Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Follow these steps when baking bread

How to Bake Perfect Bread Every Time

Even if you have followed a bread-baking recipe to the letter, sometimes the results are not all they should be. Many people want to know how to bake bread with great results every time but the learning; process is usually through trial and error. Experimentation and practice are usually all you need to bake successful bread recipes but here are a few bread baking troubleshooting tips in case you are encountering problems!

How Long Does Dough Take to Rise?

A lot of new bread bakers might find their bread goes crumbly or only stays fresh for a day or so. The usual reason behind this is that the bread has been left to rise for too long. You might think leaving it for as long as possible to become enormous will result in a bigger, better loaf, but this is not the case. Letting the dough rise for too long does not result in lighter bread. The dough becomes over-stretched and falls to pieces. A good guideline to follow is that when the dough has more or less doubled in size, it is ready for baking. Another cause behind crumbly or stale bread is adding too much yeast or allowing the dough to rise somewhere too hot.

Why is My Bread Cracked?

When your dough is rising, you need to cover it with oiled polythene or a tea towel. Your bread will probably crack if you allow it to become dry when it is rising. A tea towel is less messy than oiled polythene but remember to wash it afterwards.
Uneven Bread or Bread with Holes

This problem can be the result of leaving the dough uncovered when it is rising. Another reason behind holey bread or uneven bread is that the dough was not sufficiently kneaded. A minimum of 10 minutes of kneading is required to make sure all your bread ingredients are well combined.

Doughy or Heavy Bread

Bread should be light and springy in texture. If it comes out heavy, there are a few possible causes for this. When making bread, you always need to use bread flour. Bread flour is also labeled "strong" or "extra strong" flour. Normal flour lacks the necessary amount of gluten to make bread and is best for making cookies or cakes. Another possible cause of doughy bread is that the rising temperature was too high and killed the yeast, or perhaps the dough was not left to rise for long enough. Heavy bread might just be undercooked. If that is the reason, you can pop it back in the oven for some more baking. When the bread feels firm rather than spongy, it is done.

Heavy Whole meal Bread

This is usually caused by not using enough water in the dough mixture. Whole grains need extra water to become soft. If you do not use enough water, this will draw from the dough, making the finished bread heavy. You can use half whole meal flour and half white flour for a lighter loaf.
If you follow the above bread baking tips and guidelines as well as the recipe you are using, there is no reason why your bread should not come out delicious every time!

Some Baking Tips

Making Baking Powder Biscuits?

Try the needing the dough for about a 1/2 minute after mixing the ingredients. The texture of the biscuits will be a bit lighter.

Never frost a cake until the cake is cool! No matter what! Waiting the extra 1/2 hour will make a nice cake...Not waiting will have your cake looking quite nasty. Always listen to Mom!

The eggs should not be beaten till after all the other ingredients are ready, as they will fall very soon. If the whites and yolk are to be beaten separately, do the whites first, as they will stand longer.

Six Easy Steps to a Perfect Pie

1. The ingredients for the perfect pie crust:

1 teaspoon salt, 2 cups of flour, 1 cup shortening or lard, and a few tablespoons very cold water. (Very Cold Water is a must)

2. Cut lard into the flour and salt mixture with a fork or pastry blender until crumbs are coarse and granular.

3. Add 3 to 6 tablespoons cold water, a little at a time. Mix quickly and evenly through the flour until the dough just holds in a ball.

4. Roll half the dough to about 1/8 inch thickness. Lift edge of pastry cloth and roll crust onto rolling pin. Line pie pan, allowing 1/2 inch crust to extend over edge

5. Add filling. Roll out top crust, making several gashes to allow escape of steam. Place over filling. Allow top crust to overlap lower crust. Fold top crust under the lower and crimp edges.

6. Bake at 425 degrees for 35 minutes. For the best pies, use fresh fruits if possible. for about 10 minutes, then turn the temp down. This will help prevent a soggy crust.
When making a custard type pie, put the pie in a hot oven
Waalah!!!!! Enjoy your pie

Thursday, January 29, 2009

My newest wedding cake

Hi ,

I made this cake for Mr & Mrs Doug who resides in the US.

Would love to read your comments on this cake.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A newbie guide to Cake Decorating

Cake decorating has currently become one of the most popular fields in the culinary arts. More and more people are expressing an interest in baking and cake decorating. Why has cake decorating become so very popular of late? Cake decorating has become popular because it combines a variety of different skills and interests. If you think about it, cake decorating encompasses a great variety of skills and talents, including design, color patterns, baking and sculpture. If you are interested in getting involved in cake design, here are some hints and tips that can help you get started.

