Glossary - Baking Cookware

Why Kitchen Scales Matter for Baking

Why Kitchen Scales Matter for BakingIf you're into baking things like candy, fruit-based foods like preserves and brownies, (or you live outside of the US where they rightfully ditched the volumetric measuring system) you'll find that there's really nothing like a kitchen scale to measure your food as accurately as possible by weight, known as scaling. In fact, measuring solids by volume is a bad habit that our non-American friends never really got into. It all started when Fannie Farmer introduced a cookbook in 1896 called The Boston-Cooking School Cookbook that introduced the method of measuring everything by standardized measuring spoons and cups. This was a huge improvement at a time when recipes called for a sufficient amount of salt and a teacup of water.

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Pastry Blender

Pastry BlenderTo achieve flaky baked items like pie crusts, it's all about how you mix the fat into the flour. The best crusts are baked with saturated fats which are solid at room temperature such as Vegan Butter, margarine or coconut oil. The fats are mixed into the flour so the mixture resembles gravel. In order to achieve this mixture, the fat pieces are about the size of peas. This allows the fat and water based ingredients to be layered in a grain-like structure when the dough is rolled. During baking, heat causes the water to expand into steam resulting in a flaky crust. A pastry blender is an essential tool for how you achieve this optimum mix of Vegan Butter to flour.

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