baking: does it come easily to you?

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some people have the baking gene, some don't. i'm a pretty good cook but i always lose my way with doughs. what about you?

Poll Results

OptionVotes
i'm a good cook but i stink at baking 23
i'm a good cook and i'm also talented at baking 20
can't cook, can't bake 11
i'm a bad cook but i'm a great baker 7
none of the above; i just like to get baked 4


johnny hit and run paul lynde (get bent), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:17 (seven years ago) link

f*** no, baking is so difficult!

the late great, Friday, 8 February 2013 05:18 (seven years ago) link

the workings of dough are ... mysterious to say the least

the late great, Friday, 8 February 2013 05:19 (seven years ago) link

i love baking. i struggle with pastry, but I still like to keep trying. i find it kinda zen? maybe?

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:20 (seven years ago) link

i am good at baking and at cooking. get yr shit together, people; it's science.
<3

obliquity of the ecliptic (rrrobyn), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:32 (seven years ago) link

i am, if i do say so, fairly skilled at general meal cooking
moderately skilled at baking, but only when some freehanding is involved -- i'm not a perfectionist, but i like to experiment.

which option do i choose?

and that sounds like a gong-concert (La Lechera), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:33 (seven years ago) link

moderately skilled = you can bake, girl

johnny hit and run paul lynde (get bent), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:35 (seven years ago) link

ok, i dunno -- i'm not into perfection (although my scone recipe -- which is stolen from the joy of cooking -- won someone (not me) a scone-baking work contest once!)
so i'll take it even if i don't really believe it -- most of my freehanding involves spice mixtures and additions (fruit, nuts, chocolate, toffee, SALTED CARAMEL CHIPS, sugar with ground up lavender flowers in it) not formulas like ratios of fat/flour etc. That shit perplexes me -- I use the same few recipes every time and just tweak with the above things.

and that sounds like a gong-concert (La Lechera), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:39 (seven years ago) link

baking works as long as you follow the recipe to the letter and aren't at some crazy altitude.
but i've known so many people who cannot follow a recipe. IT IS NOT HARD?? you read and you do. i don't know, talk to me when you're trying to make a gluten-free thing rise, because that is next level (literally! #archer)

obliquity of the ecliptic (rrrobyn), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:41 (seven years ago) link

i think any skill I have just comes from having good memories of baking as a kid with my mum and grandmother -- whenever the weather turns cold, the first thing I look forward to is a baking afternoon. and i love thanksgiving/christmas, coming up with things to bake and having a weird sense of purpose about it. idk.

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:41 (seven years ago) link

yeah, i'm of the belief that it's not that hard too, but you would be surprised. one time i gave my scone recipe to a difft work friend and she thought that Cool Whip™ was "heavy whipping cream" and wondered why her baked goods were not as delicious as she expected them to be.

i have a friend who makes the most amazing Romanian desserts -- i'm not even remotely close to her level of skill, I'll put it that way. She is a natural.

and that sounds like a gong-concert (La Lechera), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:44 (seven years ago) link

xxxxpost i can follow a recipe but i hate following recipes! i always think i can do things better/more resourcefully than what's written down. which works for cooking, but i guess not for baking.

johnny hit and run paul lynde (get bent), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:44 (seven years ago) link

I definitely am dependent on recipes; I can't bake from scratch, or at least I don't like the idea of it. I like rules. Guidelines. I need a handrail.

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:45 (seven years ago) link

bread is p much beyond my level of interest -- too complicated, not enough flavor payoff for the work involved, prefer to let someone else make that for me
i have made some breads, but they always wind up stale. every thanksgiving i make some p amazing butter rolls. but that's 1x a year.

and that sounds like a gong-concert (La Lechera), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:46 (seven years ago) link

and yeah cooking is def separate to baking -- I'll wing meals all the time. But I learned early on: with baking you pretty much have to follow the recipe to the letter, at least until you get a feel for it and can substitute to your own tastes etc.

