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Welcome to BBB School Of Baking
Baking Classes and Courses for:
• Housewives
• Men & Woman
• Children
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BBB Bakery Specialists offer:
Basics in bakery training as well as more advanced training such as: basic breads to artisan breads, basic confectionary to more artistic fancy confectionary.
Hands on training in your bakery.
Health and Safety aspects in the baker environment.
Customer Service.
Basic Recipe Costing.
Stock Control & Store Care.
Bakery Layouts.
Is Your Bakery up to standard with Health & Hygiene?
Our Bakery Cleaning service offers you a complete cleaning package of your bakery and store areas.
We will assist you with a total clean-up of your bakery!
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Baking Tips - By Crafty Baking
Healthy Baking takes many forms from baking with low-fat ingredients, addressing specific health problems, or just watching your weight and health. These are my tips for success:

Tip #1:  Measure the Ingredients Properly.  Measure flour by the spoon-and sweep method. This method is becoming a common low-fat technique and many food magazines, such as Cooking Light, use it. Flour settles, and can compact itself in its bag in the long journey from the mill to the grocer to your home. In order to give your baked goods a nice, light crumb, the flour must be aerated. The best place to start is when the flour is measured. If you measure the flour with the scoop-and sweep method (by dipping the cup into the bag and sweeping the excess flour off the top with a knife), you will be baking with compacted flour, and you could end up with a dense, dry baked good.  To measure by the spoon-and sweep method, place the dry measuring cup on a plate or piece of waxed paper (to catch the excess flour). Using a large spoon, stir the flour in the bag or container, and lightly spoon it into the cup until it overflows. Do not pack the flour in the cup. Using a knife (or even you finger), sweep off the excess flour so it is level with the top of the cup.

Tip #2:  Use Certain Equipment. To reduce sticking, always use nonstick pans and muffin tins sprayed with canola or vegetable oil spray. Low-fat batters especially stick to the surfaces of regular baking pans without a nonstick lining. In that case, generously spray with oil. Do not use disposable aluminum foil pans, which absorb the oven heat unevenly and have hot spots. To be sure that your cake unmolds easily from the pan, optionally line the bottom of a nonstick pan with a piece of waxed or parchment paper. Generally, I don't recommend paper muffin liners, as some batters stick to them no matter what you do. If you use them, spray the insides of the
liners with oil. If your cookie sheets don't have a non-stick coating, generously spray or line the pans with waxed paper or baking parchment (no need to spray the parchment paper). I prefer ovenproof glass pie plates. They distribute the heat better than metal ones, and you can look underneath to see how the crust is browning. I also prefer ovenproof glass pans for fruit-based desserts, but you can use nonstick metal ones as well. Although glass manufacturers recommend reducing the oven temperature by 25 degrees F when using their products, I never do it, and my pies and fruit desserts always turn out fine. Generously spray any ovenproof glass pans with oil.
Tip #3:  Do Not Overmix. Even though healthy recipes can be mixed by hand, I use a KitchenAid portable electric mixer to whip the liquid AND sugar ingredients into a froth, called Sarah's Healthy Oven Mixing Method. Almost everyone has one. (The volume of liquid ingredients is too shallow for the beaters of a heavy-duty standing mixer to work properly.) Never use an electric mixer to mix in the flour and dry ingredients. It will overdevelop the gluten, and toughen the baked good. Always stir in the flour with a spoon, just enough to moisten.

Tip#4:  Prepare Oven and Position Pans. Preheat the oven. In any kind of baking, a properly preheated oven is a key to success. It usually takes about twenty minutes for an oven to reach the desired temperature, so be sure to allow enough time. Always double-check the oven temperature with a free-standing oven thermometer. Never believe the temperature on your thermostat dial-these thermostats are notoriously unreliable. The position of the rack is another important point. Before turning on the oven, adjust the rack to position designated for the recipe. Heat rises, and if a cake, for example, is baked in the top third of the oven, it will brown, and possibly burn, more quickly than one baked in the center rack.

