The Essential Guide To... The Essential Guide to... Baking

The Essential Guide to… is a unique magazine series that gives you everything you need to know about the world of food, all year round. Every issue is full of inspiration, top tips and the best recipes for cooking and entertaining. Each one tried, tested and tasted to perfection.

United Kingdom
Eye to Eye Media
Back issues only
10 期号



From rolling out pastry to licking batter from a wooden spoon, a love of baking often starts at an early age. But whatever your level of expertise, you can never have too many recipes or enough handy tips and techniques up your floury sleeve. In this Essential Guide, we’ve chosen some of our sweet and savoury favourites, with simple all-in-one bakes, foolproof recipes for biscuits, plus masterclasses for pastry and bread that will turn a good bake into a great one. We also revisit the classics – some with a twist – and offer advice for when things don’t quite go to plan. So whether you’ve got time to invest in a challenging centerpiece, or just fancy making a simple treat with the kids, we hope we inspire you to enjoy more…

your baking q&a

Q Is it true that cold hands make good pastry? As you mix in the fats for your pastry, there’s a danger your hands will warm them up too much and the fats will melt into the flour – this is why recipes ask for cold butter, chilled water and instruct you to rub the butter in with just your fingertips. This is also why you should chill pastry before baking, to allow the fat to firm up and prevent it melting too quickly in the oven which then shrinks the pastry. Q Do bicarbonate of soda and baking powder do the same job? Both act as a raising agent, but they have different chemical reactions. Recipes usually specify which is needed depending on the other ingredients. The more basic of the two…

it’s showstopper time…

P15 P16 P16 P17 P18 P18 P19 Lemon curd meringue tarts Give this traditional favourite a makeover with mini meringues Makes 8 individual tarts or 1 large tart Prep time 30 mins, plus at least 8 hrs chilling Cooking time 2hr 5 mins-2 hr 40 mins, plus cooling You’ll need… 8 x 8.5cm tart rings or 1 x 23cm tart ring; ceramic baking beans or uncooked rice; electric mixer; piping bag with a 1cm plain nozzle; mini blowtorch (optional) • 460g sweet pastry (see p32 for the recipe), chilled• Plain flour for dusting• 2 large free-range egg yolks For the lemon curd • 6 medium free-range eggs• Juice of 6 lemons, plus finely grated zest of 2• 260g caster sugar• 100g unsalted butter, well softened For the meringue topping • 2 large free-range egg whites• 100g icing sugar• ½ tbsp cornflour 1 Line 2 baking…

what you need to get started…

THE BASICS Mixing bowls Start with a set of three of varying sizes. Ones that fit inside each other take up less space in the cupboard. Take time choosing them and think about the design – some come with handles and pouring lips – and whether they have a non-slip base. Plastic bowls can harbour grease which makes it harder to whisk egg whites to fluffy perfection. Reliable scales If you’re choosing mechanical scales, look for something with a generous bowl. Digital scales tend to be more accurate for small amounts – and you can usually reset to zero when weighing several ingredients into the same bowl. You’ll also need measuring spoons and a measuring jug. Cooling rack A cooling rack allows heat to escape from all sides of the cake at once.…

what to do if…

Your caramel starts to crystallise Sugar crystals will form around anything (flour in the pan, crumbs, etc), but you can prevent it. Always use a heavy-bottomed pan and make sure it and any utensils are really clean. When making caramel using sugar and water, check all the sugar has dissolved before turning up the heat and bringing to a boil. Next, brush the insides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to dislodge stray sugar granules or crystals. Keep an eye on the pan, regularly tilting it gently as the syrup changes colour, so it doesn’t catch and burn. When the caramel is dark amber (4-5 mins), remove the pan from the heat and dip the bottom of it into a sink of cold water, to stop the cooking process. Your…

the pastry masterclass

We’ve been enjoying pastry in one form or another for centuries. Jane Austen claimed ‘good apple pies are a considerable part of our domestic happiness’, while Victorian cooking guru Mrs Beeton decreed the key to making ‘paste’ (as she called it) was to have a light touch and cool hands. Wise words indeed, and they still apply today, but which pastry do you use when? Versatile and crumbly, shortcrust is good for a variety of pies, and robust enough to hold chunky and/or wet fillings such as steak and kidney. A flakier puff pastry is often used in one layer only, such as the base of a tarte tatin, while sweet pastry is enriched with sugar and eggs. Or there’s choux, which uses steam to achieve the puffy finish needed for…