You are here: Home » Cooking How-To » Baking Terms Baking Terms Cooking How-To,How-To http://relish.com/articles/baking-terms/ by Candace FloydAugust 30, 2012 Recipes are often filled with terminology that can be confusing to the novice. Here's a mini-glossary for baking. Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn http://pgoarelish2.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/baking_pans__rolling_pin.jpg Share this: Pin ItEmailPrint Recipes are often filled with terminology that can be confusing to the novice. Here’s a mini-glossary for baking. Fold: To combine a light ingredient (such as beaten egg whites) with a heavier ingredient (such as melted chocolate) with as little disturbance as possible, thereby preserving the air bubbles. The lighter ingredient is placed on top of the heavy one. A spatula is drawn down the back of the bowl and up the nearest side. The bowl is rotated a quarter turn, and the process is repeated until ingredients are blended. Cream: Aside from describing the fatty layer that rises to the top of milk, “cream” is a recipe term that refers to beating ingredients together (often butter and sugar) until smooth, creamy and free of lumps. Proof: Testing yeast to determine if it is active; that is, capable of leavening. Yeast is dissolved in warm water mixed with a little sugar. If the yeast is active, it will bubble and foam. The term is most often used when baking bread. Sift: Passing a dry ingredient through fine mesh to lighten it and render it free of lumps. Bakers often wonder if they should sift before or after measuring. If the recipe calls for “1 cup sifted flour,” sift before measuring. If it calls for “1 cup flour, sifted,” sift after. Cut: Mixing shortening with dry ingredients using a pastry blender, fingers or two dinner knives until the mixture is the consistency of coarse meal. This can sometimes be done in a food processor. Dot: Scatter small bits of something (usually butter) on top of item, typically pies and casseroles for browning and flavor. Now that you’ve got the baking basics down, whip together one of the following pies or breads to show off your new knowledge. If you want to expand your vocabulary further, read up on more commonly used baking and cooking terms. —By Jo Marshall, a food writer in Deephaven, Minn. Share this: Pin ItEmailPrint Pie Dough A reliable, classic formula for classic pie dough. Blueberry Lattice Pie The peekaboo crust makes this fruit pie that much more enticing. Lemon Apricot Tea Bread This bread comes out of the oven a rich, deep golden color. While delicious when still warm, it’s even better the next day; wrap or keep in air-tight container overnight. Classic Sourdough Bread Become your own artisanal baker with this wonderful, Old World-style sourdough recipe. Buttermilk Cornbread Just enough sweetness to let the corn flavor dominate. Orange Meringue Pie Tender meringue tops this citrus custard pie.