Some pastry recipes require a pie to be baked on a baking sheet (it doesn't have to be nonstick)
in the lower third of the oven. In a gas oven, this places the pie plate nearest the source of heat. In an electric oven, place the sheet in the center rack. You don't want the baked good to be too close to the heat source, or it will burn. The hot baking sheet gives the pie dough a flat, solid surface to bake on, which promotes and evenly browned, crisp crust and catches any drips.
When making regular cookies, some people bake two sheets at a time, switching the position of the sheets halfway through baking. This doesn't work with reduced-fat cookies, as the hot air should be encouraged to circulate to brown the cookies evenly, and the second sheet blocks the circulation. Bake cookies one sheet at a time, in the center of the oven. If you have only one baking sheet, line it with parchment paper so you can move quickly to the second batch without having to wash the sheet. However, the sheet should be cooled before using it again. Don't cool cookie sheets by rinsing them under cold water, or they could warp.

Tip#5: Do Not Overbake. It's a major cause of low-fat baking failures, whether you are baking cakes, cookies, or quick breads. Low-fat baked goods may have moist, shiny tops and look underdone, but those looks can be deceiving. Low-fat cake baking has a different set of doneness tests from traditional baking. In full-fat baking, the most common method of testing for doneness is to insert a toothpick or a thin wire cake tester into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean without any unbaked batter clinging to it, the cake is done.
The toothpick test doesn't work with reduced-fat baking, which requires other visual and tactile tests to be sure the baked good is baked through. This also holds for muffins and quick breads. To avoid overbaking, check for doneness at the beginning of the specified time range. Unless specified in the recipe, the top will spring back when gently pressed in the center. The edges are lightly browned and are beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan. 

Some quick breads will develop a large crack running down the top-it's normal. Bake cookies until they are very lightly browned around the edges. The centers may seem underdone, but they will firm upon cooling. 

If the cookies cool and harden onto the sheet, return the sheet to the oven for a few seconds or so until the cookies soften (they won't stick to nonstick sheets). Pie crusts should be baked until golden brown. 

If a pie crust is over-browning before the filing is done (the center should jiggle only slightly when the pie is shaken), protect the crust by covering it with strips of aluminum foil.
Tip#6: Cooling.  Some baked goods are meant to be eaten right out of the pan, and can be cooled in the pan on a wire cake rack. For cake and loaf recipes that require unmolding, place the pan on a wire cake rack and let it stand for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the inside of the pan to release the cake from the sides, and then invert it onto the rack. If the loaf pan has been lined with waxed paper, carefully peel it off the loaf. Turn the loaf right side up and cool completely on the rack. A few cakes and quick breads may sink slightly in the center when cooled. When they are sliced, the indention won't be so noticeable, so don't worry about it. Cool cookies on a wire cake rack.

Tip #7: Storage.  Most reduced-fat baked goods will keep for up to two days at room temperature, wrapped in aluminum foil. Foil works better than plastic wrap or plastic bags, which hold in the moisture. (Because of the moisture-attracting properties of fruit purees, low-fat baked goods can "sweat.") However, cookies keep best in zip-tight plastic bags. You can refrigerate the baked goods if you wish, but most of them are best if served at room temperature. Well wrapped in aluminum foil and placed in a zip-tight bag, they can also be frozen for up to two months. Always cool baked good completely before storing. Store cheesecakes and cream-based pies in the refrigerator.

Decorating Tips - By Crafty Baking
Frosting or icing, fillings and glazes are typically a sweet, sugar-based soft mixture used to fill, coat, add flavor, and improve the appearance and texture, They are used on baked recipes such as cakes, cupcakes, cookies and pastries, or formed and used when decorating as a Crafty Baker, ranging from simple to elaborate. The filling is applied before the frosting or glaze is applied.

In addition to sugar, frosting can contain a combination of other ingredients including butter, milk, water, eggs and various flavorings. It can be cooked (as with boiled icing) or uncooked (as with buttercream), and can range from thick to thin. There are so many choices. The flavors, colors and consistencies should compliment what's inside; one should not overpower the other. Some are cooked, while others can be uncooked, and many can be purchased ready-made from a baking supply store online. Make sure you understand the storage requirements of each.

The goal in frosting or glazing a cake is to put it on smoothly, while keeping the cake crumbs out. It also adds a protective shield that preserves freshness in a baked dessert. Usually two layers of frosting are put on: a crumb coat or a thin layer and a final coat. Sometimes a third icing coat can be applied, if necessary.

