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Baking Glossary

Allumette: Any of various puff pastry items made in thin sticks or strips (French word for “matchstick”).

Almond Paste: A mixture of finely ground almonds and sugar.

Angel Food Cake: A type of cake made of meringue (egg whites and sugar) and flour.

Angel Food Method: A cake mixing method involving folding a mixture of flour and sugar into a meringue.

Baba: A type of yeast bread or cake that is soaked in syrup.

Babka: A type of sweet yeast bread or coffee cake.

Baked Alaska: A dessert consisting of ice cream on a sponge-cake base, covered with meringue and browned in the oven.

Baking Ammonia: A leavening ingredient that releases ammonia gas and carbon dioxide.

Baklava: A Greek or Middle Eastern dessert made of nuts and phyllo pastry and soaked with syrup.

Batter: A semi-liquid mixture containing flour or other starch, used for the production of such products as cakes and breads and for coating products to be deep-fried.

Bavarian Cream: A light, cold dessert made of gelatin, whipped cream, and custard sauce or fruit.

Beignet Souffle (ben yay soo flay): A type of fritter made with eclair paste, which puffs up greatly when fried.

Blanc Mange (bla mahnge): (1) An English pudding made of milk, sugar, and cornstarch. (2) A French dessert made of milk, cream, almonds, and gelatin.

Bloom: A whitish coating on chocolate, caused by separated cocoa butter.

Blown Sugar: Pulled sugar that is made into thin-walled, hollow shapes by being blown up like a balloon.

Bombe: A type of frozen dessert made in a dome-shaped mold.

Boston Cream Pie: A sponge cake or other yellow cake filled with pastry cream and topped with chocolate fondant or confectioners’ sugar.

Bran; The hard outer covering of kernels of wheat and other grains.

Bran Flour: Flour to which bran flakes have been added.

Bread Flour: Strong flour, such as patent flour, used for breads.

Brioche: Rich yeast dough containing large amounts of eggs and butter; or a product made from this dough.

Brown Sugar: Regular granulated sucrose containing various impurities that give it a distinctive flavor.

Buttercream: An icing made of butter and/or shortening blended with confectioners’ sugar or sugar syrup and sometimes other ingredients.

Cake Flour: A fine, white flour made from soft wheat.

Caramelization: The browning of sugars caused by heat.

Cast Sugar: Sugar that is boiled to the hard crack stage and then poured into molds to harden.

Challah: A rich egg bread, often made as a braided loaf.

Charlotte: (1) A cold dessert made of Bavarian cream or other cream in a special mold, usually lined with ladyfingers or other sponge products. (2) A hot dessert made of cooked fruit and baked in a special mold lined with strips of bread.

Chemical Leavener: A leavener such as baking soda, baking powder, or baking ammonia, which releases gases produced by chemical reactions

Chiffon Cake: A light cake made by the chiffon method.

Chiffon Method: A cake mixing method involving the folding of whipped egg whites into a batter made of flour, egg yolks, and oil.

Chiffon Pie: A pie with a light, fluffy filling containing egg whites and, usually, gelatin.

Chocolate Liquor: Unsweetened chocolate, consisting of cocoa solids and cocoa butter.

Christmas Pudding: A dark, heavy, steamed pudding made of dried and candied fruits, spices, beef suet, and crumbs.

Clear Flour: A tan-colored wheat flour made from the outer portion of the endosperm.

Coagulation: The process by which proteins become firm, usually when heated.

Cobbler: A fruit dessert similar to a pie but without a bottom crust.

Cocoa: The dry powder that remains after cocoa butter is pressed out of chocolate liquor.

Cocoa Butter: A white or yellowish fat found in natural chocolate.

Compote: Fruit cooked in a sugar syrup.

Confectioners’ Sugar: Sucrose that is ground to a fine powder and mixed with a little cornstarch to prevent caking.

Coulis (koo lee): A fruit or vegetable puree, used as a sauce.

Couverture: Natural, sweet chocolate containing no added fats other than natural cocoa butter; used for dipping, molding, coating, and similar purposes.

Creaming: The process of beating fat and sugar together to blend them uniformly and to incorporate air.

Creaming Method: A mixing method that begins with the blending of fat and sugar; used for cakes, cookies, and similar items.

Creme Anglaise (krem awng glezz): A light vanilla-flavored custard sauce made of milk, sugar, and egg yolks.

