Baking 101: the 10 basics everyone should know
So you want to become a great baker? Here are the 10 absolute basics of pastry that any serious baker MUST know!
Puff pastry and pie dough
Puff pastry is a type of dough that’s made out of flour, water, salt and butter. The butter is layered into the dough, which is what gives it its characteristic flaky texture. It is used to make salty pastries, such as croissants, turnovers and quiches, or sweet desserts like pies and tarts. It’s quite complex to make at home due to the layering required, so don’t hesitate to buy readymade puff pastry.
Pie dough is a lot easier to make from scratch than puff pastry. It’s a simple dough recipe that’s made with flour, water, salt and butter (and sometimes eggs). It can be used to make tarts, pies and quiches, both salty and sweet. It’s easy and quick to make because it doesn’t require any resting time. That said, the longer you let the dough rest, the better it will taste!
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Chef Tips and Tricks
Try this clever trick to make the perfect zebra cake!
- 2 large water or soda bottles (empty)
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 sticks butter
- 6 eggs
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 tbsp cocoa powder
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Ready 2 large plastic bottles, cleaned and dried.
- Add 1 cup of flour to each bottle.
- Add 1/2 cup of sugar to each.
- Melt butter, then add equal halves to each bottle.
- Add 6 eggs, 3 in each.
- Add 1/2 tbsp of baking powder to each.
- Add 1/2 cup of heavy cream to each.
- Shake the bottles thoroughly until the contents are well mixed.
- In one of the bottles only, add the cocoa powder.
- Beginning with the cocoa powder mixture, add a dolop of batter to the center of a circular
- baking tin. Do the same with the other mixture, placing the dolop directly in the center of the previous one.
- Continue with alternating additions of each mixture until all batter is used and the tin is full.
- Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!