HOT-BREAD UTENSILS AND THEIR USE
PURPOSE OF UTENSILS
18. The utensils required for the making of hot breads consist of two kinds: those in which the ingredients are prepared and combined to form the mixture and those in which the mixture is to be baked. As soon as it is known just what ones are needed to carry out the recipe for the hot bread that is to be made, they, together with the necessary ingredients, such as milk, fat, flour, baking powder, salt, eggs, etc., should be collected and arranged in the manner shown in Fig. 1, so that they will be convenient. Usually, much of the success of hot breads depends on the quickness and dexterity with which the ingredients are put together, and if the person making them has to interrupt her work every now and then to get out a utensil, she will find that her results will not be so satisfactory and that she will use up more energy than the work really demands. The pans in which the mixture is to be baked need particular attention, for they should be greased and ready to fill before the mixing is begun. If they are to be heated, they should be greased and put into the oven a few minutes before the mixture is ready to be put into them, so that they may be taken from the oven and filled at once.
UTENSILS FOR PREPARING THE MIXTURE
19. Fig. 1 serves very well to illustrate the utensils required for preparing hot-bread mixtures. These consist of a bowl a of the proper size for mixing; a smaller bowl b for beating eggs, provided eggs are to be used; two standard half-pint measuring cups c, one for dry ingredients and the other for wet ingredients; a tablespoon d, a case knife e, and a teaspoon f for measuring and mixing; an egg beater g and a flour sifter. Of course, if an egg whip is preferred, it may take the place of the egg beater, but for some hot-bread mixtures use will be found for both of these utensils.
UTENSILS FOR BAKING THE MIXTURE
20. The kind of utensil required for the baking of hot-bread mixtures depends entirely on the nature of the mixture and the recipe that is to be prepared. For popovers, popover cups similar to those shown in Fig. 2 or gem irons are necessary. Muffins require muffin pans like those illustrated at h, Fig. 1; Boston brown breads need cans that have tight-fitting lids; soft ginger bread, nut loaf, and corn cake are baked in loaf pans; baking-powder or beaten biscuits are placed in shallow pans or on oiled sheets; griddle cakes must be baked on griddles; and waffles require waffle irons. None of these utensils are likely to present any difficulty in their use except griddles and waffle irons, so in order that these may be thoroughly understood and good results thereby obtained, explanations of them are here given.
21. GRIDDLES.--A style of griddle in common use is illustrated in Fig. 3, and while it is circular and has a projecting handle, griddles of different shapes and fitted with different handles are to be had. Such utensils are made of numerous materials, but the most satisfactory ones are constructed of steel, iron, soapstone, and aluminum. Steel and iron griddles must be greased before cakes are baked on them so as to prevent the cakes from sticking; for this reason they are less convenient than soapstone and aluminum griddles, which do not require any grease.
The size of griddle to use is governed by the number of persons that are to be served. One that is unusually large, however, should be avoided if a gas stove is used for cooking, as it is difficult to heat a large griddle evenly on such a stove, and even a small one must be shifted frequently so that some spots will not be hotter than others. In this respect, a griddle made of aluminum has the advantage over the other kinds, for this material conducts the heat evenly over its entire surface.
Before a new steel or iron griddle is used, it must be tempered so as to prevent the food that is to be baked on it from sticking. If it is not tempered, much time will be consumed before its surface will be in the right condition to permit baking to proceed without difficulty, and this, of course, will result in wasting considerable food material. Tempering may be done by covering the griddle with a quantity of fat, placing it over a flame or in a very hot oven, and then allowing it to heat thoroughly to such a temperature that the fat will burn onto the surface. This same precaution should be observed with new waffle irons and frying pans made of steel or iron if the best results from such utensils are desired.
