It was the morning of taking turns at Grandpa and Grandma’s house. The wait can be long when you are 2-1/2, but it was his turn now! Snuggly wrapped in bright cheery holiday colors and reposing underneath the Christmas tree was a box just for our lovable Little Sir. When the festively wrapped box was passed for unwrapping, he tore off the seasonal paper and started smiling upon seeing the image pasted on that rectangular box—adventure within! Little Sir was now an official architect! Brown sticks of wood with supplies necessary to build an “official” cabin were at his disposal. Lincoln Logs were dumped out of the box. Let the building begin!
You know, Dear Readers, the art of baking is akin to being an architect. Just like Little Sir, he had the “ingredients” and instructions at hand to create his mind’s image of a log cabin. We, on the other hand, have a plethora of ingredients available to us for mixing and stirring to create bakery treats from a well-seasoned favorite cookbook recipe or a new appealing mouth-watering dessert recipe that is pictured on the cover of the latest grocery store checkout magazine.
Now I don’t know about you, Dear Readers, but my talents lend themselves much better to baking than to building houses! But regardless of that, it still takes the necessary supplies to help turn out excellence from your lovin’oven!
So what are the purposes of all those ingredients that may be required in a recipe?
First a strong foundation is needed. The protein building blocks within flour, egg whites, and even milk are just what the doctor ordered here.
Why do we need sugar, oil, and egg yolks, you might ask? Think of those as the footprint of design including roof and walls of your masterpiece. They add award-winning qualities of tenderness, flavor, and moisture.
So what’s the skinny about using milk in a recipe? Actually, the skinny is that the fat found in whole milk is the go-to-milk in baking. It, along with sugar, perform all the functions of the aforementioned ingredients. Their work qualifications include tenderizing, moistening, and flavoring. Just as the outside color of a house and its surrounding landscaping provide a first glimpse, sugar and milk create a beautiful golden outside color to the crust of baked goods, adding that curb appeal that draws the eye to a master-builder creation.
So, Dear Readers, the next time you start to measure and mix your next baked culinary treat, remember the contribution each building-block ingredient plays in the finished product. You might just win the “Bakery Builder of the Week” award as your family and friends enjoy the delish you created!