Active Dry Yeast - Tiny dehydrated granules of yeast that are in a dormant phase until they are exposed to water.
Al Dente - To cook a food, such as a pasta, until it is firm to the bite, or chewy.
Bake - Cook in oven surrounded by dry heat.
Baker's Yeast - Yeast used for raising bread, typically from the taxonomic group Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Base - A flavored starter product made by cooking a stock down to a thick concentrate. Bases are used in small quantities to add flavor to soup, sauces, and stocks. Bases can be made ahead of time for later use.
Baste - To moisten meats or other foods with meat drippings, water, fruit juice, melted fat, or sauce during cooking to prevent surface drying and to add flavor.
Batter - An uncooked mixture of flour, eggs, and liquid with other ingredients; think enough to be spooned or poured.
Batter Bread - A yeasted bread that is not kneaded but stirred vigorously. The very thick but pourable batter produces a coarser crumb than a kneaded bread.
Bias - To cut diagonally, across the grain.
Beat - To whip with a spoon, hand beater, or electric mixer for the purpose of combining food or incorporating air in the mixture.
Biscuit - A small cake of shortened bread leavened with baking powder or soda.
Blanch - To put food in cold, unsalted water, bring to a boil, skim, simmer a few minutes, and then drain. Vegetables are often blanched before freezing to destroy the enzymes that can cause them to deteriorate.
Bleached Flour - Flour processed with a "bleaching agent." Fresh ground wheat flour does not result in consistently good products. Over time, flour ages and whitens and within several months it produces a better product. To hasten the improvement process, modern flour mills bleach and age flour chemically through the addition of tiny amounts of a bleaching agent.
Blend - To mix two or more ingredients until they are so thoroughly combined that they lose their separate identities.
Bloom - Refers to the way the top of bread opens up during baking along the cuts made in the top crust. The cutting creates "ears" (flaps of dough that rise up from the loaf and crisp up).
Boil - Heat liquid until bubbles rise continuously and break on the surface and steam is given off. For a rolling boil, the bubbles form rapidly.
Boiling Water Bath - A process that involves cooking covered jars in a covered bath of boiling water, with the water completely covering the jars.
Bouillon - Seasoned stock.
Braise - To cook whole or large pieces of poultry, game, fish, meat, or vegetables slowly with a small amount of wine, stock, or other liquid in a covered container.
Bread - A staple food made from flour or meal mixed with other dry and liquid ingredients, usually combined with a leavening agent, and kneaded, shaped into loaves, and baked.
Bread Flour - A special flour, higher in gluten, that can be used for making yeast breads by hand; recommended for use in a bread machine.
Break and Shred - The portion of the loaf between the top and the sides that shreds somewhat during baking. Ideally it should be even around the loaf.
Brewer's Yeast - An inactive yeast product that is a by-product of beer making and is specially processed to be a nutritional supplement for humans.
Broil - To cook by broiler or any other method of direct heat.
Broiling Temperature - 525 degrees Fahrenheit.
Broth - The water in which meat, fish, or vegetables have been boiled.
Brown Sauce - A beef-stock-based thickening agent.
Butter, Clarified - Produced by melting butter over low heat. When butter is melted, it separates. All the pure butterfat rises to the top and all the water, salt, and solid residues settle to the bottom. The liquid butterfat, skimmed away from the water and solids, is called clarified butter. During ordinary cooking, clarified butter does not burn as easily as ordinary butter.
Butter, Sweet - Unsalted butter.
Butter, Drawn - Produced by heating butter and skimming off froth.
Butter, Whole - Regular solid butter.
Butterfly (Beef or Pork) - Any steak cut horizontally almost through and opened. This is done to make the meat thinner and easier to roll.
Butterfly (Fish) - Fillets from both sides of a fish, connected by a strip of flesh.
Cappellini - A very thin pasta, also referred to as an angel hair.
Caramelize - To heat and stir dry sugar or food containing sugar until it melts and becomes light brown and caramel flavored.
Chop - To cut food into fine pieces with a knife.
Chutney - A highly seasoned relish of fruit, vinegar, spices, etc.
Coat - Cover food evenly with crumbs or sauce.
Compressed Yeast - Fresh (not dried) yeast that is extruded and cut into a cake form. It must be refrigerated at all times and has a relatively short shelf life of 4-6 weeks.
Concasse - To peel off skin and remove seeds, then dice or chop into small pieces.
Consommé - A clear meat broth.
Cool - Allow food to stand at room temperature for a specified amount of time.
Coolrise Dough - A kneaded and shaped dough that is formulated especially to rise in the refrigerator over night.
Core - Remove the center of a fruit. Cores contain small seeds or are woody in texture.
Couscous - A pasta, in tiny irregular pieces.
