The first thing required
for making good baking goods is the utmost cleanliness; the next is the
soundness and sweetness of all the ingredients used for it; and, in addition
to these, there must be attention and care through the whole process.
Where any recipe calls for
baking powder, and you do not have it, you can use cream of tartar and
soda, in the proportion of one level teaspoonful of soda to two of cream
As in beating cake, never
stir ingredients into batter, but beat them in, by beating down from the
bottom, and up, and over again. This laps the air into the batter which
produces little air-cells and causes the dough to puff and swell as it
comes in contact with the heat while cooking.
Water can be used in place
of milk in all raised dough, and the dough should be thoroughly light before
making into loaves or biscuits; then when molding them use as little flour
as possible; the kneading to be done when first made from the sponge, and
should be done well and for some length of time, as this makes the pores
fine, the bread cut smooth and tender. Care should be taken not to get
the dough too stiff.
When the recipe calls for
sweet milk or cream, and you do not have it, you may use in place of it
sour milk or cream, and, in that case, baking powder or cream of tartar
must not be used, but baking-soda, using a level teaspoonful to a quart
of sour milk; the milk is always best when just turned, so that it is solid,
and not sour enough to whey or to be watery.
In making batter-cakes, the
ingredients should be put together over night to rise, and the eggs and
butter added in the morning; the butter melted and eggs well beaten. If
the batter appears sour in the least, dissolve a little soda and stir into
it; this should be done early enough to rise some time before baking.
When making biscuits or bread
with baking powder or soda and cream of tartar, the oven should be prepared
first; the dough handled quickly and put into the oven immediately, as
soon as it becomes the proper lightness, to ensure good success. If the
oven is too slow, the article baked will be heavy and hard.