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Definitions

Even seasoned cooks and chefs have a word or abbreviation that puzzles them from time to time. For this purpose we've added baking/cooking definitions and abbreviations. Select the definition you want to view from the table below. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

A
Al Dente
All-Purpose Flour

B
Baking Chocolate
Baking Powder
Baking Soda
Baste
Beat
Blanch
BP
Bread Flour
Brown
Brown Sugar

C
C - c
Cake Flour
Chop
Cornstarch
Cream of Tartar
Combine
Confectioners Sugar Cream
Crush
Cut In

D
doz
Dredge
Drippings
Drizzle
Drop
Dry Rub
E
Egg Wash
Emulsify
Evaporated Milk
F
Fold
G
Grease

H
hr

I
 
J
 
K
Knead

L
lb
M
Marinade
min
Mince
Mix
mod
N
 
O
oz
P
Packed
Parboil
Parchment Paper
Pare
Pinch
Preheat
pt
Punch (dough)
Puree
Q
qt
R
Reduce
Roll
Roux

S
Sauté
Scald
Separate
Shred
Sift
Simmer
10x Sugar

T
Tbsp - tbsp
Thicken
tsp
U
 
V
 
W
Whisk
X
 
Y
Yeast
Z
Zest


oz

Ounce

Ounce, a unit of weight.


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Packed

Packed

Refers to measuring brown sugars. Spoon brown sugar into dry measuring cup and press down until firmly packed, overfilling slightly, then leveling. When dumped out, should hold its shape (as when making sand castles).


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Parboil

Parboil

This means to boil vegetables until they're just slightly cooked. It's a technique that's used to part-cook potatoes and other hard root vegetables prior to roasting them at a high temperature to ensure the inside is cooked while the outside crisps up well. The technique can also be used for meats, such as pork or chicken, before it is cooked on the barbecue, in order to ensure they're fully cooked throughout.


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Parchment Paper

Parchment Paper

Sheets of grease and moisture resistant paper used in baking to line pans; replaces greasing or spraying pans. Products are shaped or distributed directly on the paper and are easily removed after baking. Great for making disposable pastry bags too.


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Pare

Pare

To remove the outer covering or skin of fruit or vegetables with a small knife or peeler.


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Pinch

Pinch

To add a pinch of something as a cooking ingredient. Use your thumb, index finger and middle finger to grab the spice.


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Preheat

Pare

Very important in baking. To heat the oven, griddle, skillet or broiler to a desired temperature before inserting the food.

TIP: Always check the oven to be sure nothing is in it. Then place the oven racks in the correct position before preheating.


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pt

Pint

Pint. The pint is an English unit of volume or capacity.


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Punch (dough)

Punch

The dough needs to rise until doubled in size, but never let yeast dough ferment (rise) until it falls. Follow recipe/formula for how long to ferment or allow the dough to rise, 30 minutes to 2 hours or until "doubled in bulk or size."

Check if ready by gently pressing two fingers about an inch into the dough, the dents should not spring back, but remain if the dough is ready to punch. Punch dough by pushing a clean fist firmly into the top of the yeast dough to push the air out; re-form dough into a round, smooth ball (skin smoothly stretched around it), cover and go to a second fermentation or the make-up process.


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Puree

Puree

To mash, process or sieve cooked fruit or vegetables to form a thick smooth liquid. Purees may be used to substitute for 1/4 to 1/3 of the oil or fat in some baked products.


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qt

Quart

Quart. The quart is a US customary unit of volume equal to a quarter of a gallon.


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Reduce

Reduce

Reduce means to simmer or boil a liquid until much of it evaporates, thickening the mixture to a sauce and concentrating its flavor. The most sophisticated sauces are pan reductions.


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Roll

  1. Roll Small dough piece (2 oz. to 3.5 -4.5 oz), smooth and rounded with dough skin side up, pinched seam at bottom
  2. To use a rolling pin to roll out a dough piece from center out forming a flat dough piece of even thickness for cookie cutting, pie crust or other products.


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Roux

Roux

A mixture of flour and fat cooked together and used as a thickening.


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Sauté

Sauté

To cook in a small amount of fat, as you would fresh garlic, onion, leeks, etc. for enhanced flavor prior to adding to a savory dough.


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Scald

Scald

To bring liquids to a temperature just below boiling so that tiny bubbles form at the edge of the pan or cup to stop enzymatic activity that retards gluten development.

NOTE: Yeast breads: Fluid milk should still be scalded, the "skin" skimmed off and then cooled or use a "high heat" dry milk for baking yeast breads.


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Separate

Separate

Remove the yolk from the white of the egg.


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Shred

Shred

To rub large food across medium to large grater holes or slits to make small pieces.


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Sift

Sift

To move flour or sugar through a sieve (sifter) to incorporate air and insure accurate measurement.


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Simmer

Simmer

To cook in liquid that is barely at the boiling point and small bubbles rise below the surface.


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Tbsp - tbsp

Tablespoon

Tablespoon. A tablespoon is a measure of volume used in cooking. It has various values around the world. It is abbreviated in English as T., tbs. or Tbsp., and in German and Dutch as EL (from Esslöffel and Eetlepel). Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the UK and the United States define:

1 tablespoon = 15 mL

In Australia, one tablespoon = 20 mL.


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Thicken

Thicken

Make a liquid dense by adding an ingredient like cornstarch, egg yolk, tapioca, flour, rice or potato starch or flour; also to bind.


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tsp

Tablespoon

Teaspoon. A teaspoon is a small spoon, or a spoon used in measuring, commonly used to stir the contents of a cup of tea or coffee.


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Whisk

Whisk

To beat ingredients together, using a wire whip or whisk, until well blended.


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Yeast

Yeast

A living, simple plant organism in the fungus family. It exists naturally in air and soil and requires air, moisture and sugar or starch to grow and reproduce. For baking, certain strains are carefully selected, reproduced, processed and sold in dry (8% moisture) granules (active dry, fast rising or instant) or fresh form (cake or compressed). Yeast will grow slowly under refrigeration, does not die if frozen in a dough, but will die in temperatures above 140 degrees F.

  • Bakers' yeast is a special strain (different from Brewers' yeast), a leavening agent—it will convert sugars and starches into alcohol and carbon dioxide, thus making a product light.

  • 1/4 oz. (7g) active dry yeast = 2 1/4 teaspoons = 2/3 oz. cake yeast

  • Active dry yeast should be proofed, or dissolved in water prior to adding to mixture

  • Fast acting yeast (professionals use instant) should be mixed directly with flour

  • 6.4 oz active dry yeast (A.D.Y.) = 5.3 oz instant (I.D.Y.) = 1 lb. compressed yeast

  • Yeast will be used at a range of 1.5% to 4% of the flour weight (Baker's Percent)


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Zest

Zest

Zest refers to the outer skin of citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and limes. The colored part of the skin contains natural oils that provide aroma and flavor. Small shavings of the skin are added to various dishes to intensify the required citrus flavors. The white portion of the skin, or pith, which lies just below the zest, should not be used because of its bitterness.

You can use a grater to zest the outer skin of citrus fruits or you can peal off small shavings with a paring knife.


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