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:47 (seven years ago) link

yeah, cooking is far far more amenable to invention than baking is. i mean, add some cranberries to the dough or whatever, but don't fuck with the amount of baking powder or the flour quality.

obliquity of the ecliptic (rrrobyn), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:47 (seven years ago) link

i would love to make good bread. i tried the no-knead method twice -- the first time the dough barely rose, the second time it overfermented and smelled like bad beer.

johnny hit and run paul lynde (get bent), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:48 (seven years ago) link

yeah i never do that kind of experimentation -- i don't want to eat a bunch of shitty baked goods, might as well follow the recipe and add the flavors i want rather than try to cheat the system

also yeah i tried that no knead bread once and it was blah, not worth the effort as meager as it was. why bother.

and that sounds like a gong-concert (La Lechera), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:50 (seven years ago) link

i know a few p amazing bread bakers and it's v clear that i am not one of them

and that sounds like a gong-concert (La Lechera), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:50 (seven years ago) link

and i speak as a regular user of alternative gluten-free/low flours... let the experts do the trial and error, then just follow their recipe.

obliquity of the ecliptic (rrrobyn), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:50 (seven years ago) link

the first time i made irish soda bread, i was like "fuck you, my ancestors!"

obliquity of the ecliptic (rrrobyn), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:51 (seven years ago) link

because seriously, if you can make real bread, make it

obliquity of the ecliptic (rrrobyn), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:52 (seven years ago) link

I used to make bread a lot when I was a kid, but I don't do it at home now - my tiny kitchen is a big deterrent.

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:52 (seven years ago) link

once when I was a kid i accidentally put bulgur instead of wheatgerm in the dough (mum used make a lot of tabbouleh back in the day) -- uugggh it was like gravel bread, I'm surprised we didn't break our teeth

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:53 (seven years ago) link

i made bagels once when i was 12 or so
once
what a pain in the ass that was for a fucking BAGEL. i'm not disciplined enough to do that enough times to be good at it.

and that sounds like a gong-concert (La Lechera), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:56 (seven years ago) link

i guess i just don't like baking all that much. i am ok at it, i just don't really enjoy it.

and that sounds like a gong-concert (La Lechera), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:57 (seven years ago) link

we're supposed to learn bagels in class this semester. that's going to end in tears.

johnny hit and run paul lynde (get bent), Friday, 8 February 2013 05:59 (seven years ago) link

just remember that it's an exercise, not a judgement on your worth as a human! school is so cruel sometimes.

and that sounds like a gong-concert (La Lechera), Friday, 8 February 2013 06:04 (seven years ago) link

for some reason my program combined baking with the garde manger class -- so it's a bit of cognitive dissonance to be making pate brisee and then learning about aspics and chaud froid an hour later.

johnny hit and run paul lynde (get bent), Friday, 8 February 2013 06:08 (seven years ago) link

Cookies, scones, cakes are kids stuff and if you can't bake them that is OK! I will bake it.

The real task is pastry, frozen store-bought pastry is grody and a lot of recipes are like "add vinegar now" or "sift a pinch of salt" or "cut in with two knives" and there's that tragic moment when you're lifting your pastry from floury surface to quiche tray and it's all falling apart in your hands, or you prebake and the sides cave in, or your butter is too hot or too cold, or you're being pressured to crimp an edge or something

The nice thing about pastry in my experience is that every failed pastry bake will still produce a mass of crumbly flaky refuse that is nice to nibble on as you roll out a new one

Graham cracker crust is delicious but it tastes like cheating

Homemade bread is a con game imo, like "brew your own beer"

dry rub come save beef (flamboyant goon tie included), Friday, 8 February 2013 06:09 (seven years ago) link

In my experience the only shitty things about baking are a) making sure you have all the correct tools, like a sifter or an angel food cake tray, and b) having to deal with oz vs. mL vs. Tbs vs. g vs. cups

dry rub come save beef (flamboyant goon tie included), Friday, 8 February 2013 06:12 (seven years ago) link

gb - the only words in there that i know for sure are pate and aspic, neither of which I have ever eaten, much less made -- the rest i'm not 100% sure about = you are waaaaaay ahead of me
you are becoming an expert and learning the secret language -- i salute you!

