Baking Terms

Blanch: To partially cook food by plunging it into boiling water for a brief period, then into cold water to stop the cooking process.

Boil: To heat a liquid until bubbles rise continually to the surface and break.

Caramelize: To heat sugar until it is melted and brown. Caramelizing sugar gives it a distinctive flavor.

Cream: To beat one or more ingredients, usually margarine or butter, sugar, and/or eggs, until the mixture is smooth and fluffy.

Crimp: To seal the edges of two layers of dough with the tines of a fork or your fingertips.

Cut in: To distribute solid fat throughout the dry ingredients using a pastry blender, fork, or two knives in a scissors motion.

Dash: A measurement less than 1/8 teaspoon.

Dot: To distribute small amounts of margarine or butter evenly over the surface of pie filling or dough.

Drizzle: To drip a glaze or icing over food from the tines of a fork or the end of a spoon.

Dust: To sprinkle lightly with sugar, flour, or cocoa.

Flute: To make or press a decorative pattern into the raised edge of pastry.

Fold in: To gently combine a heavier mixture with a more delicate substance, such as beaten egg whites or whipped cream, without causing a loss of air.

Knead: To fold, push and turn dough or other mixture to produce a smooth, elastic texture.

Score: To cut slits in food with a knife, cutting partway through the outer surface.

Soft peaks: Egg whites or whipping cream beaten to the stage where the mixture forms soft, rounded peaks when the beaters are removed.

Stiff peaks: Egg whites beaten to the stage where the mixture will hold stiff, pointed peaks when the beaters are removed.