Learn the twelve basic steps to creating any yeast bread. Whether you are making an Italian bread, pizza dough, coffeecake or Danish most yeast bread recipes follow these twelve simple steps. In this first of a three part series, the first three steps of yeast bread are discussed. Learn how to measure the ingredients most accurately for the highest quality yeast breads. Chef Gail explains just how important mixing is to the texture of your final baked good. The third step is fermentation and once it begins it doesn’t slow down until the dough is baked.
Baking with kids can certainly be a challenge, but it can, also, be very rewarding and create some wonderful memories between you and your child. Chef Gail has been teaching children to bake for over 18 years. She shares her knowledge and tips on how to know when your child is ready to create some wonderful foods with you in the kitchen.
Desserts containing fruits is a big subject. Chef Gail defines seven basic fruit desserts, beginning with a Crisp and ending with a Slump. Learn the origins of some of the unusual names of these easy and beloved fruit desserts.
The Chiffon cake as a special type of separated egg foam cake is discussed in detail. This type of cake contains two ingredients that no other sponge cake has- baking powder and oil. Chef Sokol explains what each of these ingredients does for the texture of this specialty sponge cake. A favorite recipe for a Citrus Chiffon cake is given.
Citrus Chiffon Cake
Makes 1 10-inch cake
2 ¼ cups cake flour
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup canola oil
5 large egg yolks (save the whites for the egg foam for later)
½ cup orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Zest from: 1 orange, 1 lemon, and 1 lime
1 teaspoon lemon extract
8 large egg whites, room temperature
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ cup granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 325° F.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment, blend the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- On low speed, add in the oil, yolks, orange juice, lemon and lime juices, followed by all of the zest and the lemon extract. Blend until smooth. Pour the batter into a large bowl and set aside.
- Place the egg whites in the clean, dry bowl of an electric mixer and using the whip attachment, beat them at high speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.
- Slowly add the ¼ cup granulated sugar and beat at high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Using a whisk, blend in about one quarter of the beaten egg whites into the reserved batter to lighten it.
- Place the remaining egg foam over the lightened batter and, using a rubber spatula, fold it in gently.
- Pour the batter into an ungreased false-bottom 10-inch tube pan with metal tabs.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a small, sharp knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool upside down.
- Remove the cake from the pan and place it right side up onto a serving platter.
Cakes that use the Sponge method are explored in detail. Sponge cakes are leavened with air, and have less fat than other types of cakes. They are made from egg foams or meringues. The two basic categories of sponge cakes are discussed in detail- Whole Egg Foams and Separated Egg Foams. Chef Sokol breaks down the different types of each category of sponge cakes and reviews each type.
Mousses are defined and discussed in detail. Some mousses use eggs and some do not. Learn about the different types of mousses with chocolate mousse being the emphasis. Chef Sokol reviews the difficulties of combining chocolate and cream, and how to avoid these issues. An authentic recipe for French Chocolate Mousse is given with step by step guidance.
French Chocolate Mousse
Serves 6-8 people
1 cup heavy cream
3 egg whites
¼ cup superfine sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups semisweet chocolate, melted with ¼ cup brewed coffee over a double boiler, and allowed to cool
3 egg yolks
- In the bowl of an electric mixer using the whip attachment, beat the cream until stiff peaks form. Scrape into a small bowl and set aside.
- Wash the whip and electric mixing bowl and dry thoroughly. Beat the three egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly add the sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Scrape into a small mixing bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer using the whip attachment, beat the softened butter and melted chocolate and coffee mixture. Add the egg yolks, one at a time.
- Scrape the chocolate and butter mixture into a large mixing bowl. Using a whisk, whisk the beaten egg whites into the chocolate. This will lighten the mixture.
- Fold in the whipped cream using a rubber spatula.
- Divide the mousse into 6-8 wine glasses and chill for several hours.