Identify These Baking Techniques and Prove Your Skill as a Baker

Isadora Teich

Image: Todor Tsvetkov/E+/GettyImages

About This Quiz

Everyone loves delicious pies, towering cakes and tasty tarts, but not everyone has the know-how to make them perfectly. While some people can make a cake taller than a child with ease, other people struggle to make the cakes that come from a box. Baking can be a tricky thing to master, but those who love it know there's nothing quite like presenting a pie or biscuits you made with love and watching everyone enjoy them.  

However, it takes a lot more than love to make a perfect dessert. From rolling pie crust to whipping up some frosting, there are many techniques that go into making truly tantalizing baked treats. Not every bake is a piece of cake to make, even if it might literally be a piece of cake. Some people even take desserts to the next level with the fanciest and most complex decorations. These can truly make a dessert look as beautiful and stunning as it tastes. 

If you are a baking expert who knows their stuff when it comes to making cookies, croissants and more, put your knowledge to the test and prove your skill with this quiz! It's about to get hot in the kitchen - can you take the heat? 

Shallowly slashing the surface of a dough with a sharp knife before baking is called what?

This technique is sometimes used for baked goods, such as bread or biscuits, and sometimes for meat. It allows for expansion while baking and creates a pleasing finished look.

Beating butter and sugar until they change in texture is known as what?

One of the first steps in some baking recipes is "creaming" the butter and sugar. This means to beat them together until they become pale and creamy. Using creamed butter and sugar makes baked goods lighter and fluffier in texture.

Which technique involves blending or beating something with a tool to incorporate air into it?

You whisk ingredients using a whisk. This can blend and beat ingredients, as well as incorporate air into them.

When you raise the temperature of something gradually, you __________ it.

When you temper something, you raise its temperature gradually. This is useful for eggs and chocolate.

What technique involves heating something solid until it becomes liquid?

Melting is a common technique of both cooking and baking. Often in baking you melt butter, sugar or chocolate.

Cooking sugar until it turns brown is known as what?

When sugar is heated to high temperatures, it breaks down and turns brown. This is known as caramelizing and is commonly applied to onions which have been cooked until their natural sugars have broken down under heat. Careful - there's a fine line between caramelizing and burning!

When you thicken a liquid with heat, you __________ it.

Reducing a liquid thickens it and intensifies its flavor. This is done by simmering or boiling it.

What is it called when you rub butter into flour?

The rubbing-in method is common in bread and pastry making. You use your fingertips to rub butter or other fat into flour until a crumb-like texture forms.

When you aerate something, what do you add to it?

When you aerate ingredients, you add air to them. This is often done to batter and gives bakes a lighter texture.

In which technique are butter and liquid simmered together first?

Some desserts require that butter and milk be simmered together before they are added to the flour. This method is common when making old-fashioned British desserts.

Soaking something in a flavored liquid to absorb its flavors is known as what?

When you infuse or marinate something, you steep or soak it in a flavored liquid to absorb its flavor. This is a popular way of getting floral or aromatic flavors into something.

Precooking your pastry before adding filling is known as what?

Blind baking is common in pie or tart recipes. In some recipes you have to precook your crust before adding the filling, so the bottom of your dessert does not get soggy.

What is it called when all ingredients are mixed together at once?

This method is great for beginner bakers, or people who don't have time to spend hours manipulating pastry dough. All the ingredients are mixed together in one shot.

Many recipes ask you to pass dry ingredients through what device?

Many recipes ask that you put all of the dry ingredients in a sieve or sifter and shake them through. When you sieve the dry ingredients it adds air to them, which improves the final texture of the bake.

When you press and mix liquid and flour to stretch gluten strands, what it is called?

Kneading is a key part of dough making. When you knead dough, it warms and stretches gluten strands, which is what helps to give bakes the right texture. Different baked goods require different amounts of kneading, and it is important to get it right.

What is it called when you use a spoon or spatula to gently mix ingredients?

Folding is when you use a thin rubber spatula or spoon to mix delicate and airy ingredients together, without deflating them. This is often how whipped egg whites are added into a batter.

What is it called when you divide egg whites from yolks?

There are many gadgets that can help you separate eggs, but you can do it with your hands. Remember that it is easier to separate eggs while they're chilled.

Giving bread time to rise before baking it is called what?

Proofing is also known as proving or blooming. It is when bakers allow bread time to rise into its final shape before it is baked.

When you mix ingredients intensely, you ________ them.

When you beat ingredients, you mix them very quickly in order to incorporate air into them. This is often done with a mixer or whisk.

What is it called when you heat a liquid to major bubbling?

Boiling has two meanings. It can mean to heat a liquid to its boiling point, with rolling bubbles. It can also mean to submerge something into boiling liquid.

Altering layers of butter and dough is known as what?

Lamination is interspersing layers of dough and butter. These thin layers are what give pastries their irresistible flaky texture.

What is it called when you cover something with a dry or wet substance?

When you coat something, you cover it with a wet or dry substance. For example, baked bread is often coated with butter.

When you mix two or more ingredients together, you __________ them.

When you mix two or more ingredients together, you combine them. This is one of the most fundamental baking techniques.

When you let something cool, what are you reducing?

Allowing something to cool means waiting for it to reduce in temperature. Especially for multi-layered or more complex creations, trying to work with cakes or other baked goods that are too hot can lead to messy results.

Which of these do you crimp?

Crimping is a technique where you pinch the outer rim of a crust, perhaps with your fingers or with the tines of a fork. This is common in pies and tarts.

A bain-marie is also known as what?

A bain-marie is also known as a water bath. This technique is used for gently baking custardy items, such as creme brulee or cheesecake. Ingredients are placed in a baking dish or dishes, then those are placed in a larger baking dish that is partially filled with water. The whole assembly is then placed in a preheated oven to bake.

When you egg wash something, what do you do to it?

Egg wash is a coating of beaten eggs that's added to the surface of something before baking. This is done to add inviting color to baked treats.

When you want to make a baked good shiny after baking, what do you do?

Glazes are added to baked goods to give them shine and flavor. This can be done with a layer of butter, sugar icing or other glossy substance.

When you lubricate a pan or tin with oil or fat, you __________ it.

When you grease a pan or tin, you lubricate it with some kind of oil, fat or butter. This is important so that baked items brown evenly and don't get stuck in their pans.

Making food softer by soaking it in a liquid is called what?

When you macerate food, you soften it by soaking it in liquid. Macerating fruit with sugar for desserts is common.

Which technique involves a piping bag?

Piping is commonly used to decorate desserts. It most often involves squeezing frosting through a piping bag to make intricate designs.

Turning on the oven before baking to let it come to the temperature you need is called what?

Preheating is common when it comes to baking things in the oven. You want your oven to be at the right level of heat to ensure that your special creation bakes evenly.

What technique involves bringing a liquid to slightly below its boiling point?

When you simmer a liquid, you heat it to just below its boiling point. Then you let it bubble gently.

What is it called when you lightly scatter a substance over a baked good?

When you sprinkle something onto another food, you lightly scatter it. This is common with sugar, candies, seeds and other toppings. Sometimes a sifter is used, especially for powdered sugar.

Which technique involves mixing a substance in a circular motion?

Stirring always involves some kind of kitchen utensil, like a spoon. It involves mixing a substance in circular motions.

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