Baking

Baking

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Baking is the technique of prolonged cooking
Cooking
Cooking is the process of preparing food by use of heat. Cooking techniques and ingredients vary widely across the world, reflecting unique environmental, economic, and cultural traditions. Cooks themselves also vary widely in skill and training...

 of food
Food
Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals...

 by dry heat acting by convection, and not by radiation
Thermal radiation
Thermal radiation is electromagnetic radiation generated by the thermal motion of charged particles in matter. All matter with a temperature greater than absolute zero emits thermal radiation....

, normally in an oven
Oven
An oven is a thermally insulated chamber used for the heating, baking or drying of a substance. It is most commonly used for cooking. Kilns, and furnaces are special-purpose ovens...

, but also in hot ashes, or on hot stones. It is primarily used for the preparation of bread
Bread
Bread is a staple food prepared by cooking a dough of flour and water and often additional ingredients. Doughs are usually baked, but in some cuisines breads are steamed , fried , or baked on an unoiled frying pan . It may be leavened or unleavened...

, cake
Cake
Cake is a form of bread or bread-like food. In its modern forms, it is typically a sweet and enriched baked dessert. In its oldest forms, cakes were normally fried breads or cheesecakes, and normally had a disk shape...

s, pastries
Pastry
Pastry is the name given to various kinds of baked products made from ingredients such as flour, sugar, milk, butter, shortening, baking powder and/or eggs. Small cakes, tarts and other sweet baked products are called "pastries."...

 and pie
Pie
A pie is a baked dish which is usually made of a pastry dough casing that covers or completely contains a filling of various sweet or savoury ingredients....

s, tart
Tart
A tart is a baked dish consisting of a filling over a pastry base with an open top not covered with pastry. The pastry is usually shortcrust pastry; the filling may be sweet or savoury, though modern tarts are usually fruit-based, sometimes with custard....

s, quiche
Quiche
Quiche is a savory, open-faced pie of vegetables, cheese, or meat in custard, baked in a pastry crust.The quiche is sometimes regarded as the savoury equivalent ofegg custard tart.- Etymology:...

s, cookies and crackers
Cracker (food)
A cracker is a baked good commonly made from grain flour dough and typically made in quantity in various hand-sized or smaller shapes. Flavorings or seasonings, such as salt, herbs, seeds, and/or cheese, may be added to the dough or sprinkled on top before baking...

. Such items are sometimes referred to as "baked goods," and are sold at a bakery
Bakery
A bakery is an establishment which produces and sells flour-based food baked in an oven such as bread, cakes, pastries and pies. Some retail bakeries are also cafés, serving coffee and tea to customers who wish to consume the baked goods on the premises.-See also:*Baker*Cake...

. A person who prepares baked goods as a profession is called a baker
Baker
A baker is someone who bakes and sells bread, Cakes and similar foods may also be produced, as the traditional boundaries between what is produced by a baker as opposed to a pastry chef have blurred in recent decades...

. It is also used for the preparation of baked potatoes, baked apples, baked beans
Baked beans
Baked beans is a dish containing beans, sometimes baked but, despite the name, usually stewed, in a sauce. Most commercial canned baked beans are made from haricot beans, also known as navy beans – a variety of Phaseolus vulgaris – in a sauce. In Ireland and the United Kingdom, a tomato...

, some casserole
Casserole
A casserole, from the French for "saucepan", is a large, deep dish used both in the oven and as a serving vessel. The word casserole is also used for the food cooked and served in such a vessel, with the cookware itself called a casserole dish or casserole pan...

s and pasta
Pasta
Pasta is a staple food of traditional Italian cuisine, now of worldwide renown. It takes the form of unleavened dough, made in Italy, mostly of durum wheat , water and sometimes eggs. Pasta comes in a variety of different shapes that serve for both decoration and to act as a carrier for the...

 dishes such as lasagna
Lasagna
Lasagna is a wide and flat type of pasta and possibly one of the oldest shapes. As with most other pasta shapes, the word is generally used in its plural form lasagne in Italy and the U.K. Traditionally, the dough was prepared in Southern Italy with semolina and water and in the northern regions,...

