1. Can I open the oven door during baking?

The oven door may always be opened during baking. Naturally there will be a heat loss in the oven and this will slow down the baking process. In principle, pastries must be baked at the same temperature throughout the entire baking process. Lowering the oven temperature during baking is OK. It is not recommended to increase it. If the oven temperature is increased during the baking process, the pastry will be dry and crumbly.

Very important: when baking bread or pastry, baking is always done in a preheated oven. So the desired baking temperature must be reached before the pastry goes into the oven.

2. Why does the added fruits and / or nuts ... sink with a cake, what can I do about this?

The reason for this is usually the butter or margarine is beaten too light. Then the rest of the raw materials are added and the batter is again beaten too light. The volume of the cake batter is increased, but not the weight. The result is that with a light batter the added fruits / nuts are heavier than the batter. The cake batter bakes up through the fruits and the fruits / nuts remain at the bottom.

The solution is to simply stir the butter until its creamy or, better yet, let it melt gently. Stir in the rest of the raw materials (except the fruits / nuts). Let the batter rest for 10 minutes and the fruits / nuts are mixed underneath. The desired result is obtained by applying this method.

Alternatively you can try and coats the nuts and fruit in a small amount of flour and this will help it stick to the batter.

3. How do I ensure that my cake bursts nicely during baking?

Strange but true, only in Belgium do you want a cake that bursts at the top during baking. There are several ways to obtain this typical Belgian pastry.

  1. By cutting the cake lengthwise at the top with a knife dipped in melted butter, just before baking.
  2. By putting the cake in the oven as low as possible and certainly not placing a baking tray on top, we get more rising heat. As a result, the cake will bake up in the middle and tear open in the middle towards the end of the baking process. This is due to the build-up of the internal heat in the cake, which is looking for a way up.

4. Can I let my bread prove in the oven?

No, this is strongly discouraged. The ideal dough temperature from the start of the kneading process to just before putting it in the oven is 27 to 28 ° C. This temperature is determined by ambient temperature and flour temperature and is reached by the temperature of the water or milk with which the dough is made.

When the bread is allowed to rise in the oven, it is of course at a higher temperature, which is disadvantageous for the proofing process, taste and structure.

5. How do I get crusty rolls?

To obtain crusty pistolets / rolls, you must work with flour with a high protein content. The place where the wheat is grown determines the quality of the wheat from which the flour is made. A better flour is obtained by the correct mixture of wheat. Think of the beautiful crispy French baguette. The kneading process is also very important: a very powerful kneading with ice-cold water or ice chips ensures that the dough does not get too hot and the gluten strands develop optimally.

Steam must be present when the pistolets /rolls are placed in the oven. This only at the beginning of the baking process. have a preheated tray at the bottom of the oven and add a cup of boiling water to the tray when placing your rolls in the oven.

6. How do I prevent my sponge / biscuit from creating a domed top?

The reason for the spherical /dome baking of sponge has various causes.

An oven that is too hot will pull the biscuit batter up too quickly. Biscuit is an airy composition and warm air rises when heated.

Depending on the oven used, the correct temperature must be found. The temperature for baking biscuit is about 180 ° C.

By placing the biscuit (in the form) on the bottom of the oven on the wire rack and placing a second wire rack in the middle of the oven with an empty cake tin on top that is a little smaller than the tube cake tin, the rising heat in the middle is broken : the middle remains lower and the biscuit bakes higher on the side.

7. Why does my sponge sheet tear when rolling and handling?

The first reason is an oven that is too cold. Roll sponge /biscuit must be baked very quickly, short and warm. A sponge / biscuit sheet should not be in the oven for longer than 10 minutes. If a biscuit bakes too long in an oven that is too cold, it will dry out and crack. Sponge sheets are always baked above 200 ° C.

A tip is to cover the baking tray with baking paper and coat this baking paper well with melted butter. The butter will penetrate into the biscuit during baking and thereby make the biscuit more tender.

After baking, the biscuit is immediately turned over on a dry towel and the baking tray remains over the biscuit until it has cooled down. This way the condensation remains in the cake and there is no drying out.

