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Key Terms used by Chefs in Bakery, Baking Terms for Pastry Department

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 at 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; 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 aluminium 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: Semiliquid mixture or flour and other starchy ingredients and liquids, which has a pouring consistency. Example semi-liquid mixture containing flour or other starch 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 together 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-nwar): The French term for 'black butter', whole butter cooked until dark brown (not black) sometimes flavoured 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 discolouration on the surface of chocolate indicating the presence of unstable cocoa butter crystals.

Caramelize: To heat sugar slowly until it is melted and brown in colour.

Chill: To cool a mixture until its cold, but not frozen.

Chill Until Set: A 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: To 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, coffeecakes and gateaux. Cake can also refer to almost anything that is baked, tender, sweet and sometimes frosted.

Compound Butter: Are mixtures of butter and supplementary ingredients. Primarily, they are used to enhance flavour 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: To 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 with potable alcohol and setting 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 which builds the structure in 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 meaning 1000. 1000 gram 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 or warm, approximately body temperature.

Macerate: Tossing fruit in sugar, lemon, wine or liqueur to absorb flavours.

Mask: Covering 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.

Mould: 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 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: To 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 which are being iced and decorated. 2) A glass turntable which is inside the microwave oven, rotating the food in the turntable helps the 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 applying 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 which 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 coloured portion of the peel of citrus fruit. Example: Orange Zest, Lemon zest etc.

Also Read: Complete list of Kitchen or Culinary Terms

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Authored and managed by Augustine, a hotelier with over 20 years of experience in the industry. He has a 3-year diploma with 'honors' from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute and a Bachelor of Computer Application - BCA Degree.