Creaming - The combining of one or more foods until soft and creamy. The term is usually applied to the mixing of sugar and shortening.
Crumb - Refers to the interior texture, gluten network, tenderness and general feel of a bread. Desirable crumb size and texture varies depending on the product. Kneaded breads are generally fine and even, although when using sourdough starters the product may contain large bubbles. Batter breads generally contain a coarse crumb.
Crumb - To break into very small pieces; crumble.
Crush - Press into very fine particles.
Cube - Cut food into squares, ½-inch or larger, using a knife.
Custard - A sweetened mixture of eggs and milk which is baked or cooked over hot water.
Cut In - Distribute solid fat in dry ingredients until particles are the desired size by crisscrossing two knives, using the side of a table fork, a wire whisk, or by cutting with a pastry blender using a rolling motion.
Cut Up - Cut into small irregular pieces with a kitchen scissors or knife.
Dash - Less than one-eighth of a teaspoon.
Deep Fry - Cook in hot fat that’s deep enough to float the food.
Deglaze - To dissolve semisolid cooking juices or glaze on the bottom of a pan by adding liquid, scraping, and stirring vigorously, while bringing the liquid to a boil. The juices can be used to make gravy or to add to a sauce.
Degrease - To skim grease from the surface of a liquid. If possible, the liquid should be chilled so that fat solidifies. If not, skim off most of the fat with a large metal spoon, then blot the surface of the liquid with a paper towel to remove any remaining fat.
Dice - To cut into cubes approximately one-fourth in size.
Dissolve - Stir a dry ingredient into a liquid ingredient until the dry ingredient disappears.
Dot - Drop small pieces of an ingredient randomly over food.
Doubled in Size - The point to which most doughs are allowed to rise. When a dough has doubled, it is full of air pockets and the gluten has become strong and elastic. The fermentation has generated heat and moisture and has allowed flavors to develop.
Dough - Mixture of flour and liquid with other ingredients (often a leavening); it is stiff but pliable.
Drain - Pour off liquid by putting the food into a strainer or colander that has been set in the sink. If liquid is to be saved, place the strainer in a bowl or other container.
Dredge - To coat, sprinkle, or lightly drag a food through flour or another fine substance.
Drizzle - Pour topping in thin lines from a spoon or liquid measuring cup in an uneven pattern over food.
Dumpling - A small mass of poached dough, often served in the liquid in which it is cooked.
Dust - To sprinkle with a powdery substance, such as sugar or flour.
Egg Wash - A mixture of eggs and liquid, usually milk, used in breading a product for frying. In baking, the term refers to coating dough to produce good color and gloss.
Emulsification - To cream together liquids until particles of oil or fat are evenly distributed.
Enriched Flours - Flour with added niacin, thiamin, riboflavin and iron to compensate for some of the nutrients lost during the milling process. Effective January 1997, the addition of folic acid has also been required.
Fermentation - The anaerobic conversion of sugar to carbon dioxide and alcohol by yeast.
Fettuccini - A pasta, in the shape of flat ribbons.
Fiddleheads - The edible, coiled tips of young ostrich ferns.
Fillet - A boneless, long-shaped cut of meat or fish.
Fines Herbes - Finely chopped herbs, specifically parsley, chives, tarragon, and thyme, mixed together and used as a seasoning.
Fingertip Test - A method used to test if a dough that has risen has "doubled in size." The tips of two fingers are pressed lightly and quickly one-half inch into the risen dough. If the dents stay, the dough has doubled in size.
Flake - Break lightly into small pieces, using fork.
Flambé - Flamed with wine or liqueur.
Flat Top - A loaf of bread with a dome that does not hold up so the dough flattens during baking. Usually caused by too much yeast, too little flour or excess rising time.
Flute - Squeeze pastry edge with fingers to make a finished, ornamental edge.
Fold - To combine ingredients by cutting vertically through the mixture and turning the mixture over.
Fry - Cook in hot fat over moderate or high heat.
Garnish - To decorate with something that adds color or flavor.
Giblet - The edible viscera of a fowl.
Glaze - A mixture that is brushed or sprinkled on the surface of food for color and gloss.
Grate - Rub a hard-textured food against the small, rough, sharp-edged holes of a grater, reducing them to tiny particles.
Grease - Rub the inside surface of a pan with shortening, using a pastry brush, waxed paper, or paper towel, to prevent food from sticking during baking.
Hard Wheat - Wheat, generally grown in northern climates, that is especially suited to bread making because of a high level of the wheat protein, gluten.
Hot Oven - 350-400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Instant Yeast - Instant yeast is a specially processed form of Active Dry Yeast that can be mixed into a dough dry (rather than dissolved) and reduces rising time up to 50 percent. It was developed in the 1980s.
