Food ingredients are substances that form part of a food mixture. These cooking and baking ingredients are food stuff used to make food or to bake certain products. Here is a list of basic kitchen ingredients.
Most ingredients in cooking are derived from living organisms. Ingredients such as vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, herbs, spices, etc, come from plants while ingredients such as meat, eggs, dairy products, etc come from animals. Here are the essential cooking ingredients every kitchen should have:
Basic dry spices: This includes ingredients such as coriander, nutmeg, thyme, curry, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, bay leaves, turmeric powder, oregano, ground red chilli pepper, etc.
Pasta and grains: Different types of pasta such as spaghetti, macaroni, etc, grains like rice, beans, couscous, etc.
Refrigerator-stored ingredients: This includes ingredients such as milk, butter, cream, eggs, juices, sausages, etc.
Condiments: This includes ingredients such as ketchup, vegetable oil, honey, mayonnaise, vinegar, etc.
Vegetables: This includes ingredients such as potatoes, onions, tomatoes, garlic, etc.
Baking is a method of cooking which uses prolonged dry heat normally in an oven. Baking can also be done in hot ashes and on hot stones. Someone who prepares baked goods as a profession is called a baker. Usually, baking needs an enclosed space for heating – typically in an oven whose fuel can be supplied either by wood, coal, gas or electricity. Essential baking ingredients include:
Flour: This is the basic ingredients of most baked good; it is also one of the cheapest ingredients. There are different types of flour: all-purpose flour, bread flour, pastry flour, etc and most home bakers primarily use all-purpose flour. There are certain flours for certain foods, for example, bread flour has higher amount of protein to help the gluten develop in bread, however, and they cannot be used in making cakes and cookies as they will get tough.
Sugar: This is another relatively affordable ingredient. It is better to get finely-granule, light sugar for baking that will easily dissolve. There are different types of sugar and they are plain white sugar, darker sugars like light and dark brown sugar which is capable of absorbing more heat.
Baking powder: These are basically used as leaveners on breads, cakes, cookies, etc. This raising agent is made up of bicarbonate of soda and cream of tartar. Cream of tartar is an acid which activates the bicarbonate of soda causing it to release carbon dioxide and aerate the cake with the addition of moisture.
Salt: As much as salt is important when baking, it is better to avoid salt with iodine when baking.
Vanilla extract: This is an essential flavouring in many sweet baked goods. Its rich flavour enhances other sweet flavours. When getting this, avoid imitation vanilla extract as it is merely a chemical compound with a flatter flavour other than true vanilla.
There are many other baking ingredients such as milk, eggs, butter, vegetable oil, honey, olive oil, vinegar, and many others.
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