The basics of baking will ensure that the ingredients you use are properly combined.
Nine basics to great baking:-
- Blending is the combining of two or more ingredients together so that they lose their individual characteristics and become smooth and uniform.
2. Folding is an important baking technique. It is used to mix delicate batters and mixtures; the aim is to incorporate ingredients or components without causing deflation. Folding is required, for example, when incorporating beaten egg whites into a soufflé base.
3. Sifting will break up any lumps in the flour, which means you can get a more accurate measurement. Sifted flour is much lighter than unsifted flour and is easier to mix into other ingredients when making batters and doughs.
4. Stirring is the easiest of all mixing methods. It is usually done using a spoon, a spatula, or another utensil to mix ingredients together until uniformly blended.
5. Cutting combines ingredients and ensures the final product bakes up flaky. The term “cut in” refers to mixing butter or another solid fat with flour. The purpose of this critical step is to grease the flour with the fat and to prevent the formation of gluten, which would make the pastry tough.
6. Beating incorporates air into your batter and evenly distributes the ingredients.
7. Creaming beats tiny air bubbles into the butter. As you cream butter, or butter and sugar the mixture turns fluffier and paler, a direct result of beating air into it.
8. Kneading can be done by hand or by a stand mixer, food processor or bread machine. Make sure the height of your kneading board is comfortable for you. The mixture will transform into a smooth, elastic web of gluten strands during kneading. Think of the dough as a balloon. The job of the dough is to hold the carbon dioxide gas (leavening) produced by the yeast.
9. Whipping is the process of beating an ingredient vigorously to incorporate air, which makes the ingredient frothy. For example, egg whites are whipped until they form stiff peaks and heavy cream is transformed into whipped cream.
Source Fine Cooking Red Star Yeast