Jelly Bag - A bag made from finely woven material that is suspended over a bowl and used to strain fruit that has been cooked in water before it is boiled with sugar and made into jelly.
Julienne - To cut vegetables into thin strips.
Kitchen Bouquet - A sprig each of parsley, savory, and thyme, one small leaf of sage, and a bay leaf.
Knead - To manipulate with a pressing motion, by folding, and by stretching.
Lasagna - A pasta, in the shape of 2½-inch flat ribbons.
Leavener - A substance used to make baked products lighter by helping them rise. Yeast, baking powder and baking soda are the most common leaveners used by the home baker.
Leeks - A plant (Allium tricoccum) related to onions and leeks, having edible underground stems. Also called ramps.
Linguine - A pasta, in the shape of oval ribbons.
Manicotti - A pasta, in the shape of large diagonally cut tubes.
Marinade - A liquid mixture, usually of vinegar or wine and oil with various spices and herbs, in which meat, fowl, fish, or vegetables are soaked before cooking.
Marinate - To let stand in a specially prepared mixture called a marinade.
Medallion - A circular portion of food, especially a boneless cut of meat.
Millet - A tiny yellow seed that lends texture and flavor to breads. Millet flour is nutritious but low in gluten.
Mince - To cut a food into very small pieces with a knife or mincer.
Mix - Combine ingredients in any way that distributes them evenly.
Moderate Oven - 300-350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mortar and Pestle - A kitchen tool that consists of a bowl (mortar) and a bat-like tool (pestle) that is used to grind spices, herbs and other foods.
Mousse - Any of a variety of light chilled or frozen foods made with egg white, gelatin, whipped cream, etc. and combined with fruit or flavorings for desserts.
Muffin - A small, cup-shaped quick bread, often sweetened.
Mulligatawny - An East Indian soup having a meat or chicken base and curry seasoning.
Nape - To cook a liquid until it thickens enough to coat a metal spoon when it is dipped into it.
Oven Spring - The last, quick rise a bread goes through when a risen dough is first placed in a hot oven.
Overproof - Bread that has been risen too much. It may not hold its dome top or shape and may develop "off" flavors.
Pan Fry - Fry meat or other food, starting with a cold skillet, using little or no fat, and usually pouring off fat from meat as it accumulates during cooking.
Parboil - To cook partially by boiling for a brief period.
Peel - Cut off outer covering, using knife, vegetable peeler, or hands.
Poach - To cook in a hot liquid while retaining the original shape of the food.
Potato Water - The water that potatoes have been boiled in.
Proof - In bread production this term refers to the rising step in bread that is generally done in a climate-controlled "proof box."
Proofing Yeast - To dissolve yeast in warm liquid (¼-cup water) with a little sugar (1 teaspoon sugar) and set it aside for 5-10 minutes until it develops foam on top.
Purée - To make a thick, moist, smooth-textured form of cooked vegetables, fruits, or other foods. This can be done by whipping in a blender or pressing the pulp through a sieve.
Quick Oven - 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ramekin - A small mold for baking and serving an individual portion of food.
Ramps - A plant (Allium tricoccum) related to onions and leeks, having edible underground stems. Also called leeks.
Reduce - To boil away liquid by approximately half to reach a syrup consistency.
Refrigerator Dough - A dough that is not kneaded and is similar to a batter bread except it is risen in the refrigerator. During this time, the flour absorbs the liquid to form a batter/dough. The refrigerator dough makes a soft textured, light bread.
Rest - In bread-making, this refers to a short period (10-20 minutes) after kneading and before shaping when dough is allowed to relax to make shaping easier. This rest time is typically found in bread making methods that involve only one rise.
Riced - Food sieved to the consistency of rice.
Rigatoni - A pasta, in the shape of ridged tubes.
Rise - A stage in the process of making yeast breads where the dough is set in a warm, draft-free place for a period of time (usually an hour or so) while the yeast ferments some of the sugars in the dough, forming carbon dioxide. This causes the bread to grow. A rising period usually lasts until the dough doubles in size.
Roast - To cook slowly by dry heat or in an oven.
Roll - A small rounded portion of bread; a portion of food shaped like a tube with a filling.
Roux - A thickening agent for sauces prepared by cooking flour and melted margarine together until the mixture reaches the consistency of paste, and has a nutty smell. If brown sauce is desired, allow the mixture to brown slightly. If white sauce is desired, do not allow the mixture to brown.
Salt Rising Bread - A bread that was traditional before modern yeast made with a fermented mixture of cornmeal, salt, sugar, flour and water. It is smooth textured and has a tangy flavor and aroma.
Sauté - To cook small pieces of food over high heat in a small amount of fat, while turning the food frequently so that it browns evenly on all sides.