, and various other foods, such as the pretzel
Pretzel
A pretzel is a type of baked food made from dough in soft and hard varieties and savory or sweet flavors in a unique knot-like shape, originating in Europe...

.

Many commercial ovens are provided with two heating elements: one for baking, using convection
Convection
Convection is the movement of molecules within fluids and rheids. It cannot take place in solids, since neither bulk current flows nor significant diffusion can take place in solids....

 and conduction to heat the food, and one for broiling or grilling, heating mainly by radiation. Meat may also be baked, but this is usually reserved for meatloaf
Meatloaf
Meatloaf is a dish of ground meat formed into a loaf shape and baked or smoked. The loaf shape is formed by either cooking it in a loaf pan, or forming it by hand on a flat baking pan...

, smaller cuts of whole meats, and whole meats that contain stuffing
Stuffing
In cooking, stuffing or filling is an edible substance or mixture, often a starch, used to fill a cavity in another food item...

 or coating such as breadcrumbs or buttermilk
Buttermilk
Buttermilk refers to a number of dairy drinks. Originally, buttermilk was the liquid left behind after churning butter out of cream. It also refers to a range of fermented milk drinks, common in warm climates where unrefrigerated fresh milk otherwise sours quickly...

 batter
Batter (cooking)
Batter is a semi-liquid mixture of one or more flours combined with liquids such as water, milk or eggs used to prepare various foods. Often a leavening agent such as baking powder is included to aerate and fluff up the batter as it cooks, or the mixture may be naturally fermented for this purpose...

; larger cuts prepared without stuffing or coating are more often roasted
Roasting
Roasting is a cooking method that uses dry heat, whether an open flame, oven, or other heat source. Roasting usually causes caramelization or Maillard browning of the surface of the food, which is considered by some as a flavor enhancement. Roasting uses more indirect, diffused heat , and is...

, a similar process, using higher temperatures and shorter cooking times. Baking can sometimes be combined with grilling
Grilling
Grilling is a form of cooking that involves dry heat applied to the surface of food, commonly from above or below.Grilling usually involves a significant amount of direct, radiant heat, and tends to be used for cooking meat quickly and meat that has already been cut into slices...

 to produce a hybrid barbecue
Barbecue
Barbecue or barbeque , used chiefly in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia is a method and apparatus for cooking meat, poultry and occasionally fish with the heat and hot smoke of a fire, smoking wood, or hot coals of...

 variant, by using both methods simultaneously or one before the other, cooking twice. Baking is connected to barbecuing because the concept of the masonry oven
Masonry oven
A masonry oven, colloquially known as a brick oven or stone oven, is an oven consisting of a baking chamber made of fireproof brick, concrete, stone, or clay. Though traditionally wood-fired, coal-fired ovens were common in the 19th century, modern masonry ovens are often fired with natural gas or...

 is similar to that of a smoke pit.

The baking process does not require any fat
Fat
Fats consist of a wide group of compounds that are generally soluble in organic solvents and generally insoluble in water. Chemically, fats are triglycerides, triesters of glycerol and any of several fatty acids. Fats may be either solid or liquid at room temperature, depending on their structure...

 to be used to cook in an oven. Some makers of snacks such as potato chips or crisps have produced baked versions of their snack items as an alternative to the usual cooking method of deep-frying in an attempt to reduce the calorie or fat content of their snack products.Baking has opened up doors to businesses like cake making factories and privatised cake shops but the baking process is done in a more larger mass in bigger and open furnaces.

Overview



The dry heat of baking changes the form of starch
Starch
Starch or amylum is a carbohydrate consisting of a large number of glucose units joined together by glycosidic bonds. This polysaccharide is produced by all green plants as an energy store...

es in the food and causes its outer surfaces to brown, giving it an attractive appearance and taste. The browning is caused by caramelization
Caramelization
Caramelization is the browning of sugar, a process used extensively in cooking for the resulting nutty flavor and brown color. As the process occurs, volatile chemicals are released, producing the characteristic caramel flavor....

 of sugars and the Maillard reaction
Maillard reaction
The Maillard reaction is a form of nonenzymatic browning similar to caramelization. It results from a chemical reaction between an amino acid and a reducing sugar, usually requiring heat....

