Due to the repetition of many of the elements in the core cookery units we have combined eight (8) units of competency into an 11 chapter learner guide. The units included in this volume are;
SITHCCC005 – Prepare dishes using basic methods of cookery
SITHCCC006 – Prepare appetisers and salads
SITHCCC007 – Prepare stocks, sauces and soups
SITHCCC008 – Prepare vegetable, fruit, egg and farinaceous dishes
SITHCCC012 – Prepare poultry dishes
SITHCCC013 – Prepare seafood dishes
SITHCCC014 – Prepare meat dishes
SITHCCC019 – Produce cakes, pastries and breads
In this chapter you will learn how to;
Understanding baking ingredients
Prepare yeast based doughs to correct consistency and shape and according to standard recipes
Use cookery methods for cakes, pastries and breads and fillings to achieve desired product characteristics.
Select baking conditions, required oven temperature and bake cakes, pastries and breads.
Cool cakes, pastries and breads in appropriate conditions to retain optimum freshness and product characteristics.
Store reusable by-products of food preparation for future cooking activities.
Producing food products of any kind must be done with care and precision; customers are paying (sometimes) substantial amounts of money for the food they order and they expect it to be of high quality and presented attractively.
In preparing cakes, pastries and breads, however, it is extremely important to be accurate as the ingredient amounts, cooking methods and cooking temperatures must be exactly right in order for the dish to turn out correctly; there is often no margin for error; a cake or soufflé that did not rise cannot be served which means additional time to redo the dish and wasted money.
Understanding baking and ingredients used
Ingredients used in baking cakes, pastries and breads can be different to those used in producing main meals. Breads are normally used as an accompaniment to a main meal while cakes and pastries are used as sweets and desserts.
As with all food products, the quality of the finished dish will depend on the quality of the ingredients. So in order to produce the best possible product, it is important that you understand the ingredients used in these dishes.
Basic ingredients used in baking can include (but are not limited to):
Eggs can be used as another “liquid” in bread, cake or pastry recipes. Eggs add extra protein, colour, richness, and structure (just like the gluten in flour). One extra large egg is equivalent to approximately 1/4 cup liquid so when one or more eggs are added, you need to subtract an equal amount from the other liquids to ensure the dough remains at the right consistency.
Egg whites and yolks can have different purposes, but they can also work together as a team; egg whites can be used as a leavener, as a base for confections such as marshmallows, and as a component in types of icing. They are also the key ingredient in meringues, such as the beautiful topping on a classic lemon meringue pie. Certain lighter baked goods will only call for egg whites.
Egg yolks, on the other hand, can be used to add flavor and color to baked goods, as well as act as a thickening agent in both baked goods and custard–type treats. Certain denser baked goods will only call for egg yolks.
Flour is a powder made by grinding uncooked cereal grains or other seeds or roots (like cassava). It is the main ingredient of bread, which is a staple food for many cultures
Flour contains a high proportion of starches, which are a subset of complex carbohydrates also known as polysaccharides. The kinds of flour used in cooking include all-purpose (or plain) flour, self-rising flour, and cake flour including bleached flour. The higher the protein content the harder and stronger the flour, and the more it will produce crusty or chewy breads. The lower the protein the softer the flour, which is better for cakes, cookies, and pie crusts.
Unbleached flour – is simply flour that has not undergone a bleaching process and does not, therefore, have the pure white colour that you would normally associate with flour.
Bleached flour – has had the wheat germ and bran removed. Bleached flour is any refined flour with a whitening agent added.
Types of flour:
All-purpose flour – All-purpose flour is a blend or hard and soft wheat; with an intermediate gluten level. It can be bleached or unbleached. It is often called plainflour and has no added rising agents. Flour that is bleached naturally as it ages is unbleached, while chemically treated flour is called bleached flour. Bleached flour has less protein than unbleached and is best for pie crusts, cookies, quick breads, pancakes and waffles. Use unbleached flour for yeast breads, Danish pastry, puff pastry, strudel, Yorkshire puddings, éclairs and cream puffs.
Bread flour – Bread flour is white flour made from hard, high protein wheat. It has more gluten strength and protein content than all-purpose flour, but no added rising agent. It is unbleached and sometimes conditioned with ascorbic acid, which increases volume and creates better texture. This is the best choice for yeast products.
Whole-wheat (wholemeal) – flour is made from the whole kernel of wheat and is higher in dietary fibre and overall nutrient content than white flours. It does not have as high a gluten level, so is often mixed with all-purpose or bread flour to make yeast breads.
Cake flour – Cake flour is fine-textured, soft-wheat flour with high starch content. It has the lowest protein content of any wheat flour. The bleaching process leaves the flour slightly acidic so that fat is distributed more evenly through the batter to improve texture. For baked goods with a high ratio of sugar to flour, the flour holds its rise and is less liable to collapse. Excellent for baking fine-textured cakes with greater volume and is used in some quick breads, muffins and cookies.
Pastry flour – Pastry flour is also is made with soft wheat and falls somewhere between all-purpose and cake flour in terms of protein content and baking properties. Use it for making biscuits, pie crusts, brownies, cookies and quick breads. Pastry flour makes a tender but crumbly pastry so do not use it for yeast breads. Pastry flour (both whole-wheat and regular) is not readily available at supermarkets, but you can find it at specialty stores and online.
Self-raising flour – Self-raising flour, sometimes referred to as phosphate flour, is low-protein flour with salt and leavening (a rising agent; generally baking soda) already added. It is recommended for many cakes, biscuits, some quick breads and pastries (liberally mixed with plain flour) but not for yeast breads, pizza dough etc.
Semolina flour – Semolina flour is used in making pasta and Italian puddings, it is made from durum wheat, the hardest type of wheat grown with a high gluten content. Durum flour is finely ground semolina.
Durum flour – Durum flour is made of durum wheat. It has the highest protein content and it is an important component of nearly all noodles and pastas. It is also commonly used to make Indian and Eastern flatbreads.