Scald - To heat a liquid to a point just below boiling, when small bubbles begin to form around the edges of the pan.
Score - To make shallow lengthwise and crosswise slits on the surface of food.
Sear - To brown and seal the surface of meat by applying intense heat for a short time.
Searing Temperature - 550 degrees Fahrenheit.
Shirred - To cook (unshelled eggs) by baking until set.
Shred - Cut into long, thin pieces, using round, smooth holes of shredder, a knife, or food processor.
Simmer - To cook food gently in a liquid in which bubbles form slowly and break just below the surface.
Slash - To cut the top of a loaf to allow for expansion of the bread while in the oven. This allows the loaf to bloom as it goes through oven spring at the beginning of baking. It also allows the crust to have more crisp folds of dough and lends aesthetic appeal to the loaf by the design of the cuts.
Slice - Cut into uniform sized pieces.
Slow Oven - 250-300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Smoked - Adding a distinctive smoky flavor to foods by smoking them in a smoker or by substituting a drop or two of liquid smoke.
Soft Peaks - Egg whites beaten until peaks are rounded or curl when beaters are lifted from bowl, while still moist and glossy.
Soften - Let cold food stand at room temperature until no longer hard.
Soft Wheat - A general term for varieties of wheat that contain relatively small amounts of gluten.
Sourdough - A bread with a slightly sour flavor created by using a sourdough starter as all or some of the leavener.
Sourdough Starter - A sourdough starter is a mixture of flour, water and oftentimes, yeast that is allowed to sit in a warm place to allow the yeast to ferment and a sour flavor to develop.
Spider - A type of frying pan that had long legs to hold it up over the coals.
Sponge - A thick mixture of flour, yeast and liquids that is made as the first fermenting step in some yeast bread recipes.
Steam - Cook food by placing on a rack or special steamer basket over a small amount of boiling or simmering water in a covered pan.
Steaming - Cooking in steam with or without pressure.
Stew - To cook slowly in liquid.
Stiff Peaks - Egg whites beaten until peaks stand up straight when beaters are lifted from bowl, while standing moist and glossy.
Stir - To mix food into a uniform consistency by using a utensil in a circular motion.
Stir Fry - A Chinese method of cooking uniform pieces of food in a small amount of hot oil over high heat, stirring constantly.
Stock - A hearty liquid created by boiling poultry, meat, or fish in water with a small amount of vegetables and seasonings.
Straight Dough - A single step method of mixing a dough in which all the ingredients are mixed into a single batch and mixed to develop dough.
Strain - Pour mixture or liquid through a fine sieve or strainer to remove larger particles.
Sweeteners - Any food that adds a sweet flavor to foods. This group includes natural sweeteners such as sugars, corn syrups, honey, molasses and the like, as well as the artificial sweeteners.
Tear - Break into pieces, using fingers.
Thwack - The hollow sound of a perfectly baked loaf just out of the oven.
Timbale - A creamy mixture (meat or vegetable) baked in a mold; also : the mold in which it is baked.
Toss - Tumble ingredients lightly with a lifting motion, such as a salad with greens.
Trussed - To tie or bind securely.
Unbleached Flour - White flour without bleaching or aging agents added to hasten the aging process. This flour whitens as it ages.
Underproof - Bread that is under risen.
Unleavened - Bread or dough product containing no yeast or chemical leavener.
Venison - Deer meat.
Vermicelli - A fine spaghetti pasta.
Very Hot Oven - 450-500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Very Slow Oven - 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
Waffle - A light, crisp batter bread that can be yeast or chemically leavened and made in a waffle iron.
Water Bath - A pan of water large enough to accommodate a small baking pan that is placed in it to bake.
Webbing - The texture or holes in rustic types of bread. Generally bigger and more irregular webbing is considered best.
Whip - To beat to a froth, rapidly increasing the volume of the whipped substance by incorporating air.
Whole Wheat Flour - Wheat flour milled using the entire wheat berry. Unless labeled otherwise, this flour typically works like an all-purpose flour.
Window Paning - This is a test to determine whether or not gluten has developed. Stretch a small piece of dough until it is very thin, thin enough to hold together and light can pass through.
Wire Whisk - For beating eggs, egg whites, and thin batters; stirring puddings, sauces, and gravies to remove lumps.
Wrinkler - A bread whose top does not hold firm because of overproofing, too much yeast or a soft dough.
Yeast - In baking, "yeast" refers to a single-celled fungi in the species Saccharomyces cerevisiae which ferments sugars. The byproducts of this fermentation are principally carbon dioxide and alcohol. The carbon dioxide raises breads.
Yeast Bread - Any bread whose primary leavening action results from the fermentation of sugar by yeast.
Zest - The thin, top layer of the colored peel from citrus fruit.