i'm totally kiddie stuff when it comes to baking, there i said it!

and that sounds like a gong-concert (La Lechera), Friday, 8 February 2013 06:13 (seven years ago) link

pastry baking in summer = surest way to end up in the loony bin

soft butter has broken my heart many a time

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 8 February 2013 06:16 (seven years ago) link

pâte brisée is pie dough, it's not like goose liver pâté.

johnny hit and run paul lynde (get bent), Friday, 8 February 2013 06:18 (seven years ago) link

see? i didn't even know that! i'm pretty sure that the art of baking is something i would rather leave to the experts who take the time to do what they do well.

and that sounds like a gong-concert (La Lechera), Friday, 8 February 2013 06:21 (seven years ago) link

People at work seem remarkably impressed by my baking and the baking of a colleague. We're very much in the "i just followed the recipe to the letter, it's not that hard" camp. Bread and cakes are really easy. Cooking is harder.

I have the French Culinary Institute's 'The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts' at home, which looks like it would present more of a challenge, but i rarely want to bake for the office and can't be bothered to do much at home.

Head Cheerleader, Homecoming Queen and part-time model (ShariVari), Friday, 8 February 2013 08:04 (seven years ago) link

Homemade bread is a con game imo, like "brew your own beer"

I've kinda been like this with bread: it takes so long to make, and if yr fuckin with standard white, it always ends up being tasty direct out of the oven and then stale like .000334 seconds later >>:(

I've had some success on that front by using the ready bags of bread mix for the machines, but baking freehand. They add those preservatives and salts to it that give it a bit more oomf. BREAD NEEDS SALT.

Fruit bread? Now that I can get with. Ive made some damn tasty raisin toast loaves in my time.

I used to love baking butter bundt cakes and scones, but I lost my sweet tooth so I dont do it much now. Rrob is right tho: baking's a science, nothing like regular cooking. Only time I'll religiously follow the instructions.

Manti and the Catfish (Trayce), Friday, 8 February 2013 08:15 (seven years ago) link

Beholdeth: a raisin loaf I did a while back:

https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/179947_10150856610967757_533719155_n.jpg

Manti and the Catfish (Trayce), Friday, 8 February 2013 08:17 (seven years ago) link

Home-made bread does go stale fairly quickly without commercial preservatives but it makes the most amazing toast for days afterwards.

Head Cheerleader, Homecoming Queen and part-time model (ShariVari), Friday, 8 February 2013 08:35 (seven years ago) link

i guess i just don't like baking all that much. i am ok at it, i just don't really enjoy it.

^^^ That's me, except substitute 'good' for 'ok'.

I never baked much when I was little/younger because my mom turns Generalissimo during Christmas cookie baking and otherwise, she didn't have the time for making much more than rice krispie bars. I've turned out to be really good at things that work in a small kitchen, like brownies and cakes. Bread isn't something I'm keen to try at home - and it's one of the things I buy that has to be nice/organic/from a small shop. So nice, in fact, that it's a false economy to invest in the infrastructure of bread baking to reproduce the quality here at home. Also, you can get really good prepared pastry here because Europe, but I'm more a fan of making savoury pies when I can be bothered with pies at all.

If you use metric measures and follow a recipe correctly it's almost impossible to fuck it up. However, pound cake is great for freestyling once you know what you're doing. I make blueberry, chai flavour (dates, chai spices and a shotglass full of very black tea), and this one, with figs:

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8105/8454629037_c3fb16f7e5.jpg

This has dried figs, fresh figs, fig purée, marinated figs and stewed figs in the batter, and a mix of melted butter and fig jam coating the top.

karl lagerlout (suzy), Friday, 8 February 2013 09:54 (seven years ago) link

i'm a good cook but i stink at baking

this is me, he says immodestly. baking is just too *scientific* and unforgiving but I'm getting better w/computer stuff so maybe there's hope

screen scraper (m coleman), Friday, 8 February 2013 10:21 (seven years ago) link

having to deal with oz vs. mL vs. Tbs vs. g vs. cups

god I'd like to put a cap in the ass of whoever decided that 'cups' should be a measurement. just a needless annoyance. I am adequate at baking I guess but don't do a huge amt of it

Julian-Joachim Roedelius (DJ Mencap), Friday, 8 February 2013 10:24 (seven years ago) link

thankfully things like "cups" here have been metricized so a "cup" is 250ml for eg.

