Skip to main content

cookies, cookies

yesterday, i had a call from a friend of a friend asking me about baking cookies and how to produce them in large scale. i talked to this person for almost two hours, (without my knowledge) explaining to her the mechanics of what goes on in cookie production, from the choice of ingredients to the methods used, and most importantly how to standardize their prized recipes. she wanted to come over so that i could teach her exactly the steps to follow from weighing her recipes to mixing, molding and baking. the problem? i simply could not part with my recipe. over the years, the recipe i used evolved and it took me quite a while testing and retesting different flours to get the right consistency i wanted. so we had a problem there, she didn't want me to see her recipe, i didn't want her to see mine either.

i don't know about the others, but maybe because we use a different flour from the ones being used in most baking books, i seldom get a perfect cookie when i try them out. the number one most common problem with cookie baking is the spreading. the cookie flattens out as it bakes and becomes thin like a crepe. this happened to me often when i was just starting at the age of 18. that time, i didn't know anything about the flour's protein content, the moisture level, the ratio of dry to wet ingredients etc., so my only comfort is that at least even if the cookies were deformed, we still get to eat them. i admit i was very frustrated, and it took me quite sometime to get back to baking again. there was this article that i read once where a cookie company had patented a particular form of starch that prevented their cookies from spreading. i was able to substitute something else, used a combination of two flours, and believe me, it wasn't easy. my advise to people who want to come up with their own brand of cookie, be patient and have people around you who will test the cookies once they're baked. if the cookies turned out hard or soft, and does not seem fit to be eaten at all, crush the cookies and use it as a filling for sweet yeast doughs.

i was particularly drawn to the part where she had a problem with her cookie's consistency. she said sometimes her cookies are nice looking, sometimes they're flat and out of shape. when i asked her what method of measurement she uses, she wasn't too sure about it. to me, getting the right amount of ingredients is the most important part of the baking process. it is not after all like cooking where you can adjust the saltiness or sweetness of the dish even after the cooking is done. it just doesn't happen in baking. it looked like this client had a long way to go. i don't profess to be the utmost authority in baking, i am still learning my self. but that's what makes baking challenging, you can learn it as long as you have the diligence and will. it isn't rocket science, but if you think all you need to do is to follow the recipe and everything will be done with, well, i am not sure if that perfect cookie is ready to creep in the cookie jar.

fun, fun, fun. take down notes, write down everything from the brand of flour and butter you used to the color of brown sugar that you substituted with. be consistent and follow the same procedure once you get it right. use the correct temperature and baking time that you used before. do not complain why your cookie is crispy when you exceeded tha baking time. do not blame the weather if the cookie is bland when you use white sugar instead of brown sugar......
till next posting.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

3rd Class Flour, What's It All About

For starters i cannot make this Hard Monay if i did not bring any 3rd class flour or soft weak flour to New York. Once i ran out of 3rd class and tried Cake Flour, it turned bad, do not even think of using All Purpose, it will be soft but not chewy as this one made with yes, 3rd class indeed. So third class is hard to find here in the US if you will use that term. You have to say or look for soft wheat flour, that's it, not hard wheat flour, not cake or All purpose but something in between these two. It is easy to find in the Phil., just ask your local bakery suppliers and they know it is Tercera. Tercera is not for bread, bakers use it basically for cookies, cakes and other pastries, but we bakers know how to create bread recipes using part of this flour with the bread flour or hard wheat flour. It makes a softer version of any of your fave breads, with a cheaper price tag. Plus if i own a bakery, i get to use the third class for my cakes and cookies, lowering my food cost i…

HOW TO MAKE A PUDDING, PINOY STYLE

ANY LEFTOVER BREADS, DRIED BREADS AS LONG AS THEY HAVE NO MOLDS IN THEM, YOU CAN USE THESE TO MAKE YOUR HOMESTYLE PUDDING.


MOIST BUT NOT DENSE, I MAKE THIS FOR MY MOTHER SINCE SHE LIKES SOFT FOODS AND SHE CANNOT CHEW ON THE CRUSTY BREADS AND COOKIES I REGULARLY BAKE. GOOD THING WE HAVE LEFTOVERS!!!! NO NUTS PLEASE!!!!

A GOOD PUDDING IS MADE USING A BAIN MARIE, PLACE THE PUDDING PAN ON A LARGER BAKING PAN WITH WATER AT THE BOTTOM. STEAM BAKE FOR 40 MINUTES OR UNTIL GOLDEN BROWN.

DO NOT FORGET TO GREASE THE BAKING DISH OR THE PUDDING WILL STICK A LITTLE, YOU WANT NICE CLEAN CUTS...


THE PUDDING PLACED ON A SQUARE DISH, PAT SOME BUTTER OR MARGARINE ON TOP IF YOU LIKE. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO STEAM BAKE RIGHT AWAY, YOU CAN ALLOW THE RAISINS TO SOAK FOR AN HOUR TO SOFTEN THEM.

ADDING RAISINS TO THE PUDDING GIVES IT A TWIST... YOU MAY ADD SOME DRIED CRANBERRIES ALSO.

ADD SUGAR TO THE MIXTURE OF BREAD, MILK AND EGGS. ADJUST THE SWEETNESS.


SHRED LEFTOVER BREADS AND SOAK WITH MILK AND BEATEN EGGS.




THE PUDDI…

instant yeasts and active dry yeast in bread making

My first experience with yeast baking did not go well at first despite the many baking books i have in my collection( which were all wiped out by the typhoon Ondoy, sept 26, 2009). The most ridiculous thing is that in your attempt to proof the yeast, you actually just snuff the life out of it by using water that is too hot for the yeast to handle. So you throw it out and then try again. Later on, many years after, i found out from my teacher in class that i did not even have to do this, simply use tap water, add a teaspoon of sugar, then the yeast, stir and voila!!! Wait for the dough to bloom or froth and your done. This is if you are using active dry yeast. Instant means you simply dump it in the flour mix, no blooming necessary.

Shown here in these images, two types of yeasts, the active dry has to be bloomed first before using, then when the yeast froths, you can dump it into the mixing bowl.

The instant yeast on the other hand, is more convenient to use, i weigh it with the rest of…