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Acid: A substance having a sour or sharp flavor. Most foods are somewhat acidic. Foods generally referred to as acidic include lemon juice (citric acid), vinegar, cream of tartar, orange juice, pineapple juice and wine. Degree of acidity is measured on the pH scale; acids have a pH of less than 7.


Acidify: To add acid (lemon juice or vinegar) to a culinary preparation to made a dish slightly acid, sour, or piquant.

Acidulated Water

Acidulated Water: The addition of lemon juice or vinegar to cold water in order to prevent discoloration of some fruits and vegetables. To every pint of water, add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar.


Baba - (BAH-ba)

Baba - (BAH-ba): Called babka in Poland and Babas Au Rhum in France. These are small cakes made from a yeast dough containing raisins or currants. They are baked in cylindrical molds and then soaked with a sugar syrup usually flavored with rum (originally they were soaked in a sweet fortified wine). After these cakes were soaked in the wine sauce for a day, the dried fruits would fall out of them. History - It is believed to be a version of a kugelhopf which was invented in Lemberg in the 1600s. It is said that the French thus called the cake a baba, meaning "falling over or dizzy." It is also said that the cake was named after one of the heroes of Stanishias Leczinski's favorite book, "Ali Baba." Babas are said to have been brought to France by Stanisias Leczinski of Poland, the deposed king of Poland and the father-in-law of King Louis XV of France. He was very fond of the Babba of his homeland and brought his baker to Paris to introduce them. In the 18th century, a French cook named Savarin made a special cake and served it with a rum sauce. He called it Baba Au Savarin. The dessert became very popular, but the people called it Baba Au Rhum and soon forgot about Savarin.

Bagel - (BAY-guhl)

Bagel - (BAY-guhl): Bagel derives from the Yiddish word "beygl" which comes from the German word "beugel" meaning a "bracelet." Bagels are bread rolls in the shape of a doughnut or an old-fashioned curtain ring. The brown and glossey crust is obtained on the rolls by first boiling them in water and then baking them in an oven. History - According to legend, the world's first bagel was produced in 1683 as a tribute to Jan Sobieski, King of Poland. The king, a renowned horseman, had just saved the people of Austria from an onslaught by Turkish invaders. In gratitude, a local baker shaped yeast dough into the shape of stirrup to honor him and called it the Austrian word for stirrup, "beugel." The roll soon became a hit throughout Eastern Europe. Over time, its shape evolved into a circle with a hole in the center and its named was converted to its modern form, bagel. In the 1880s, hundreds of thousands of Eastern European Jews emigrated to America, bringing with them a love for bagels. New York City vendors used the bagel's hole-in-the-middle shape to their merchandising advantage by threading them onto dowels and selling them on street corners throughout the city. In 1927, Polish baker Harry Lender opened the first bagel plant outside New York City in New Haven, Conn. The bagel's popularity began to spread in the United States.


Crème Frangipane

Crème Frangipane: is a rich pastry cream flavored with ground almonds and used to fill or top pastries and cakes. The name has a very unusual origin. In the 16th century an Italian nobleman, Marquis Muzio Frangipani, created a perfume for scenting gloves. It was popular in Paris, and pastry cooks flavored pastry cream with almonds and called it 'frangipane', presumably to take advantage of the scents popularity.

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Food Storage Temperatures

Food Storage Temperatures: (See Food Safety)
Foods should be stored under these conditions:

  1. Refrigerator: 40 degrees F (4 degrees C) or below
  2. Freezer: below 0 degrees F ( - 18 degrees C)
  3. Room Temperature (Dry storage): 60 to 70 degrees F (15 to 21 degrees C) Canned goods
  4. Room Temperature (Dry storage): 50 to 70 degrees F (10 to 21 degrees C) Root vegetables (potatoes, onions), whole citrus, eggplant


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Jam: is a thick spread made from fruit juice, chopped, crushed, or puréed fruit, and sugar. Pectin may also be added to help it gel, but jams are usually looser than jellies. Jam typically contains a bit of fruit pulp, so it’s not entirely transparent.


