Saturday, January 29, 2011

Flour-The difference between all-purpose and self-rising flour.

A faithful reader asked me the other day "What is the difference between
all-purpose flour and self-rising flour?" The answer is-

All-purpose flour is a blend of selected hard and soft wheats. As the name says, it can be used for all types of baking. In fact, this is the flour I use 99 percent of the time. Now, with self-rising flour the baking powder and salt has already been added. It should be used in recipes that specifically ask for self-rising flour such as your grandmother's recipe for buttermilk biscuits.

Be sure to check your recipe to see which flour is asked for before you begin. Often no particular flour is mentioned (it just says flour). This means you should use plain ole all-purpose flour.
To see how to measure flour accurately go here.

Next post I will go over additional types of flour such as bread flour, cake flour, and wheat flour. I'll also cover flour recipes (recipes that use flour as a main ingredient).

For more helpful info on different types of flour, their uses, and recipes visit Gold Medal Flour and King Arthur Flour websites.

*smile* Sherri

Monday, January 24, 2011

Hot Cocoa & Cooking Terms

Whew! The holidays are over and I’ve been busier than a one-armed wallpaper hanger! Let's wrap up the Homemade Hot Cocoa recipe shall we? The remaining cooking techniques, ingredients, and tools to go over are:

Cooking Techniques-
Dash- A dash is a little less than 1/8 of a teaspoon.
Mix- To stir in a circular motion usually with a spoon. Move your spoon in a circular motion until all ingredients appear well blended.
Just To Boiling- When heating liquid ingredients on the stove this is the point when you begin to see bubbles quickly rising to the top of the liquid. There will be bubbles covering the surface.

Cooking Tools- Photo reference
Pot Holder- These usually are sold in a set of two. These are worn on the hands and are essential to protecting hands from burns.

Ladle- A long-handled spoon with a large bowl on the end. Useful for ladling soups, stews, hot cocoa, and other liquid-based foods into serving bowls or other containers. 
Saucepan- A heat-resistant metal-based container used on the cooktop to heat ingredients. The long handle helps keep your hand (inside a potholder of course) a safe distance from the flame.

One last Ingredient for the Hot Cocoa; sugar.
Here's a link to a previous post on different types of sugar.

*smile* Sherri