Manti and the Catfish (Trayce), Friday, 8 February 2013 10:36 (seven years ago) link

can't cook, can't bake

^obviously my option

the "baking is a science, just follow the recipe" thing should make it slightly easier for me than the pure unadulterated panic and stress of cooking, but nothing i've ever tried has happened like the recipe says it should. there's always one stage at which everything just went wrong and fell apart and i couldn't work out why.

my bf makes bagels - i didn't know til seeing him do it that you POACH them! i don't even dare approach the oven when he is doing that.

just had a banana, cardamom and orange cake baked for me this week mmmmmm all mine

lex pretend, Friday, 8 February 2013 10:52 (seven years ago) link

I think this "just follow the recipe thing" is a little misleading, there are so many different variables you can't control - heat source, equipment, quality of ingredients, and even slight differences in quantities can make big differences to the end result. My general experience as a shit cook with following (non baking) recipes is if nothing else the timings given can be unreliable by as much as 100%, and ok I've got enough common sense to see if something is in danger of burning or boiling dry or is nowhere near cooked, but that's enough to give me the fear and make it a less than straightforward and enjoyable experience.

ledge, Friday, 8 February 2013 11:08 (seven years ago) link

Ok cook, ok baker, rarely bother with latter dough

ledge otm btw

book instruction rarely give enough detail imo (for baking) so seeing eg british bakeoff is useful

the right to beef at (darraghmac), Friday, 8 February 2013 11:11 (seven years ago) link

i have no common sense. i can't tell, visually, whether any food is cooked at all, let alone cooked perfectly. even if it's just a ready meal i pretty much have to burn it to make sure

lex pretend, Friday, 8 February 2013 11:15 (seven years ago) link

i'm an artist not a scientist, baking is annoying

r|t|c, Friday, 8 February 2013 11:16 (seven years ago) link

target has a pretty good supply of basic sizes
restaurant supply places are good too

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Wednesday, 30 September 2020 01:43 (one month ago) link

Valuable advice all around, even if I don't respond directly to you specifically! I will avoid going the cheapo route; as it happens, my neighborhood has more than a few restaurant supply stores, so I'll definitely make a trip when I get my CAKEY INGREDIENTS.

Kaliningrad Oberst (Leee), Wednesday, 30 September 2020 02:15 (one month ago) link

NordicWare was founded and is still based in my home town. The Bundt cake was developed by a local non-Zionist Jewish women’s group; they added the T to distinguish it from/not evoke the fascist German-American Bund.

santa clause four (suzy), Wednesday, 30 September 2020 04:51 (one month ago) link

For Dorie Greenspan's lemon spice cake, the recipe doesn't specify how much zest. Does that mean basically all of the lemon's peel?

Kaliningrad Oberst (Leee), Wednesday, 30 September 2020 23:41 (one month ago) link

anyone have a good skillet cornbread recipe?

here comes the hotstamper (jim in vancouver), Wednesday, 30 September 2020 23:44 (one month ago) link

yes

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Wednesday, 30 September 2020 23:47 (one month ago) link

lol

here comes the hotstamper (jim in vancouver), Wednesday, 30 September 2020 23:53 (one month ago) link

2 cups cornmeal
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

2 cups buttermilk/kefir/yogurt/what have you
2 eggs

---

1 turn the oven on full blast
2 put in your skillet

3 beat the eggs
4 combine eggs with the buttermilk
5 combine the dry ingredients
6 now mix all together

7 take your skillet out and put on a burner to keep it hot
8 add plenty of bacon fat or 3 tbsps of another oil to the hot skillet, and make sure it gets nice and hot in the skillet

9 pour your batter into the hot skillet
10 put skillet in the oven
11 reduce heat to 400F
12 bake for about 20 minutes

eat immediately if poss!

