Key Baking Terms Used in the Hotel Industry
Albumen: The principal protein found in egg whites.
Au gratin (oh-grah-tan): Foods with a browned or crusted top; often made by browning food with a bread-crumb, cheese, and/ or sauce topping under a broiler or salamander.
Baking Soda: Sodium bicarbonate, an alkaline compound that releases carbon dioxide gas when combined with an acid and moisture; is used to leaven baked goods.
Baking Powder: A mixture of sodium bicarbonate and one or more acids, generally the cream of tartar and/ or sodium aluminum sulfate, used to leaven baked goods; it releases carbon dioxide gas if moisture is present in a formula.
Bake / Baking: To cook food by surrounding it with hot dry air. similar to roasting, the term baking is usually applied to bread, pastries, vegetables, and fish.
Batter: A semiliquid mixture of flour and other starchy ingredients and liquids, which has a pouring consistency. For example, a semi-liquid mixture containing flour or other starch is used to make cakes and bread or to coat foods for deep-frying.
Beat / Beating: To move a whip or spoon rapidly back and forth to blend products to achieve a smooth texture.
Beurre manié (burr-man-yay): The method of combining equal amounts by weight of flour and soft, whole.
Beurre noir (burr-war): The French term for ‘black butter’, whole butter cooked until dark brown (not black) sometimes flavored with vinegar or lemon juice.
Breaded / Breading: Coating a food item with bread or crumbs. Such food items are then usually fried, baked, or broiled.
Butter Cream Icing: A combination of powdered sugar and /or sugar syrup with butter and/or shortening and possibly other ingredients to form an icing.
Blend The incorporation of ingredients thoroughly, either by hand or with a machine.
Bloom: A discoloration on the surface of chocolate indicating the presence of unstable cocoa butter crystals.
Caramelize: Heat sugar slowly until it is melted and brown.
Chill: To cool a mixture until it’s cold, but not frozen.
Chill Until Set: Cool a mixture until it gels.
Coat: Process of spreading a surface with cream, flour, sugar, etc.
Coddle: To poach gently in barely simmering liquid.
Coaching: The working of the chocolate during processing which smooths out the rough edges of the sugar crystals to produce very smooth chocolate.
Combine: To mix two ingredients thoroughly.
Crimp: To seal together by making a decorative edge.
Cream until light: Mix and whip all ingredients until smooth and with enough air incorporated to make a light mixture.
Cut in Shortening: Mixing shortening with dry ingredients using a pastry blender or the tips of your fingers.
Cake: Refers to a broad range of pastries, including layer cakes, coffee cakes, and gateaux. Cake can also refer to almost anything that is baked, tender, sweet, and sometimes frosted.
Compound Butter: This is a mixture of butter and supplementary ingredients. Primarily, they are used to enhance flavor in various dishes, in a fashion similar to a sauce.
Dissolve: Separating dry ingredients into particles for complete absorption in liquid.
Dot: Placing small pieces of butter, fat, cheese, etc on top of dough or food.
Dough: A mixture of ingredients and liquids stiff enough to shape or knead with the hands.
Dust: Sprinkle lightly with flour, sugar, or other substance.
Egg Wash: A mixture of egg or egg yolk with milk or water.
Flambe: To flame a dessert or other food by dousing it with potable alcohol and setting it alight.
Floured: Dusted with a thin layer of flour.
Flute: Making a decorative scalloped design on the edge of a pie crust or pastry.
Fermentation: The interaction of yeast and carbohydrates which develops carbon dioxide gas and alcohol.
Gelatinization: The process of converting into a jelly.
Gluten: The protein-based substance in wheat flour that builds the structure of baked items or goods.
Gram: The basic unit of weight in the metric measurement system.
Garnish: Decorating with whipped cream, Buttercream, icings, etc.
Glaze: Applying a thick liquid over the surface of an item to give a final glossy look.
Hot Water Bath: The idea of preventing an item from coming into contact with direct heat.
Kilo: The prefix used in the metric measurement system means 1000. 1000 grams is called as 1 Kilogram.
Knead: Manipulating dough using the heel of your palm to achieve a smooth consistency.
Lecithin: Emulsifier used in many chocolates to reduce the viscosity.
Lukewarm: Neither cool nor warm, approximately body temperature.
Macerate: Tossing fruit in sugar, lemon, wine, or liqueur to absorb flavors.
Mask: Cover a surface with cream, icing, frosting, sauce, or other substances.
Meringue: Egg whites and sugar beaten to a stiff consistency.
Mix: The combining of two or more ingredients.
Mold: Making an attractive shape by filling a decorative container.
Pinch: A pinch is an amount you can hold between your thumb and forefinger.
Pipe: To squeeze a soft, smooth textured substance through a pastry tube, thus making a design or decoration.
Pulm: Soaking dried fruit in the liquid until it swells.
Poach: Simmering an item gently in syrup or liquid below the boiling point, while maintaining shape and texture.
Proof: To test yeast for potency before baking,
Refresh: To run cold water over something that has been boiled.
Roll Out: To spread the surface of a product with a rolling pin.
Scald: To scald mil is to bring it to the point when bubbles appear around the edges of the pan.
Set: Allowing an item to go from a soft or liquid state to a firmer, more solid state.
Sift: Put flour, sugar, or other similar substance through a sieve to ensure a fine grain.
Stew: Long, slow cooking in liquid or syrup.
Sprinkle: Dusting dry ingredients onto the surface of the food.
Straight Flour: Flour milled from all parts of the wheat kernel except the bran.
Strong flour: Flour with a high gluten content such as winter patent flour.
Stir: Mixing ingredients gently, using a circular motion with a spoon or whisk to ensure even cooking and to prevent sticking.
Tempering: A Method used to establish proper crystallization of cocoa butter crystals in melted chocolate for a shiny, dark, hard-finished product.
Turntable: 1) A rotating platform which is on a pedestal, used for holding cakes that are being iced and decorated. 2) A glass turntable is inside the microwave oven, rotating the food in the turntable helps even out the exposure to microwaves the food evenly during the process.
Wash: 1) Brushing or coating a food item with a liquid such as egg white, milk, or egg wash. 2) The liquid used to coat a food item. 3) The application of the coat to a food item is also called a wash.
Whip: To beat with a rapid lifting motion to incorporate air into a product.
Weak Flour: Flour that has a low gluten content, such as cake flour or all-purpose flour.
Whitewash: A thin mixture of starch, such as flour or cornstarch, and cold liquid used to thicken sauces or other liquid items.
Zest: The colored portion of the peel of citrus fruit. Examples: Orange Zest, Lemon Zest, etc.