Think You Could Be a Baker? Take This Quiz!


By: Zoe Samuel

6 Min Quiz

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

With the rise of home cooking shows and a sense that it helps restore normality in a world gone mad, baking is definitely back (and for many, of course, it never left). The Great British Baking Show - known to its home audience as the The Great British Bake-Off - reminded us that baking is the ultimate in civil, predictable, relaxing hobbies. If you combine the right ingredients in the right order and bake them at the right temperature, magic will occur - and if you do it the same every time, it will be (almost) exactly the same every time.

Baking is something anyone can learn to do, and while doing it very well is the province of experts and professionals, doing it well enough to feed yourself a varied and delicious variety of dishes is not hard at all. Perhaps you might not be able to deliver a flawless croquembouche first time out, but if you can count to four, you can certainly knock out a simple chocolate cake or a chicken pie.

This quiz is for everyone who believes in knowing what goes into your food, in hearty meals and handy ovens, and in using the right word for the right item. Let's see how you do!

What makes dough rise?

Yeast produces carbon dioxide, which makes dough rise. If you kill the yeast by overheating it, your dough will not rise.


What is the name of a crescent-shaped flaky pastry roll?

This French pastry is often eaten with jam and is a popular breakfast food.


Which of these is NOT a kind of syrup?

Treacle and molasses are the same thing and come from raw sugar during refining; golden syrup comes from cane sugar


What is the name for the three-legged plate-like thing you might put a hot cake or pie on to avoid it heating the surface?

A trivet goes under a hot plate to protect the table or kitchen counter.


What pastry's French name literally means "a thousand layers"?

Mille-feuille is a flaky pastry with cream between its many thin layers.


What is "scoring"?

Scoring the top of a cake means cutting shallow lines into it. It can be used for decorating.


What ingredients make up ganache?

Whipped chocolate and cream make up ganache, which is a delicious sauce, glaze or filling.


How can you use a skewer or a fork to check if a cake is ready to come out of the oven?

Stick a fork in your cake; if it comes out clean, your cake is ready to eat! There are other ways to tell, but this one is the simplest.


Why do you put flour on your cutting board before rolling your cookie dough?

Flour helps stop the dough or batter sticking to the board or to the rolling pin. Using too much will make the mix powdery, though.


What do pie weights do?

Pie weights are used for when you bake a pie without the filling, to stop the crust getting air in it.


What flour used as a thickening agent comes from the cassava plant?

Tapioca can be used in puddings and is also used as pearls that go into tea.


What's the difference between confectioner's sugar and powdered sugar?

Powdered sugar and confectioner's sugar are the same thing, but they are both American terms. The British term is icing sugar.


By what other term is rice paper known?

Wafer paper is the other term for rice paper, which is used in baking as well as in art!


What is the flat-headed device used for stirring and getting all the mix out of the pan?

A spatula is like a spoon with a flat head.


What is four cups in ounces?

Cups are a measuring device that is somewhat newer than ounces. One cup is eight ounces.


What is agave nectar?

Agave nectar has a low glycemic index, but it's full of calories!


What does it mean to emulsify something?

Emulsification is the process by which two substances that naturally don't mix, do. For example when you use egg, it can make the oil from butter mix with the water in milk.


What is in fondant?

Fondant is a kind of icing made out of boiled water, sugar, and glucose. Sometimes it has other ingredients, too.


How many is a baker's dozen?

Bakers traditionally used to do this to avoid being accused of selling their customers short.


What is flashing, in baking terminology?

Flashing is a way of crisping off something to make it golden by cooking it only briefly.


What is the name of a sauce that is made of flour and fat?

A roux is one of the most basic sauces and is essential in a huge variety of ingredients.


What's the difference between a pie and a tart?

Tarts sit in their pastry; pies sit under theirs.


Why fold instead of stir?

Folding is a way of mixing while ensuring the mix remains light and airy, as stirring can make the air come out and result in the mix being stodgy.


What do you do to a cake if you "enrobe" it?

Enrobing a cake is one of the most beautiful processes in the world, and everyone should do it at least once.


What is the name for adding water to a dried product to make it usable again?

Adding water to milk powder to make milk again is called reconstituting.


What is it called when you have all your ingredients in one place before you cook?

Putting all the ingredients out before you start is wise because invariably, things get messy during the process, and organization helps all the steps to happen in the right order.


What is the name of a small rich sponge cake baked in a mold and usually decorated with jam and coconut?

A good madeleine should be lighter than air!


What problem can occur in baking at altitudes over 3500ft?

The boiling point of water drops the higher you go, which means that things cook differently - a useful lesson for anyone cooking in Denver!


What is the name of a hollow puff pastry whose French name literally means "flight in the wind"?

A vol-au-vent is a little puff pastry that has a filling, such as ham. It is named because it is so light and airy.


At what temperature does sugar melt?

Sugar melts at 320F, which is essential for making spun sugar and other treats.


Which of these are NOT one of the types of petit four?

Petit four include glazed, salted and dry. "Petit four" means "little oven" which was the oven next to the main oven, and wasn't as hot, thus it was ideal for baking little items.


Which of these is not a term in the making of pastry?

Lamination, crimping and half-turns are all ways to shape pastry, but boxing is not.


What is the term for how much a bread loaf or roll expands in the oven?

Your loaf went in one size and it come out another, thanks to oven spring!


Which of the below is NOT necessarily an ingredient in marzipan?

Marzipan is almond, sugar or honey, and either egg or egg white. Vanilla marzipan may be delicious but it's not necessary.


What is the time between dividing the dough and final molding of the dough?

Intermediate proofing your dough changes the structure of the bread by letting the yeast create carbon dioxide.


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