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Wednesday, 30 September 2020 23:55 (one month ago) link

I had this very *earthy* American cooking youtube of how to annihilate a beef brisket in a pressure cooker with skillet cooked cornbread, potatoes, beef-gravy and carrots on my youtube history and it has been deleted from history for some reason. I only did my own version of the beef brisket part of the vid which was probably appalling on a healthy eating level, but also good at the same time. I generally do the same thing but do it to the Yorkshire pudding cooking regs where it is somewhat fluffier!

calzino, Thursday, 1 October 2020 00:09 (four weeks ago) link

that recipe looks good Tracer Hand

Dan S, Thursday, 1 October 2020 00:26 (four weeks ago) link

love to see a zero sugar cornbread recipe

call all destroyer, Thursday, 1 October 2020 00:31 (four weeks ago) link

For Dorie Greenspan's lemon spice cake, the recipe doesn't specify how much zest. Does that mean basically all of the lemon's peel?

― Kaliningrad Oberst (Leee), Wednesday, September 30, 2020 7:41 PM (fifty-seven minutes ago)

is it too late? the answer is "sure"

superdeep borehole (harbl), Thursday, 1 October 2020 00:40 (four weeks ago) link

uh, not the entire peel, forgive me if you knew that. just the yellow part!

superdeep borehole (harbl), Thursday, 1 October 2020 00:41 (four weeks ago) link

Actually that's useful to know! And I haven't gotten the ingredients yet. Basically, the whole lemon has to look a bit naked?

Kaliningrad Oberst (Leee), Thursday, 1 October 2020 00:55 (four weeks ago) link

yes you just scrape the yellow then move on to get more yellow, you want as little white as possible. if it doesn't say an amount i would say it's "to taste," if you use some reasonable amount you won't ruin it. probably one lemon or half a lemon.

superdeep borehole (harbl), Thursday, 1 October 2020 00:58 (four weeks ago) link

Thanks, tracer!

here comes the hotstamper (jim in vancouver), Thursday, 1 October 2020 01:25 (four weeks ago) link

yw!

the key is to get coarse cornmeal, stoneground if you can. in the uk i get indian head which is fine. bob’s red mill is great but hard to get over here.

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 1 October 2020 07:47 (four weeks ago) link

I somehow have only just heard of Alison Roman but I do believe that my cake aspirations will have to wait for this first: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/salted-butter-and-chocolate-chunk-shortbread

Kaliningrad Oberst (Leee), Friday, 2 October 2020 18:03 (four weeks ago) link

i'm just gonna say you're lucky

superdeep borehole (harbl), Friday, 2 October 2020 20:01 (four weeks ago) link

i'm addicted to making porridge bread.

https://i.imgur.com/WTkQJtY.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/250gT8I.jpg

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Sunday, 4 October 2020 23:49 (three weeks ago) link

was gonna ask you about this! i made my third loaf today. i'm ready to move into more different grains and seeds because that's the kind of bread i like. do you just add cooked oatmeal to it and amend the water and flour ratios accordingly? i'm learning this is more forgiving than i thought.

superdeep borehole (harbl), Sunday, 4 October 2020 23:56 (three weeks ago) link

yep just good old cooked oats! i use 50g oats and 200g water per loaf. cook it for about 10 minutes and then let it cool. add it once you're ready to mix everything together for the bulk fermentation. i add about 20g of linseeds (or 40g for two loaves) to the porridge while it cooks. they swell a little and add some glutinous properties to the porridge to help it bind with the dough. and they add some nice crunch and flavour to the bread too. it will add a bit of hydration so you might want to knock your other water down just a little.

