FAQ: Baking Delicious Treats at Home

Baking requires a combination of skills and know-how. If you’ve done your share of baking mistakes, then raise your hand. Flat cookies, sunken-in cakes and chewy bread are all examples of baking gone wrong. These types of embarrassments can be avoided with a good understanding of baking basics.

Whether you are baking an eggless cake or selecting the type of sugar to use in frosting, different types of baking requires different techniques.

Today we are answering some general baking questions and covering common problems that most of us come across while baking.

  1. What are the different types of yeast used for bread baking?

Ans. Different types of yeast are used in bread making based on their characteristics.

Fresh Yeast- It is active yeast, also known as compressed or cake yeast. It’s excellent rising properties produces amazing pastries and bread. To get the best results, it should be used in tepid water (27-30 °C) and prevent contact with sugar or salt.

Instant Yeast- It has smaller granules and a higher percentage of live cells. It is dry yeast with a small amount of ascorbic acid. Its liquid absorbing quality makes it an excellent addition to all except the driest dough.

Rapid-Rise Yeast- It dissolves quicker in dough and enables faster rising by providing a greater amount of carbon dioxide. Home bakers use this yeast to quickly bake a loaf of bread.

Active Dry Yeast- It is the most common type of yeast used by non-commercial or home bakers. It’s typically used after proofing and rehydrating. It preserves better compared to other types of yeast.

  1. Are cacao and cocoa powder the same?

Ans. The answer is NO! Raw cacao powder is produced by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans. This procedure removes the cacao butter (fat) and retains the living enzymes in the cocoa. Meanwhile, cocoa powder is produced by roasting raw cacao at high temperature.

  1. How do you check whether the baking soda and baking powder are ok to use?

Ans. Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 2 tablespoons of white vinegar. If the mixture fizzes immediately, then the baking soda can be used. Mix 1 teaspoon of baking powder with 1/3 cup of hot water. If the mixture releases bubbles, then the baking powder is good to go.

  1. What are the alternatives to baking a spongy cake without eggs?

Ans. There are many alternatives that you can use to get the same spongy texture in your cake without eggs, such as-

  • Banana- Take about a half of banana (1/4 cup), mash it and use it instead of an egg in your cake. It will add a hint of banana flavour in your cake. Yummy!
  • Unsweetened Applesauce- Instead of using an egg, use about 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce in your cake batter. If you have sweetened applesauce, mix a half teaspoon of baking powder in it to correct the flavour.
  • Flax Seeds- Healthy and all-natural, flax seeds are a good egg substitute. Use 1 tablespoon of flax seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and mix together until the seeds are fully absorbed. This mixture can be used in place of an egg in your eggless cake.
  1. White sugar or caster sugar, which one is better for making cakes?

Ans. Caster sugar is the perfect choice for making cakes as it has smaller crystals and dissolves easily. It gives a consistent golden colour and smooth texture when turned into caramel. If you don’t have caster sugar, then you can use white sugar after putting it in the food processor for one minute.

Making mistakes is not a big deal; learning from those mistakes is what’s important. Forget about why your cake caved in the middle, why your cookies turned out flat and why the bread was so hard. Start fresh with the new information you just read and make delicious cakes today!