Creme Brulee: A rich custard with a brittle top crust of caramelized sugar. French name means “burnt cream.”

Creme Caramel: A custard baked in a mold lined with caramelized sugar, then unmolded.

Crepe (krep): A very thin French pancake, often served rolled around a filling.

Crepes Suzette: French pancakes served in a sweet sauce flavored with orange.

Croissant (krwah sawn): A flaky, buttery yeast roll shaped like a crescent and made from a rolled-in dough.

Custard: A liquid that is thickened or set by the coagulation of egg protein.

Devil’s-Food Cake: A chocolate cake made with a high percentage of baking soda, which gives the cake a reddish color.

Docking: Piercing or perforating pastry dough before baking in order to allow steam to escape and to avoid blistering.

Drained Weight: The weight of solid canned fruit after draining off the juice.

Dredge: To sprinkle thoroughly with sugar or another dry powder.

Drop Batter; A batter that is too thick to pour but will drop from a spoon in lumps.

Dutch Process Cocoa: Cocoa that has been processed with an alkali to reduce its acidity.

Eclair Paste: A paste or dough made of boiling water or milk, butter, flour, and eggs; used to make eclairs, cream puffs, and similar products.

Emulsion: A uniform mixture of two or more unmixable substances.

Endosperm: The starchy inner portion of grain kernels.

Extraction: The portion of the grain kernel that is separated into a particular grade of flour. Usually expressed as a percentage.

Fermentation: The process by which yeast changes carbohydrates into carbon dioxide gas and alcohol.

Foaming: The process of whipping eggs, with or without sugar, to incorporate air.

Fondant: A type of icing made of boiled sugar syrup that is agitated so that it crystallizes into a mass of extremely small white crystals.

Frangipane: A type of almond-flavored cream.

French Pastry: A variety of small fancy cakes and other pastries, usually in single-portion sizes.

Fritter: A deep-fried item made of or coated with a batter or dough.

Ganache (gah nahsh): A rich cream made of sweet chocolate and heavy cream.

Gateau (gah toe): French word for “cake.”

Gaufre (go fr’): French word for “waffle.”

Gelatinization: The process by which starch granules absorb water and swell in size.

Gelato: Italian ice cream

Genoise (zhen wahz): A sponge cake made with a batter containing melted butter.

Germ: The plant embryo portion of a grain kernel.

Glace (glah say): (a) Glazed; coated with icing. (b) Frozen.

Glaze: (a) A shiny coating, such as a syrup, applied to a food. (b) To make a food shiny or glossy by coating it with a glaze or by browning it under a broiler or in a hot oven.

Gliadin: A protein in wheat flour that combines with another protein, glutenin, to form gluten.

Gluten: An elastic substance, formed from proteins present in wheat flours, that gives structure and strength to baked goods.

Gram: The basic unit of weight in the metric system; equal to about one-thirtieth of an ounce.

Granite (grab nee tay): A coarse, crystalline frozen dessert made of water, sugar, and fruit juice or another flavoring.

Gum Paste: A type of sugar paste made with vegetable gum.

Hard Sauce: A flavored mixture of confectioners’ sugar and butter; often served with steamed puddings.

Hard Wheat: Wheat high in protein.

Hearth Bread: A bread that is baked directly on the bottom of the oven, not in a pan.

Heavy Pack: A type of canned fruit or vegetable with very little added water or juice.

High-Ratio: (a) Term referring to cakes and cake formulas mixed by a special method and containing more sugar than flour. (b) The mixing method used for these cakes. (c) Term referring to certain specially formulated ingredients used in these cakes, such as shortening.

High-Ratio Method: Please refer to, Two-Stage Method.

Hydrogenation: A process that converts liquid oils to solid fats (shortenings) by chemically bonding hydrogen to the fat molecules.

Icing Comb: A plastic triangle with toothed or serrated edges; used for texturing icings.

Inversion: A chemical process in which a double sugar splits into two simple sugars.

Invert Sugar: A mixture of two simple sugars, dextrose and laevulose, resulting from the breakdown of sucrose.

Italian Meringue; A meringue made by whipping a boiling syrup into egg whites.

Japonaise (zhah po net): A baked meringue flavored with nuts.

Kernel Paste: A nut paste, similar to almond paste, made of apricot kernels and sugar.