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Monday, 5 October 2020 00:01 (three weeks ago) link

it is sooo soft inside and i feel like it lasts so much longer.

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Monday, 5 October 2020 00:03 (three weeks ago) link

that looks amazing

Dan S, Monday, 5 October 2020 00:03 (three weeks ago) link

I made Dorrie Greenspan's Lemon Spice cake, and it did not turn out well. Not much rise, tough outer crust, too dense for a sponge, and not much lemon taste. I realized that I used too little stevia (I can never seem to calculate it correctly), but I don't imagine that it led to the density or dryness.

Fisherman's Worf (Leee), Tuesday, 6 October 2020 17:27 (three weeks ago) link

did you use all stevia? no sugar at all?

superdeep borehole (harbl), Tuesday, 6 October 2020 17:41 (three weeks ago) link

Correct, just stevia and no sugar, which hasn't been an issue in most of my other bakes when I use the correct amount. (I get the feeling the baking gods are about to smite me.)

Fisherman's Worf (Leee), Tuesday, 6 October 2020 17:45 (three weeks ago) link

i have never baked with a sugar substitute but i thought that it *would* affect rise and texture to substitute. sugar does things with moisture that stevia may not. probably doesn't affect the lemon taste issue.

superdeep borehole (harbl), Tuesday, 6 October 2020 17:51 (three weeks ago) link

Yeah sugar is v important for texture. Let's not blame this on Dorie is all I'm saying.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Tuesday, 6 October 2020 18:43 (three weeks ago) link

I always assume that a failed bake is my fault!

Fisherman's Worf (Leee), Tuesday, 6 October 2020 19:18 (three weeks ago) link

I do want to try the lemon spice cake again eventually, probably by doubling the spices and lemon juice AND zest, and making sure to calculate the correct stevia amount this time, and measuring the butter by weight instead of using the tablespoon markers on the wrapper. I might make sure to use real heavy cream for this future attempt, since I used almond milk + olive oil the first time.

But for this weekend, I'm going to try that carrot cake. Reviewing the recipe, it looks idiot proof, which I will put to the test.

Fisherman's Worf (Leee), Friday, 9 October 2020 05:25 (three weeks ago) link

my puregro cornmeal coarse polenta has arrived, got some buttermilk arriving later. I'm going to do some cornbread this weekend as per Tracer's recipe, not using bacon grease on my skillet though that's one step too far for me!

calzino, Friday, 9 October 2020 09:06 (three weeks ago) link

awesome! please let me know how it turns out. that's my family's recipe. my dad always liked it because it was very simple - 2 of most things.

something i've discovered when making with polenta - the polenta really soaks up the liquid quickly, so do the mixing of wet & dry ingredients no more than a couple of minutes before dumping into your skillet, otherwise you'll end up with a kind of sandy bowl of polenta hunks.

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Friday, 9 October 2020 09:14 (three weeks ago) link

ah thanks for that tip I'll remember that

calzino, Friday, 9 October 2020 09:23 (three weeks ago) link

I'm going to be serving my cornbread with roast potatoes, sausages and onion gravy and steamed greens. Not sure if that is a bit doing it wrong but I'm treating it like it's like a yorkshire pudding finger type food on a separate plate that you can dip and enjoy basically - which seems right!

calzino, Saturday, 10 October 2020 00:11 (three weeks ago) link

Idiot proof indeed!

Fisherman's Worf (Leee), Saturday, 10 October 2020 06:24 (three weeks ago) link

sounds amazing calz. yeah i usually slather mine in butter but my wife will use as a vehicle for essentially anything.