22. WAFFLE IRONS.--A waffle iron, as shown in Figs. 4 and 5, consists of two corrugated griddles fastened together with a hinge in such a way that the surfaces nearly touch when the handles are brought together as in Fig. 4 (a). These griddles are so suspended in a frame that they may be turned completely over in order to allow each side to be exposed to the heat. The waffle iron illustrated in Fig. 4, shown closed in view (a) and open in (b), is intended for a coal range. In order to use it, a stove lid is removed from one of the openings and the waffle iron is set in the opening, which allows the griddle part to be turned. The waffle iron shown in Fig. 5 is intended for a gas range. As will be noticed, the griddle part rests on a base that is deep enough to permit it to be turned. In using a waffle iron of either kind, it should be heated while the waffle mixture is being prepared; then it should be thoroughly greased on both sides. No excess fat, however, should be used, as it will run out when the griddle is turned over.
THE BATTER OR DOUGH MIXTUREVARIETIES OF MIXTURES AND GENERAL PROPORTIONS
23. BATTERS AND DOUGHS.--The mixtures from which hot breads are produced are of different consistencies, and familiarity with them is necessary if good results in the making of such breads are desired. This difference in the consistencies is due to the proportion of flour and liquid used, a small proportion of flour producing a batter and a large proportion, a dough. It will be well to note, however, that some kinds of flour thicken a mixture much more readily than do others. Experience in the handling of flour teaches how to vary the other ingredients of a recipe in order to make them correspond to the difference in flour, but the person who lacks a knowledge of cookery, or has had very little experience in the handling of foods, must know the general proportions that are correct under most circumstances. The names of the mixtures that the ingredients produce are thin batter, thick batter, soft dough, and stiff dough.
24. A THIN BATTER is one in which the general proportion of liquid and flour is 1 measure of flour to 1 measure of liquid. Such a batter, when poured, immediately seeks its own level and has the consistency of thin cream. The most common examples of thin batters are popovers and griddle cakes.
A THICK BATTER, which is known as a drop, or muffin, batter, is one that is made of 2 measures of flour and 1 measure of liquid. A batter of this kind may be poured, but it will not immediately seek its own level. Muffins, gems, puddings, and cakes are made of thick batters.
A SOFT DOUGH is one whose proportions are 3 measures of flour and 1 measure of liquid. A dough of this kind will stand up alone--that is, without support at the sides--and has more of the properties of a solid than of a liquid. Baking-powder biscuits, tea rolls, and certain kinds of cake are made of this form of dough.
A STIFF DOUGH is made of 4 measures of flour and 1 measure of liquid. Such a dough will not cling to the mixing bowl, can be handled with the hands, and will not stick when rolled out on a board. Pie crust, hard cookies, and beaten biscuit are made of such dough.
25. APPLYING KNOWLEDGE OF GENERAL PROPORTIONS. While the general proportions just mentioned remain the same in the majority of cases, they vary somewhat when ingredients other than liquid and flour are added. Shortening and eggs in particular change the quantity of liquid required, less liquid being necessary when these ingredients are used. To get the best results from a new recipe, it is always advisable upon reading the recipe to notice the proportions that are given and then to try to judge whether they bear a close enough resemblance to the general proportions to make a successful dish. For instance, if a griddle-cake recipe calls for 3 cupfuls of flour and 1 cupful of liquid, the cook who understands what the general proportions for such a batter ought to be would know immediately that the recipe calls for too much flour. Likewise, she would know that a recipe for baking-powder biscuits that calls for 2 cupfuls of flour and 1 cupful of liquid would make a dough that would be too soft to handle. Besides enabling a woman to judge a recipe, a knowledge of the correct proportions for things of this kind makes it possible for her to combine the ingredients for a certain recipe without resorting to a cook book, or, in other words, to originate a recipe. Because of the importance of such an understanding, attention should always be given to details that will assist in obtaining a thorough knowledge of this matter.
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BREAD MAKING PROCESSImportance of Bread as Food | Ingredients for Bread Making | Utensils for Bread Making | Bread-Making Processes | Making Bread Dough | Care of the Rising Dough | Kneading the Dough | Shaping the Dough Into Loaves | Baking the Bread | Scoring Bread | Use of the Bread Mixer | Serving Bread | Bread Recipes | Recipes for Rolls, Buns, and Biscuits | Toast | Left-Over Bread