Kirsch: A clear alcoholic beverage distilled from cherries.

Kugelhopf: A type of rich, sweet bread or coffee cake usually made in a tube-type pan.

Ladyfinger: A small, dry, finger-shaped sponge cake or cookie.

Lean Dough: A dough that is low in fat and sugar.

Leavening: The production or incorporation of gases in a baked product to increase volume and to produce shape and texture.

Linzertorte: A tart made of raspberry jam and a short dough containing nuts and spices.

Macaroon; A cookie made of eggs (usually whites) and almond paste or coconut.

Malt Syrup: A type of syrup containing maltose sugar, extracted from sprouted barley.

Marble: To partly mix two colors of cake batter or icing so that the colors are in decorative swirls.

Marzipan: A paste or confection made of almonds and sugar and often used for decorative work.

Meal: Coarsely ground grain.

Melba Sauce: A sweet sauce made of pureed raspberries and sometimes red currants.

Meringue: A thick, white foam made of whipped egg whites and sugar.

Meringue Chantilly (shown tee yee): Baked meringue filled with whipped cream.

Meringue Glace: Baked meringue filled with ice cream.

Meter: The basic unit of length in the metric system; slightly longer than one yard.

Milli-: Prefix in the metric system meaning “one-thousandth.”

Modeling Chocolate: A thick paste made of chocolate and glucose, which can be molded by hand into decorative shapes.

Molasses: A heavy brown syrup made from sugar cane.

Monosaccharide: A simple or single sugar such as glucose and fructose.

Mousse: A soft or creamy dessert that is made light by the addition of whipped cream, egg whites, or both.

Napoleon: A dessert made of layers of puff pastry filled with pastry cream.

Net Weight: The weight of the total contents of a can or package.

No-Time Dough: A bread dough made with a large quantity of yeast and given no fermentation time except for a short rest after mixing.

Nougat: A mixture of caramelized sugar and almonds or other nuts, used in decorative work and as a confection and flavoring.

One-Stage Method: A cookie mixing method in which all ingredients are added to the bowl at once.

Othello: A small (single-portion size), spherical sponge cake filled with cream and iced with fondant.

Oven Spring: The rapid rise of yeast goods in the oven due to the production and expansion of trapped gases caused by the oven heat.

Pain de Epice (pan day peece): A type of gingerbread. French name means “spice bread.”

Palmier (palm yay): A small pastry or petit four sec made of rolled, sugared puff pastry cut into slices and baked.

Parfait: (1) A type of sundae served in a tall, thin glass. (2) A still-frozen dessert made of egg yolks, syrup, and heavy cream. Paris-

Brest: A dessert consisting of a ring of baked Eclair paste filled with cream.

Pasteurized: Heat-treated to kill bacteria that might cause disease or spoilage.

Pastillage: A sugar paste used for decorative work, which becomes very hard when dry.

Pastry Cream: A thick custard sauce containing eggs and starch.

Pastry Flour: A weak flour used for pastries and cookies.

Pate a Choux (pot ah shoo): Eclair paste.

Pate Feuillete (pot foo va fay): French name for puff pastry.

Patent flour: A fine grade of wheat flour milled from the inner portions of the kernel.

Petit Four: A delicate cake or pastry small enough to be eaten in one or two bites.

Petit Four Glace: An iced or cream-filled petit four.

Petit Four Sec: An un-iced or unfilled petit four (“sec” means “dry”), such as a small butter cookie or Palmier (a small pastry or petit four sec made of rolled, sugared puff pastry cut into slices and baked).

Phyllo (fee lo): A paper-thin dough or pastry used to make strudels and various Middle Eastern and Greek desserts.

Piping Jelly: A transparent, sweet jelly used for decorating cakes.

Pithiviers (fee tee vyay): A cake made of puff pastry filled with almond cream.

Praline: A confection or flavoring made of nuts and caramelized sugar.

Profiterole: A small puff made of Eclair paste. Often filled with ice cream and served with chocolate sauce.

Puff Pastry: A very light, flaky pastry made from a rolled-in dough and leavened by steam.

Pulled Sugar: Sugar that is boiled to the hard-crack stage, allowed to harden slightly, then pulled or stretched until it develops a pearly sheen.

Pullman Loaf: A long, rectangular loaf of bread.

Pumpernickel Flour: A coarse, flaky meal made from whole rye grains.

