15 May 2012

Baking Amateur Questions

Some questions I've had as an amateur baker, and have found answers to!

+ What TPT is --

Meaning "half for half" in French, tant pour tant (abbreviated TPT) is a pastry cooking term for a mix of equal parts almond flour and icing sugar.  Many times it is found in macaron shell recipes, listed as an ingredient.

+ The difference between granulated, confectioners, powdered, and icing sugars --

Sugars are differentiated by how finely they are granulated, which affects how they are dissolved.  The finer they are, the faster they dissolve.  Coarse sugar is very un-granulated, followed in crystal size by the slightly more fine table ("regular") sugar, then icing sugar, and then confectioners (powdered) sugar.

+ The difference between all-purpose, bread, pastry and cake flours --

I could not give a better explanation better than the one at The Kitchn...
"First, what's actually the same about all these flours is that they are made from wheat. What makes them different is how they're milled, what kind of wheat they're made from, and even what time of year the wheat was harvested. But what it really all boils down to is protein content.

Protein content is directly related to how much gluten can be formed using that particular flour. Gluten helps create structure and determine texture in your final baked good. Flours with low protein contents will generate less gluten and flours with high protein content will create more.  To get the light and airy structure of cakes, you want a flour with very little protein. But to form the dense chewy structure of bread, you want a flour with a lot of protein so that you can create as much gluten as possible.

Here is the approximate protein content of all the common types of flour: 
Bread Flour: 14 - 16%
All-Purpose (AP) Flour: 10 - 12%
Pastry Flour: 9%
Cake Flour: 7-8%

The exact protein content varies by brand, by region, and also by country. However, the name given to the flour is usually an indication of how it's intended to be used. If you're having trouble with a recipe written by someone in another country, try to figure out the protein content of the flour they're using and then find your local equivalent."
 + How to make ice cubes cloudy or clear --

To make clear ice cubes, freeze water that has just been boiled, and to make cloudy ice cubes, freeze water straight from the tap!

Stay Sweet,

1 comment:

  1. This will sound dumb (or maybe just amateurish), I never realized the existence of two different types of ice. One of those "duh" moments now that it's been brought to my attention!