After finishing the cake, it will stay fresh at least a couple of days, depending on the type of icing and filling used. Once cut, keep the cut edges of the main cake covered with plastic wrap or waxed or parchment paper. If it contains any perishable items, the cake MUST BE refrigerated, and can only stay out of refrigeration for no more than two hours for food safety reasons.

SARAH SAYS: I personally think cake is better the next day after serving, but maybe that has something to do with the "naughty-ness" of cake for breakfast! :) 

If you have additional questions, please post them in our Bakers Blog, and we will be happy to answer them.

QUESTION: Is it an icing or a frosting?
SARAH SAYS: Here, in South Africa, we commonly refer to these sugary spreads as Icing, but it can get confusing because we also call them frosting. In other countries, icing is the more popular term because confectioners' / powdered sugars are known as icing sugars!
A handful of culinary dictionaries state that frosting and icing are one and the same, but most other sources differentiate the two: They define frostings as relatively thick, sometimes fluffy recipes that are used to fill and/or are spread over a cake. Icings are considered to be typically white, have a thinner consistency and are usually poured or drizzled over cakes, forming smooth, shiny coatings. 

The main requirement for frosting or icing is that it be thick enough to adhere to the item being coated, yet soft enough to spread easily. It has three main functions:

Frosting contributes flavor and richness to the cake. It also adds interest and provides a smooth surface for decorating on;
Frosting improves the cake's appearance. Special occasion cakes become more festive with frosting and decorations; and,
Frosting improves the keeping the qualities of the cake by forming a protective coating around it, sealing in moisture and flavor and allowing it to be eaten over a couple of days.

QUESTION: I have heard the term "crusting" when it comes to icing or frosting. When does it mean?
Crusting means "a hard crisp covering or surface". When an icing has a higher ration of sugar to fat, as it dries, it develops a sugar-crust on the outside. This can happen after the cake is frosted or when the icing sits in the mixing bowl if it isn't covered.

If the icing crusts after applying a "crumb coat" (a thin layer of icing to seal in the crumbs), this will make it easier to apply the finish coating of icing to the cake.

When the icing crusts after coating the cake - I have more control in the borders I choose to finish the cake with, especially borders that requires me to slightly drag the tip to the surface of the cake. If this was an icing that didn't crust - then I must be extremely careful in piping and not make too many mistakes. When an icing crusts, I can easily remove a piped error on the cake.

If I don't cover the bowl with an icing that crusts, then I get hard pieces of icing in the bowl when I stir the icing. Some of this may not smooth-out and thus clog-up my pastry tips. Also, with hard pieces in my finished icing, I won't get a smooth surface when I ice additional cake layers.

It's important to discuss crusting as it can affect the way your icing performs. Also, if I use an icing that crusts, then it has more stability, especially in warm weather. Also, if I am using an icing that crusts, then I can lightly touch the cake without creating a disturbance to the finished look.

Make sure the frosting you use spreads easily because it is soft enough to go on the cake. A stiff frosting will not go on smoothly and you may tear the cake while doing so, creating a lot of unnecessary crumbs and uneven surfaces. It may be too cold to spread, so let it warm to room temperature. Some can be thinned with 3 - 4 tablespoons of corn syrup or milk to thin it down, so it spreads easier. Others may need the addition of more liquid. Also, make sure the icing is SMOOTH (not full of air pockets) or LIGHT (fluffy) for icing the cake.

QUESTION: My icing is starting to thin on the cake. What's causing this?
You may be "playing" with the icing too much and trying to make it too smooth on the cake. Try not and make the cake perfect because you'll start to pop the air bubbles previously beaten into the frosting and it will start to thin and bleed water. That's where you'll start seeing your cake showing through both the frosting and crumb coat layer. To fix, apple a patch of icing with your icing spatula flat against the cake. Let it set a few minutes.

FILLINGS
Anything that goes between the layers of a cake is called the filling. A filling can be inside the cake, if it's rolled up such as for a Jelly Roll Cake, placed inside of a cupcake or sandwiched in between two cookies. Some recipes, such as cakes, use more than one type of filling, such as whipped cream and berries between two layers, or alternating fillings between different layers, such as ganache between some and buttercream between others. Some fillings can also be used to cover the outside of the cake, such as Buttercream.

