep well wrapped at room temperature for a day or two. For longer storage, refrigerate, tightly wrapped in plastic. This freezes well, wrapped tightly, for up to several months. Defrost and bring to room temperature before serving.

Hint for Success: Make sure the bananas are really ripe — the skin can even be dark brown — or the bread will have little flavor.

LOW-FAT BANANA BREAD

2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
ONE 8½ x 4½ x 2¾-INCH LOAF, ABOUT 8 SERVINGS

Yet another banana bread — this time a low-fat version that works particularly well. Bananas provide the sweetness, moisture, and tenderness often lacking in baked goods that are low in fat. This is so good, the absence of fat isn't even apparent.

1. Set a rack at the middle level of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and soda, and allspice and stir well to mix.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg whites, applesauce, oil, vanilla, and bananas.

4. Being careful not to overmix, fold in the flour mixture.

5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the loaf for 45 to 55 minutes, until it is well risen and a skewer or thin knife inserted in the thickest part of the bread emerges clean.

6. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then unmold and finish cooling.

Serving: Serve thin slices with a low-fat spread such as light cream cheese.

Storage: Keep well wrapped at room temperature for a day or two. For longer storage, refrigerate, tightly wrapped in plastic. This freezes well, wrapped tightly, for up to several months. Defrost and bring to room temperature before serving.

Corn Bread

Corn bread is a staple throughout the world because cornmeal and other processed corn products, such as hominy, have been the basic dietary starch of many cultures.

The following corn breads, perhaps the most popular of all quick breads, make good brunch dishes, either on their own or as an accompaniment to eggs and breakfast meat.

A Note About Cornmeal

Although cornmeal is easy to find in the supermarket, I always use a stone-ground yellow cornmeal for these recipes. Industrially ground cornmeal has had the germ removed. This helps it retain freshness longer, but unfortunately it also removes some of the cornmeal's flavor and character.

BUTTERMILK CORN BREAD

1 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
ONE 8-INCH SQUARE OF CORN BREAD, ABOUT 6 SERVINGS

This is easy enough to put together in the morning, but if you wish, measure the dry ingredients and combine them the night before; then, in the morning, it is only necessary to melt the butter and whisk the eggs, butter, and buttermilk together, stir them into the dry ingredients, and bake.

1. Set a rack at the middle level of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.

2. Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir well to mix.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk and eggs together. Quickly whisk in the melted butter.

4. Stir the liquids into the dry ingredients; avoid overmixing.

5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

6. Bake the corn bread for about 20 minutes, until it is well risen and firm in the center. Cool on a rack in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto the rack and remove the paper. Cover the corn bread with a platter, turn them over together and serve immediately.

Serving: Serve with butter and jam — though it is rich enough and really needs no butter.

Storage: Store tightly wrapped and refrigerated or frozen. Bring to room temperature or reheat at 350 degrees for 10 minutes before serving.

VARIATIONS

To substitute milk for the buttermilk, omit the baking soda.

KERNEL CORN BREAD: Add 1 to 2 cups cooked corn kernels to the batter — a good way to use up a leftover ear or two of corn.

JALAPENO CORN BREAD WITH JACK CHEESE: Halve, seed, and mince 2 pickled jalapeños and add to the batter along with 1 cup coarsely grated Monterey Jack cheese. Serve the corn bread with sour cream and salsa — or even guacamole.

CORN STICKS: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, generously brush a corn-stick pan with oil, and place in the oven to heat. Eliminate the sugar from the basic recipe, reduce the baking powder to 2 teaspoons, use 1 egg, and increase the buttermilk or milk to 1 cup. Remove the hot pan from the oven and fill each cavity to within 1/4 inch of the top. Return to the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the corn sticks are firm and golden. Unmold the corn sticks to a rack, re-oil the pan, and return to the oven to reheat for 5 minutes. Refill the pan with the remaining batter and bake. Yields 12 to 15 corn sticks.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "How to Bake"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Nick Malgieri.
Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments iii

Introduction vii

1 Quick Breads, Scones & Muffins 1

2 Breads & Rolls 33

3 Savory Pastries 95

4 Pies 143

5 Tarts 185

6 Cookies & Small Pastries 225

7 Cakes 265

8 Puff Pastry & Cream Puff Pastry 343

9 Sweet Yeast-Risen Breads & Pastries 383

Sources Of Supply 435

Metric Equivalents 436

Bibliography 438

Index 441

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How to Bake 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Cheryl-S 5 months ago
Fantastic cookbook! When it’s time to bake this cookbook is one you have a permanent place for on your counter. Every recipe is something I’d like to bake. Instructions are precise and the ingredients are easily found. I would have liked some pictures of these amazing treats though.