8. Why does the fondant sugar on my frangipan tart water down?

When the cake comes out of the oven, there is always evaporation of moisture during the cooling process. When the cake is covered with melted fondant, the moisture is sucked up from the fondant through the cake, creating a layer of moisture between the cake and the fondant. To avoid this, after cooling the cake glaze the top with neutral or apricot glazing and only then finished with fondant.

9. Why does my choux puffs collapse after baking and become limp?

The reason why the puffs become limp after baking is due to the baking process. When the puffs are baked too hot, they will start up nicely and color beautifully, but inside the puffs are not sufficiently baked and they have no dry structure. So when they cool down they will collapse.

Allowing the puffs to bake a little longer at a lower temperature will dry them out and not collapse.

10. Why does my bread crumbs and the crust comes off when its sliced?

This is due to a dough that is too hot and proofed at a high temperature. This causes the dough to dry out and there is a loss of moisture. During baking there is also more evaporation of moisture. As a result, the bread inside is too dry, so the moisture is sucked out of the crust and comes off the bread.

11. Why is the pie crust hard after baking a yeast dough flan?

For yeast dough pies, after filling the cake, let them rest / prove for a minimum of 30 minutes before baking. If you already bake the cake immediately after filling, you will obtain a hard pie crust.

12. Why does the yeast dough edge collapse, how can I avoid this?

The cake pan is rubbed but often the edge of the cake pan is rubbed too much. With yeast dough cakes, the dough residues are left over the edge of the cake pan. Fill the cake first, then push the overhanging dough onto the side of the tin. With other dough's it is better to first push the dough edge with your hands on the outer edge of the mold. Do not unroll the edge with a rolling pin on the mold as this is how the dough is pushed slightly into the mold and it drops down.

13. How do you prevent the pie crust in quiches from being moist and not breaking out?

With quiches, the vegetable filling must first be heated, stewed or steamed. Drain well and allow to cool. Before placing the filling in the cake pan, it is advisable to coat the dough with a layer of olive oil, this keeps the moisture from the filling.

14. Why is it best to use an iron cake pan when baking puff pastry?

Iron is a heat conductor. Puncturing the puff pastry with a fork will allow the heat of the iron to quickly penetrate into the puff pastry and spread between the layers. As a result, the puff pastry scrolls beautifully.

15. How do you prevent apple turnovers from leaking the filling during baking?

Grease the dough edge with water before folding and press the apple turnover slightly. Do this a little bit from the edge so that the dough edge is not pressed. The water will evaporate during baking and push dough upwards. The apple turnover remains beautiful and the filling cannot run out.

16. Is blind baking useful?

Baking blind is investing the cake dough with baking paper and filling with a fake filling (baking pearls / peas). Sometimes this is done to bake an empty cake pan that is then filled with a cold filling, eg. Rice Tarte. With warm fillings this is of little use and it is sometimes done to bake the dough nicely with savory cakes. (see question 13)

17. Why is my meringue breaking down?

First of all one has to work with a very well de-greased bowl. Do not dry the bowl after washing, but drain it upside down. It is important that the protein is whipped in one go. The fine granulated sugar is added in three times: one part at the start, one part halfway through the beating and the rest just before the end. Reason: the sugar must adhere nicely around the egg white so that the moisture of the egg white cannot be released. Optionally, the egg whites can be heated very lightly during whipping, so that the sugar melts a little and is nicely fixed around the protein cells.

18. Why do vegetables have to be stewed first when using in a quiche?

Vegetables contain moisture and this is released when heated. By heating / stewing / stir frying the vegetables first, this moisture will be released. The moisture will therefore no longer be released during the baking process. The combination of moisture, cream and eggs does not give a good set.

19. The crème au beurre seperates, how can I solve this?

If the crème au beurre separates, this can be solved by warming it up slightly, adding a little soft butter. Melted chocolate or chocolate spread can also solve the problem. Then it is chocolate or praline cream au beurre.

20. Why am I not allowed to knead my yeast dough twice?

When kneading the dough, gluten strands are formed. These absorb the moisture from the dough. This is comparable to small bubbles full of water. When the dough is kneaded, the gluten strands are damaged and the moisture is released. The gluten strands ensure that the dough has cohesion and stretches during proofing. Damaged gluten strands make the bread feel 'heavy' and not airy.

21. I don't have a food processor. How long do I knead the bread by hand?

If you are making the bread by hand the kneading time for dough would be 15 minutes.