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Saturday, 10 October 2020 08:56 (three weeks ago) link

I'm finding that a lot of American recipes use oil or e.g. oil and yoghurt instead of butter, which is far more common in the UK. Is there a reason for this? I have made a few cakes from an American recipe book and can often taste the oil and miss the delicious buttery taste you get in standard British recipes. Is there a formula for subbing in butter instead of oil?

kinder, Saturday, 17 October 2020 11:36 (two weeks ago) link

what book is it? i guess america had a period of time where we loved unsaturated fats, margarine, etc. my mom used to have margarine and jam on a roll for breakfast every day in the 90s.

i don't know whether there is a formula. i have used a king arthur recipe, i believe for corn bread, that allowed a 1:1 substitution. cake is more risky because it requires more exact measurements, and butter contains some water (like 15%?), and milk solids. a coffee cake would probably be an ok place to experiment. if i was doing this i would substitute melted and cooled butter* and add a little extra, then take away a small amount of the liquid. i may be confusing myself with the math here but i think divide the amount of oil by .85** to get the amount of butter you need. then subtract a corresponding amt of water/milk (butter*.15) from the recipe.

*this is only where the recipe wants liquid oil, of course
**here's the other problem, this number varies by brand and i think you guys have slightly fattier butter than we do

superdeep borehole (harbl), Saturday, 17 October 2020 14:10 (two weeks ago) link

i see newer baking blogger (idk what else to call them) recipes using oil i think bc maybe it’s perceived as “healthier” & ppl are more dairy averse & everyone seems to love reinventing the wheel

but any good US baking recipe should call for butter
imo if they are telling you to use oil ...time to find a better recipe!

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 17 October 2020 19:08 (two weeks ago) link

the only time i used oil for a cake & liked it was a stephanie alexander carrot cake

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 17 October 2020 19:09 (two weeks ago) link

find a better recipe may sadly be better advice then doing these calculations

superdeep borehole (harbl), Saturday, 17 October 2020 20:11 (two weeks ago) link

unless you need to sub oil for dietary reasons, just avoid altogether imo

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 17 October 2020 21:16 (two weeks ago) link

um, i meant "than" lol

superdeep borehole (harbl), Saturday, 17 October 2020 21:55 (two weeks ago) link

The book was by Irvin Lin, 'Marbled, Swirled and Layered', but I misremembered - it had butter AND olive oil. I tried this recipe today that was oil & yoghurt https://www.sweetestmenu.com/cinnamon-apple-cake and I'm sure I used to make some kids' muffins from a blog that was similar. But sounds like this isn't the norm!

I mainly bake Mary Berry type cakes, lots of creaming of butter & sugar.
The apple cake was good btw, needed a lot longer baking time tho and possibly needed more cinnamon and the apple sank to the bottom.

kinder, Saturday, 17 October 2020 22:12 (two weeks ago) link

I love olive oil polenta cake, but can't think of other cakes I've made that have called for oil instead of butter

Dan S, Saturday, 17 October 2020 22:21 (two weeks ago) link

I’ve looked at multiple recipes for it but my friend’s instructions were the most helpful (from a now-defunct blog, but one with a lot of great archived recipes)

http://www.domesticdaddy.net/2015/05/23/olive-oil-polenta-cake/

Dan S, Saturday, 17 October 2020 22:26 (two weeks ago) link

oh ok i see, a lot of quick bread and muffin recipes use sour cream so that's what the yogurt thing is, people don't want to be using sour cream

VG i got the dorie greenspan baking book btw. i need to be exercising more :(

superdeep borehole (harbl), Saturday, 17 October 2020 22:54 (two weeks ago) link

:D yay! dorie rules

my current fave is her mocha walnut bundt cake its so good

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 17 October 2020 23:47 (two weeks ago) link

https://smittenkitchen.com/2007/07/double-chocolate-layer-cake/ is my go-to chocolate cake recipe and I guess its the oil that makes it very light and delicious and not heavy like some choc cake recipes I've tried. Getting buttermilk in the UK is weirdly hard so I just sub in yoghurt and it works wonderfully.

I just assume that calling for yoghurt/sour cream/buttermilk is just wanting some acid for the bicarb to react with, yes? Like the best pancake recipe is a buttermilk recipe (where I also sub in yog) uses bicarb and baking powder so you get bubbles twice.

closed beta (NotEnough), Monday, 19 October 2020 07:35 (one week ago) link


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