Have you ever sensed that lovely smell of sweet chocolate cake or fresh warm bread coming out of the oven when you go to a coffee shop? Well, that urging feeling to eat it and taste it is caused by the art of Baking. Baking is a cooking method using prolonged dry heat, such as using an oven. As heat travels through, it transforms batters and dough into baked goods with a firm dry crust and a softer center. Recipes are usually passed from generation to generation in a family; it becomes part of the heritage. As they go from generation to generation, they become part of a culture. The term ‘baking’ ranges from cookies, to bread, to cakes, and even pies. One of the most amazing things of baking is that it can be used to bake sweet and salty goods as well. Baking can be much fun, especially when you are creative with recipes.
I was luckily born into a family of cooks that has much passion for everything that involves creating magnificent works of art from food. My mother and brother know how to cook a lot of different food, however, I got the baking genes from my grandmother. After she passed away, my mother inherited her recipe book but has not dedicated enough time to learning the art of baking from her. Me, on the other hand, I have been learning to bake for many years with the help of my grandma’s book and I am confident enough to say that everything I bake is quite delicious.
Personally, I love baking sweet goods, such as cakes, cupcakes and cookies to be exact. There are a lot of variations to sweet goods, they can be filled with either salty or sweet mixtures to create different textures and create new flavors and activate different taste buds. A simple ingredient can change the taste and even the smell of the good, altering the whole recipe. For example, by adding lime or lemon zest on a butter cookie, both the smell and flavor will take you to another dimension.
It is quite lovely and Iencourage everyone to try it. Another example is my favorite cupcake: Red Velvet cake. Originally this type of cupcake was made with chocolate and beets create the red color. However, I find the taste of beets to make the cupcake sort of bitter. I changed the recipe to chocolate and red food coloring, this way the chocolate is the predominating flavor in the cupcake, and this is why everyone loves it. However, the frosting can completely change the taste. A cream cheese frosting will contrast the sweetness of the chocolate by adding a little acidity to it. The same thing goes for cakes, pies or cookies; it is all a matter of personal preference. Bakers have to get creative and innovative and, most importantly, they most not be afraid of the kitchen in order to succeed in it.
Salty baked goods such as pies or bread are some of the most popular foods consumed on the market. There are many types of breads used for different purposes such as rye bread on a Ruben. Pies on the other hand, are very traditional, most people like them as their grandmothers used to bake them. Most people get away from changing the recipe on a classic pie because it may be perceived as changing their childhood. Salty pies such as a spinach quiche is widely considered as a very popular and healthy snack. Salty pastries are popular because of its versatility of ingredients.
Overall, baking is a very precise and caring craft. The art of baking something is much more complex that making something else. Every ingredient has to be measured exactly and on the right temperature or the outcome can be a catastrophe. Every ingredient has to be accounted for or it can ruin the dough making to mushy or to dry. Baking is only for people that are not afraid of trying new flavor profiles and for very patient individuals. Once mastered, baking can be a very rewarding activity, for everyone loves to add a little sweetness or salty goodness to their lives.
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