. However, the moisture is never entirely "sealed in"; over time, an item being baked will become dry. This is often an advantage, especially in situations where drying is the desired outcome, like drying herb
Herb
Except in botanical usage, an herb is "any plant with leaves, seeds, or flowers used for flavoring, food, medicine, or perfume" or "a part of such a plant as used in cooking"...

s or roasting certain types of vegetable
Vegetable
The noun vegetable usually means an edible plant or part of a plant other than a sweet fruit or seed. This typically means the leaf, stem, or root of a plant....

s. The most common baked item is bread
Bread
Bread is a staple food prepared by cooking a dough of flour and water and often additional ingredients. Doughs are usually baked, but in some cuisines breads are steamed , fried , or baked on an unoiled frying pan . It may be leavened or unleavened...

. Variations in the ovens, ingredients and recipes used in the baking of bread result in the wide variety of breads produced around the world.

Some foods are surrounded with moisture during baking by placing a small amount of liquid (such as water
Water
Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Water is a liquid at ambient conditions, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice, and gaseous state . Water also exists in a...

 or broth
Broth
Broth is a liquid food preparation, typically consisting of either water or an already flavored stock, in which bones, meat, fish, cereal grains, or vegetables have been simmered. Broth is used as a basis for other edible liquids such as soup, gravy, or sauce. It can be eaten alone or with garnish...

) in the bottom of a closed pan, and letting it steam up around the food, a method commonly known as braising
Braising
Braising , is a combination cooking method using both moist and dry heat; typically the food is first seared at a high temperature and then finished in a covered pot with a variable amount of liquid, resulting in a particular flavour...

 or slow baking.

When baking, consideration must be given to the amount of fat that is contained in the food item. Higher levels of fat such as margarine, butter or vegetable shortening will cause an item to spread out during the baking process.

With the passage of time breads harden; they become stale
Staling
Staling, or "going stale", is a chemical and physical process in bread and other foods that reduces their palatability. Stale bread is dry and leathery.-Mechanism and effects:...

. This is not primarily due to moisture being lost from the baked products, but more a reorganization of the way in which the water and starch are associated over time. This process is similar to recrystallization
Recrystallization (chemistry)
-Chemistry:In chemistry, recrystallization is a procedure for purifying compounds. The most typical situation is that a desired "compound A" is contaminated by a small amount of "impurity B". There are various methods of purification that may be attempted , which includes recrystallization...

, and is promoted by storage at cool temperatures, such as in a domestic refrigerator.

History



In ancient history, the first evidence of baking occurred when humans took wild grass grains, soaked them in water, and mixed everything together, mashing it into a kind of broth-like paste. The paste was cooked by pouring it onto a flat, hot rock, resulting in a bread-like substance. Later, this paste was roasted on hot embers, which made bread-making easier, as it could now be made anytime fire was created.

Baking flourished in the Roman Empire. In about 300 BC, the pastry cook became an occupation for Romans (known as the pastillarium). This became a respected profession because pastries were considered decadent, and Romans loved festivity and celebration. Thus, pastries were often cooked especially for large banquets, and any pastry cook who could invent new types of tasty treats was highly prized. Around 1 AD, there were more than three hundred pastry chefs in Rome, and Cato wrote about how they created all sorts of diverse foods, and flourished because of those foods. Cato speaks of an enormous amount of breads; included amongst these are the libum (sacrificial cakes made with flour), placenta (groats and cress), spira (our modern day flour pretzels), scibilata (tortes), savaillum (sweet cake), and globus apherica (fritters). A great selection of these, with many different variations, different ingredients, and varied patterns, were often found at banquets and dining halls. The Romans baked bread in an oven with its own chimney, and had mills to grind grain into flour.