Baking the Perfect Cake – Hints of the Newbie DecoratorBefore you can get started with the fun of cake decorating, you will need, of course, to have a cake to decorate. If you have never before baked a cake, now is the perfect time to start. You may want to get started by baking a cake from a store bought box mix. These cake mixes are easy to work with—simply add oil, water and eggs—and if you follow the directions, the results are nearly almost always satisfactory. However, another possibility is that if you can make your own homemade cake from scratch. It is easier than ever to bake a cake from scratch. That is because it is easier than ever to get a hold on fresh ingredients. However, if it is your first time baking a cake from scratch, opt for the easiest recipe you can get your hands on.

Choosing the Right Kind of icing
You will also want to choose the right kind of icing when you are decorating your own cake. There are three basic kinds of icing that are available. These are known as icing consistencies. The three basic types of icing consistencies include soft icing, medium, and stiff. Chances are that, at least at the beginning, you will only be working with soft and medium icing. Soft can be thin and thus used to write on cakes. Soft icing can also be used to ice the entire cake. Medium icing is used for making decorative borders, scrolls and scrollwork. Medium consistency icing is strong enough to keep its shape, yet pliable enough to be spooned off the cake and eaten. The third basic icing consistency is stiff icing. Stiff icing is used for more elaborate means such as decorative flowers. The icing has to be stiff enough so that the flower (or other decoration) will hold its shape. Clearly, this type of icing is often too stiff to be eaten and is purely decorative.
Gathering the Right Kind of Cake Decorating Tools

If you are a cake decorating newbie, there is a good chance that you just don’t have the right kind of tools in your kitchen arsenal. It is now easier than ever to get access to the kinds of tools you need in order to decorate your cake the way it should be decorated. Fortunately, there are many easy ways to take care of this problem. The easiest way to go about gathering the essential tools for cake decorating is to gather the tools you need according to the project at hand. However, because of the popularity of cake decorating, there are also many nifty cake decorating tool kits available now that offer you all the basic essentials in one package. Essential cake decorating tips may include pastry bag, paper cones for decorating, different sized tips, piping bag and different-sized frosting spatulas.

Collect Books and Magazines to Inspire YouOne of the most important things you will need is inspiration. Surround yourself with inspiring pictures and ideas so that your own cake decorating is sparked with ideas

Any more advice..we would love to get your opinion!

Why I Love Cake Decorating!

To me, cake decorating is an art form. It is a way to express myself creatively. I got started decorating totally by accident. My uncle George (mum's brother ) gave me Rm 10.00 and asked me to bake a butter cake for him in 1979 and that's when a whole new world opened up for me. I just knew that I wanted to learn this wonderful craft.I started decorating that year by making a Christmas cake of my own. It didn't look as good as the ones pictured, but it was a good start. I learned a lot from my mistakes! In fact, I think the best way to learn is to get in the kitchen and practice, practice, practice. I know my family didn't mind me practicing, because there was always leftover cake in the house!

I also started selling my cakes (only butter cake lah!) to some of my friends in secondary school.

Not bad for a teenager I managed to make some pocket money.

Sure, I had my moments when I thought I would never get it right, but I loved decorating enough to hang in there and keep working at it. Once I started making cakes for family and friends, I was hooked. It is a special feeling to create that one-of-a-kind cake for that special person.If cake decorating is something you are thinking of learning, or if you are in the process of learning, never give up! It is totally worth it to learn this skill, and you will be so glad you stuck with it

Having a wonderful husband helps too!

So let's hear your story, how you got started?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Let your birthday cake pictures tell their story

What do you do with all those Birthday Cake Pictures that you've inevitably collected over the years?

They're probably in some long forgotten shoe box or stored on your computer right? Well let's give them new life as a source of inspiration for other visitors. We want to hear and see yours!
We know you've come up with some very crafty and creative birthday cake decorating ideas in your quest for an unforgettable birthday or family celebration.
You probably spent hours looking in different places for lots of cake ideas to inspire you. And while a picture says a lot it would have been nice to have a few words that actually explained how to make that 'perfect' cake you found.
That's why I started this website - to share what I know and love with you. But I am just one person , without your help, I just can't cover all the great cake decorating ideas there are to discover. Together we can grow an amazing collection of birthday cake ideas, designs and inspiration from all over the country. So the next time you're stuck for ideas on how to decorate that special cake you can just pop in here and find as many great ideas as you'll ever need.
It doesn't matter what level of expertise you're at now. We want all kinds of cakes for all kinds of cake divas.

So what are you waiting for?
Dust off those birthday cake pictures right now and send them in.

Show Off Your Creative Side
Please describe your cake, explain how you made it, what decorating techniques were used, how long it took you, was it made with a mix or from scratch, what was the occasion, what was your inspiration and any other details you'd like to share! Please tell us in as much detail as possible so that all our visitors can enjoy making a cake that you inspired!

Happy Posting...