Glossary

As with most things baking is simple.  Simple that is if and only if you know what someone is talking about.

Please do comment on this page especially if you disagree with my definitions.  Equally I’d love to hear from you if you have a term you would like defining.

Please note that I have no medical training, so I make no health claims. We are all different so what is good for me may not be for you. As in all things use a bit of common sense.

Click on the letter image below to see what is listed

letter aletter bletter cletter dletter eletter fletter gletter hletter iletter jletter kletter lletter mletter nletter oletter pletter qletter rletter sletter tletter uletter vletter wletter xletter yletter z

letter aAllergy: A damaging response by the body to a substance, especially a particular food. An allergic response can range from life threatening to a mild inconvenience. An allergic reaction is not the same as food intolerance. Please consult your GP for food allergies.
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letter bBaking: To cook food, normally in a dry, non-direct heat, in an oven. Baking is used to cover all kinds of bread, cakes, and pastries.

Boiling: : Surely this does not need to be defined? Well actually yes it does – if you don’t know you need it explaining. If you do know them move on, but don’t feel too superior – I heard 2 young ladies talking on the bus; one was asking when the water is boiling for pasta. Boiling is the point when a liquid reaches its highest temperature before turning from a liquid into a gas. With boiling water this is 100 degrees C, although you do not need a thermometer to work out when the water is boiling, you can see bubbles rapidly rising from the bottom of the pan. See Rolling Boil below. Products like sugar boil at a much higher temperature and with sugar there are different stages of boil (soft ball, hard ball, hard crack) depending on the heat and how long a certain temperature is maintained.

Bona: Bona is good. This is part of a language known as polari, this featured heavily in the “Julian and Sandy” sketches on the BBC radio program “Round the Horne”. Jules and Sandy were played by Hugh Paddick and Kenneth Williams, wouldn’t it be bona to vada their dolly old eeks?
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letter cCeliac: A medical condition, with a huge spectrum of symptoms. The sufferer has a reaction to gluten (the protein in flour) and MUST avoid it. Many people claim to be gluten intolerant… the jury is still out on this, however Celiac is serious and should be diagnosed as soon as possible. Please note that I offer no medical advice.

Chemical Rising Agent: The most widely known are baking powder and Sodium Bicarbonate. These products react with the mixture to produce gas bubbles (chemically, rather than the natural process of yeast). Some people believe that the natural way is better, this is not always the case, a sponge using strong flour would be unappealing. Self-raising flour has chemical raising agents added to it, the specific chemicals my differ between brands.
Cream Together: This is where you combine fat and sugar (most often in baking) to include air. Most often butter will be combined with caster sugar, the butter and tools need to be at room temperature. If you don’t have the biceps of an Amazonian you’ll use a machine. Mix together on slow, then raise the speed and whisk until the mixture is light and fluffy. If the mixture remains yellow then you have not whisked enough, whisk until the mixture is cream coloured. Then carefully fold in the other ingredients, if you continue to whisk as you add other ingredients you will flatten the air bubbles that you are wanting to make your cake rise.

I’m also working on this

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letter dDacquoise: A dacquoise is a dessert cake made with layers of almond and hazelnut meringue and whipped cream or buttercream.

Detox Diet: Detox is short for detoxification. Your body has evolved over millions of years to detoxify itself; the liver, kidney and other systems have developed to do this for you. Some people believe that they derive a benefit from going on a detox diet to cleanse themselves.

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letter eE Numbers: E numbers are number codes for food additives hat have been assessed for use within the EU. Many people have the mistaken idea that something with E Numbers in it must be all-bad. E330 sounds odd, but Citric Acid does not and they are the same thing. E labeling is useful if you have an allergy or intolerance.

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letter fFood intolerance: (or non-allergic reaction) is a reaction to a food (or chemical found in food) that produces symptoms in one or more body organs and systems, but it is not a true food allergy.

