Saturday, November 9, 2013


As I mentioned in the previous post, yesterday was a day for baking.  I ended up making a loaf of soda bread (that we gave as a gift to the couple who have been very helpful to us), a batch of flour tortillas, and a batch of English muffins.

As I was going about doing all of this I realized that there were a few details about baking in England that you might (or might not) enjoy learning.

First, in baking the use of lard or suet is the norm.  They are readily available and they are specified in recipes.  Some recipes even go as far as to tell you NOT to use shortening or oil. :)  Lard is sold in the dairy case right by the butter in similar packages.  The suet is with the baking supplies and comes in granular form.  All GOOD steak and whatever pies and Yorkshire puddings (as well as countless others) are made using suet.

Determining the amount of flour, etc. to use in a recipe is done by weight and not by cupfuls.  For example, you might be told to use 500 grams of flour or 100 grams of sugar.  That is when a kitchen scale becomes necessary.  It might seem odd to us but it is common in Europe and chefs say it is much more precise and leads to better results, but you can't prove that by me.   Oh, liquids are added by amount, such as 350 ml of water.

Now, back to 375=190=5.  The temps for a recipe can be given in one of three forms.  375 F=190C=5gas.  You will rarely see F here but the other two are very common.  In case you are wondering, our small oven uses the gas form going from 1/2 up to 8.  Four to five is moderate heat and 8 is REALLY hot.

That is our lesson for today.  Class dismissed. :)

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