Jelly: is a clear fruit spread made from cooked fruit juice and sugar, and possibly pectin, which helps it gel and thicken. After the initial cooking, jelly is strained through a muslin stockinette or “jelly bag” to remove any solids.



Laminated Dough: Accomplished by making a dough using a small amount of the total butter and wrapping it around the remaining butter, mixed with a little flour to keep it from getting too soft. The dough wrapped in butter is rolled and folded (these folds are referred to as turns) to create the many layers of pastry, Leavened by steam from moisture in butter and dough, plus added yeast, if applicable. Pastries are made this way.

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Mixing Methods

Mixing Methods: Once the ingredients have been selected and measured, the next step is often to mix them all together.



Nappé: The French term to describe the consistency of a sauce, especially a custard sauce, is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and hold the shape of a line when a finger is drawn through it


Old Bread (Altus Brat)

Old Bread (Altus Brat): Originating in Germany, of adding old bread or altus brat, is a way of increasing the depth of flavor in bread with minimal work. It entails soaking a small quantity of stale bread in water, squeezing it dry, and allowing it to ferment overnight at room temperature. It is then added at 25 percent the weight of the total flour in the bread, but the percentage can be much higher.

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Preserves: are another thick fruit spread made from fruit cooked with sugar, but in this case, large pieces of the fruit, or the whole fruit (as in the case of berries), are suspended in a firm jelly or less-gelled syrupy base. Unlike jams and jellies, preserves are chunky in texture.


Room Temperature

Room Temperature: (See Food Safety Tips)

  1. Room Temperature (Dry storage): 60 to 70 degrees F (15 to 21 degrees C) Canned goods
  2. Room Temperature (Dry storage): 50 to 70 degrees F (10 to 21 degrees C) Root vegetables (potatoes, onions), whole citrus, eggplant


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Soaker is the name for a non-yeasted pre-ferment, usually containing coarsely milled whole grain, such as cornmeal, rye meal or cracked wheat, that has been soaked overnight in water or milk. Its purpose is to activate the enzymes in the grains to break out some of the sugars trapped in the starches, while softening the course grains. Little or no fermentation takes place, but its effect on the final dough is dramatic. 


A soufflé is actually a modified omelet, sometimes made with flour. It is a light, frothy dish, just stiff enough to hold its shape, and which may be savory or sweet, hot or cold (ie: frozen souffles). The word soufflé is the past participle of the French verb souffler which means "to blow up" or more loosely "puff up"—an apt description of what happens to the combination of its ingredients when baked.

A soufflé's main ingredients include a base, which is made from a thick white béchamel sauce, a roux-based sauce, if savory, or pastry cream, if sweet. This is cooled slightly and can be blended with egg yolks and flavoring ingredients which are either already cooked or do not require much cooking. The result resembles a thick rich sauce. Stiffly beaten egg whites are then folded in.

The soufflé mixture is placed in a high-sided souffle dish or individual ones (ramekins), and then baked. The base provides the flavor and the egg whites provide the "lift". A soufflé has to be left undisturbed for the full cooking time and then served promptly. It will collapse if it is undercooked, or if it is kept waiting after baking.


Staling: the starches in any baked good will begin to retrograde (go stale), bonding together more tightly and becoming harder and firmer as they crystalize. As this happens, the starches use any available water in the baked good, turning it drier and harder.



Tempering: An important cooking technique used when making custards is tempering, which is the slow addition of a hot liquid to a cold one. Tempering gradually brings the temperature of the two mixtures together and is used when a scalding hot liquid, such as cream or milk, is added to eggs. To temper, add a large spoonful of the hot cream to the egg-sugar mixture, whisking all the while. Add another spoonful, and then another, and continue until all the cream is mixed in.

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