Free From Gluten: There are an increasing range of products that are listed as free from gluten – I have little or no time for these products unless you are a celiac (a serious condition). This fad has been created by cleaver marketing and belief in these products means there is a placebo effect – but there is no medical evidence yet to show a benefit to the general public. There are, however, times where gluten free flour will help the texture of some baked goods – brownies are a perfect example where the absence of gluten improves the mouth-feel.

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letter g

Gluten: This is a protein found in cereal grains.  When starch is washed out of dough you are left with a glue like substance – glu-ten.  The gluten is the stretchy part of dough when you kneed it, it becomes more elastic.  As yeast produces gas (as part of fermentation) the gluten traps the bubbles and this is what makes your bread rise.

Gluten Free: Gluten free products are designed for people who suffer from Celiac disease. This is a serious medical condition and must be diagnosed by your G.P. This is not the same as gluten intolerance. Gluten free products normally contain more fat and sugar to make them more appealing to taste and mouth feel.

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letter hHoney: Honey is prepared by bees to store in their hives to feed the colony over winter. Liquid honey is often considered the best; some people prefer honey served on the honeycomb (although the waxy texture can be a little odd). Honey varies because of the different flowers that the colony has been feeding on. There are some research projects making extraordinary healing claims. Although honey is a natural product it is important that its high calorific content is acknowledged, that’s why the bees make it – it is sugar.

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letter iIce Cream

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Invert Sugar

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letter jJam

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Jelly

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letter kKneading

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letter lLardy Cake

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letter mMouth Feel: is the way a food feels in the mouth, does it crumble, does it melt, does it coat the mouth and make the taste last longer. Fat free products have lots of sugars and thickeners in them to hold the product in the mouth, the way the full fat item would. Knowledge of this can be useful when creating recipes, chocolate has quite a lot of fat in it, this keeps it on the tongue allowing the taste sensation to last longer. However the fat will impede the taste buds from reacting to chilli – so Chilli Chocolate works so well as you get chocolate first and then chilli kicks in once the mouth is refreshed by saliva.

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letter nNougat

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letter oWords to be defined

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letter pPastry

Punnet:  A small box used by pickers of fruit.  The small box allows the berries to be picked and packed at the same time, soft berries are sold in the punnet.  With only a small amount of fruit in the punnet it prevents the fruit at the bottom from being crused by too much weight.

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letter qQuenelle

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letter rRubbing In: Is where you combine fats ( Lard or Butter) with Flour, usually in making pastry or Biscuits (cookies). You pick up flour and the cold fat and rub between your fingertips. Do not use the whole hand, the palms of your hands are too warm and this will start to melt the fat, resulting in a greasy finished product. Keep rubbing in until you have a breadcrumb texture. Gently shake the mixing bowl from side to side and any large lumps will rise to the surface. Go back in and rub the lumps into the mixture.

Rasing Agent

Rolling Boil

Reducing

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letter sSifting or Sieving

Simmering

Sugar

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letter tTant Pour Tant: Equal amounts of ground almonds and icing sugar sieved together to make a fine powder. Tant Pour Tant translates to equal parts. This mixture is the basis of many Macaroon recipes. The mixture is often made up in advance so that the icing sugar can absorb some of the oils in the ground almonds.

Tempering: This is a technique of heating and cooling chocolate prior to using it t enrobe items and for other chocolate work. Chocolate contains many types of crystals, the correct heating and cooling will encourage the crystals you want and discourage the ones you don’t want. Tempered chocolate has a shine, a snap and does not melt as soon as you touch it. See my blog on Tempering Chocolate.

 

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letter uWords to be defined

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letter vViennoiserie

Baked goods made from a yeast-leavened dough in a manner similar to bread, or from puff pastry, but with added ingredients giving them a richer, sweeter character, approaching that of pastry. The dough is often laminated.

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letter wWhipping

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Whisking

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letter xWords to be defined

Xanthan Gum

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letter yYeast

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letter zZabaglione

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2 Comments

  • Bruce 29th April 2017 at 11:28 am

    C eliac= coeliac
    Cleaver =clever

    Reply
  • Bruce 29th April 2017 at 12:17 pm

    I could type this with clear Es andTs
    Thanks
    Dad

    Reply

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