Punching: A method of expelling gases from fermented dough.

Puree: A food made into a smooth pulp, usually by being ground or forced through a sieve.

Retarding: Refrigerating a yeast dough to slow the fermentation.

Rich Dough: A dough high in fat, sugar, and/or eggs.

Rolled-in Dough: Dough in which a fat has been incorporated in many layers by using a rolling and folding procedure.

Rounding: A method of molding a piece of dough into a round ball with a smooth surface or skin.

Royal Icing: A form of icing made of confectioners’ sugar and egg whites; used for decorating.

Rye Blend: A mixture of rye flour and hard wheat flour.

Sabayon: A foamy dessert or sauce made of egg yolks whipped with wine or liqueur.

Sacristain (sak ree stan): A small pastry made of twisted strip of puff paste coated with nuts and sugar.

Saint-Honore: A dessert made of a ring of cream puffs set on a short dough base and filled with a type of pastry cream. The cream used to fill this dessert, made of pastry cream and whipped egg whites.

Savarin: A type of yeast bread or cake that is soaked in syrup.

Scaling: Weighing, usually of ingredients or of dough’s or batters.

Scone: A biscuit like bread.

Scone Flour: A mixture of flour and baking powder that is used when very small quantities of baking powder are needed.

Short: Having a high fat content, which makes the product (such as a cookie or pastry) very crumbly and tender.

Shortbread: A crisp cookie made of butter, sugar, and flour.

Shortening: (a) Any fat used in baking to tenderize the product by shortening gluten strands. (b) A white, tasteless, solid fat that has been formulated for baking or deep-frying.

Simple Syrup: A syrup consisting of sucrose and water in varying proportions.

Soft Wheat: Wheat low in protein.

Sorbet (sor bay): French word for “sherbet,”

Sorbetto; Italian word for “sherbet.”

Souffle: (a) A baked dish containing whipped egg whites, which cause the dish to rise during baking. (b) A still-frozen dessert made in a souffle dish so that it resembles a baked souffle.

Sourdough: (a) A yeast-type dough made with a sponge or starter that has fermented so long that it has become very sour or acidic. (b) A bread made with such a dough.

Sponge: A batter or dough of yeast, flour, and water that is allowed to ferment and is then mixed with more flour and other ingredients to make a bread dough.

Sponge Cake: A type of cake made by whipping eggs and sugar to a foam, then folding in flour.

Sponge Method: A cake mixing method based on whipped eggs and sugar.

Spun Sugar: Boiled sugar made into long, thin threads by dipping wires into the sugar syrup and waving them so that the sugar falls off in fine streams.

Staling: The change in texture and aroma of baked goods due to the loss of moisture by the starch granules.

Stollen: A type of sweet yeast bread with fruit.

Straight Flour: Flour made from the entire wheat kernel minus the bran and germ.

Streusel (stray sel): A crumbly topping for baked goods, consisting of fat, sugar, and flour rubbed together.

Strong Flour: Flour with a high protein content.

Strudel: (a) A type of dough that is stretched until paper-thin. (b) A baked item consisting of a filling rolled up in a sheet of strudel dough or phyllo dough.

Sucrose: The chemical name for regular granulated sugar and confectioners’ sugar.

Swiss Roll: A thin sponge cake layer spread with a filling and rolled up.

Syrup Pack: A type of canned fruit containing sugar syrup.

Tempering: The process of melting and cooling chocolate to specific temperatures in order to prepare it for dipping, coating, or molding.

Torte: German word for various types of cakes, usually layer cakes.

Tulipe: A thin, crisp cookie molded into a cup shape.

Tunneling: A condition of muffin products characterized by large, elongated holes; caused by overmixing.

Turntable: A pedestal with a flat, rotating top, used for holding cakes while they are being decorated.

Two-Stage Method: A cake mixing method, beginning with the blending of flour and high-ratio shortening, followed by the addition of liquids. Also called the high-ratio method.

Vacherin (vah sher ran): A crisp meringue shell filled with cream, fruits, or other items.

Water Pack: A type of canned fruit or vegetable containing the water used to process the item.

Whole Wheat Flour: Flour made by grinding the entire wheat kernel, including the bran and germ.

Zabaglione: An Italian dessert or sauce made of whipped eggs yolks and Marsala wine.

Zest: The colored outer portion of the peel of citrus fruits.

January 12, 2018


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