Eventually, because of Rome, the art of baking became known throughout Europe, and eventually spread to the eastern parts of Asia. Bakers often baked goods at home and then sold them in the streets. This scene was so common that Rembrandt illustrated a work that depicted a pastry chef selling pancakes in the streets of Germany, with children clamoring for a sample. In London, pastry chefs sold their goods from handcarts. This developed into a system of delivery of baked goods to households, and demand increased greatly as a result. In Paris, the first open-air café of baked goods was developed, and baking became an established art throughout the entire world.

See also



  • Barbecue
    Barbecue
    Barbecue or barbeque , used chiefly in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia is a method and apparatus for cooking meat, poultry and occasionally fish with the heat and hot smoke of a fire, smoking wood, or hot coals of...

  • Baker percentage
    Baker percentage
    Baker's percentage is a baker's notation method indicating the flour-relative proportion of ingredients used when making breads, cakes, muffins, and other pastries. It is also referred to as baker's math, or otherwise contextually indicated by a phrase such as based on flour weight...

  • Bread pan
    Bread pan
    A bread pan is a kitchen utensil in the form of a container in which bread is baked. Its function is to shape bread while it is rising during baking. The most common shape of the bread pan is the loaf - a convenient form from which usable slices of bread may be cut. The bread pan is made from a...

  • Convection oven
    Convection oven
    Although the word convection is usually used to describe the natural circulation of gas or liquid caused by temperature differences, the convection in "convection oven" has a more general definition: the transfer of heat via movement of gas or liquid...

  • Grilling
    Grilling
    Grilling is a form of cooking that involves dry heat applied to the surface of food, commonly from above or below.Grilling usually involves a significant amount of direct, radiant heat, and tends to be used for cooking meat quickly and meat that has already been cut into slices...

  • High altitude cooking
    High altitude cooking
    High altitude cooking is the opposite of pressure cooking in that the boiling point of water will be lower at higher altitudes due to the decreased air pressure. This lower temperature results in a lowered boiling point of water and may require an increase in cooking times or temperature and...

  • Kneading
    Kneading
    Kneading is a process in the making of bread or pasta dough, used to mix together the ingredients and add strength to the final product. Its importance lies in the mixing of flour with water. When these two ingredients are combined and kneaded, the gliadin and glutenin proteins in the flour expand...

  • Parbaking
    Parbaking
    Parbaking is a cooking technique in which a bread or dough product is partially baked and then rapidly frozen for storage. The raw dough is baked as if normal, but halted at about 80% of the normal cooking time, when it is rapidly cooled and frozen...

  • Pastry
    Pastry
    Pastry is the name given to various kinds of baked products made from ingredients such as flour, sugar, milk, butter, shortening, baking powder and/or eggs. Small cakes, tarts and other sweet baked products are called "pastries."...

  • Peel
    Peel (tool)
    A peel is a shovel-like tool used by bakers to slide loaves of bread, pizzas, pastries, and other baked goods into and out of an oven. It is usually made of wood, with a flat carrying surface for holding the baked good and a handle extending from one side of that surface...

  • Proofing
    Proofing (baking technique)
    Proofing , as the term is used by professional bakers, is the final dough-rise step before baking, and refers to a specific rest period within the more generalized process known as fermentation...

  • Roller docker
    Roller docker
    A roller docker, rolling docker, dough docker or simply docker is a food preparation utensil that looks like a small rolling pin with spikes, or like a small rotary tiller. It is used to pierce bread dough, cracker dough, pizza dough or pastry dough to prevent over rising or blistering...

  • Rolling pin
    Rolling pin
    thumb|A wooden "roller" type rolling pinA rolling pin is a cylindrical food preparation utensil used to shape and flatten dough. Two styles of rolling pins are found; roller and rods. Roller types consists of a thick cylindrical roller with small handles at each end; rod type rolling pins are...

  • Smoking
  • Wonder Pot
    Wonder Pot
    Wonder Pot is an Israeli invention for baking on a stovetop rather than in an oven. The three-part invention includes an aluminium pot shaped like a Bundt pan, a hooded cover perforated with venting holes, and a thick, round, slightly domed metal disc with a center hole that is placed between the...


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