A glossary to decode your cookbook's tricky terminology.
Blanch…dot…flute…what? Sometimes reading recipes can put a serious cramp in your cooking style. Here are some commonly used culinary terms and what they really mean:
Blanch: Plunge food into boiling water for a short period of time and then immediately into cold water to halt the cooking process.
Cream: Beat ingredients (often softened butter and sugar) together with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy—which takes at least 1 to 2 minutes.
Crimp: Use a fork or your fingers to seal the edges of two layers of dough.
Cut in: Distribute solid shortening throughout dry ingredients with a fork, two knives in a scissors motion or pastry blender.
Dot: Sprinkle small amounts of margarine or butter over the surface of pie filling or dough for even melting.
Flute: Press a decorative pattern into the edge of a pastry before baking.
Proof: To allow a completed yeast dough to rise before baking. Proof can also mean to dissolve yeast in a liquid and set it in a warm place 5 to 10 minutes until foam forms on top.
Stiff and Soft peaks: Beat eggs whites to the stage where the mixture will either form soft or stiff peak shapes when the beaters are removed.