Tag Archives: what-is

What is lemon zest?

Zested lemon

One of the easiest ways to infuse a citrus flavor into a baked good of some kind is to add lemon, lime or orange zest to it.  Zest is not the same thing as the peel, or rind, of a lemon, although it is a part of the peel. The zest is the colorful outer layer of the citrus peel. The soft, white part of ... Read More »

Natural peanut butter vs Regular peanut butter in baking

Natural peanut butter

Your most basic peanut butter contains just peanuts and some oil to help the peanuts blend together into a smooth paste. There are two distinct types of peanut butter: “regular”  and “natural”. “Regular” is the term I’ll use to define your standard peanut butter and jelly sandwich peanut butter, and a category that includes most easy to find national brands. It’s creamy and thick, even ... Read More »

What is Irish soda bread?

Irish soda bread – or just soda bread, if you prefer – is a type of quick bread that uses baking soda as a leavener. While this may not seem like much of a revelation these days due to the prevalence of baking soda in all kinds of recipes, it was a boon to bakers in Ireland in the mid 1800s. At that time, Ireland ... Read More »

What is a microplane?

Microplane

Adding zest from fresh citrus is one of the easiest and best ways to brighten up the flavor of a dish, or to infuse an extra burst into some baked goods. For years, however, getting the zest – the brightly colored outer part of the rind – from citrus was a tricky business. Your options were to either peel the fruit as best you could ... Read More »

What are Meyer lemons?

Meyer lemon slices

Meyer lemons get more popular every year, and what was a relatively unknown fruit just a few years ago can now be found on restaurant menus, in mainstream supermarkets and food/home magazines. Meyer lemons aren’t lemons; they’re actually a hybrid between a mandarin orange and a lemon. The cross was originally developed in China, where both types of citrus fruit occur naturally. The fruit was ... Read More »

What is meringue powder?

Meringue powder

Meringue powder is an ingredient that you won’t see called for in recipes very often, but you will see if you browse the aisles of a baking supply store or a craft store with a cake decorating section. It also shows up on the ingredient lists of some packaged frostings and icing mixes.  Meringue powder is a fine white powder made primarily from dried egg ... Read More »

What is gluten?

homemade baguette

The word “gluten” is probably so well know these days because we are all so much more aware of people with gluten intolerances and products that are gluten free. Of course, this doesn’t really describe what gluten is. Gluten is protein in wheat flour and some other cereal grains. Gluten is elastic, and when combined with water, the proteins first come together in long strings. ... Read More »

What is pastry flour?

KA pastry flour

Cake flour, all purpose flour and bread flour are the three types of flour that you’ll most often see when reading through recipes. Once in a while, you might notice a wild card and see that a recipe calls for pastry flour, instead. Pastry flour is a high-starch and low-protein flour. It falls somewhere between the (average) 8% protein content of cake flour and the ... Read More »

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