GLAZES
A coating, as of syrup, applied to food is called a glaze. Glaze can be poured, drizzled or brushed on with a pastry brush on the outside of cakes or cookies or in between cake layers for different looks, called glazing. Once applied, the glaze sets up very quickly, so you only have a small window of time in which to use it.

Cake With?
How much Fondant do I need to cover my cake with?

In addition to sugar, frosting can contain a combination of other ingredients including butter, milk, water, eggs and various flavorings. It can be cooked (as with boiled icing) or uncooked (as with buttercream), and can range from thick to thin. There are so many choices. The flavors, colors and consistencies should compliment what's inside; one should not overpower the other. Some are cooked, while others can be uncooked, and many can be purchased ready-made from a baking supply store online. Make sure you understand the storage requirements of each.

The goal in frosting or glazing a cake is to put it on smoothly, while keeping the cake crumbs out. It also adds a protective shield that preserves freshness in a baked dessert. Usually two layers of frosting are put on: a crumb coat or a thin layer and a final coat. Sometimes a third icing coat can be applied, if necessary.
After finishing the cake, it will stay fresh at least a couple of days, depending on the type of icing and filling used. Once cut, keep the cut edges of the main cake covered with plastic wrap or waxed or parchment paper. If it contains any perishable items, the cake MUST BE refrigerated, and can only stay out of refrigeration for no more than two hours for food safety reasons.
Bi-bi SAYS: I personally think cake is better the next day after serving, but maybe that has something to do with the "naughty-ness" of cake for breakfast! :) 

If you have additional questions, please post them in our Blog , and we will be happy to answer them.

QUESTION: Is it an icing or a frosting?
Here, in the South Africa, we commonly refer to these Icings or butter Icing, but it can get confusing because we also call them frosting or fondant In other countries, icing is the more popular term because confectioners' / powdered sugars are known as icing sugars!

A handful of culinary dictionaries state that frosting and icing are one and the same, but most other sources differentiate the two: They define frostings as relatively thick, sometimes fluffy recipes that are used to fill and/or are spread over a cake. Icings are considered to be typically white, have a thinner consistency and are usually poured or drizzled over cakes, forming smooth, shiny coatings. 

The main requirement for frosting or icing is that it be thick enough to adhere to the item being coated, yet soft enough to spread easily. It has three main functions:

Frosting contributes flavor and richness to the cake. It also adds interest and provides a smooth surface for decorating on;
Frosting improves the cake's appearance. Special occasion cakes become more festive with frosting and decorations; and,
Frosting improves the keeping the qualities of the cake by forming a protective coating around it, sealing in moisture and flavor and allowing it to be eaten over a couple of days.

QUESTION: I have heard the term "crusting" when it comes to icing or frosting. When does it mean?
Crusting means "a hard crisp covering or surface". When an icing has a higher ration of sugar to fat, as it dries, it develops a sugar-crust on the outside. This can happen after the cake is frosted or when the icing sits in the mixing bowl if it isn't covered.

If the icing crusts after applying a "crumb coat" (a thin layer of icing to seal in the crumbs), this will make it easier to apply the finish coating of icing to the cake.

When the icing crusts after coating the cake - I have more control in the borders I choose to finish the cake with, especially borders that requires me to slightly drag the tip to the surface of the cake. If this was an icing that didn't crust - then I must be extremely careful in piping and not make too many mistakes. When an icing crusts, I can easily remove a piped error on the cake.

If I don't cover the bowl with an icing that crusts, then I get hard pieces of icing in the bowl when I stir the icing. Some of this may not smooth-out and thus clog-up my pastry tips. Also, with hard pieces in my finished icing, I won't get a smooth surface when I ice additional cake layers.

It's important to discuss crusting as it can affect the way your icing performs. Also, if I use an icing that crusts, then it has more stability, especially in warm weather. Also, if I am using an icing that crusts, then I can lightly touch the cake without creating a disturbance to the finished look.

Make sure the frosting you use spreads easily because it is soft enough to go on the cake. A stiff frosting will not go on smoothly and you may tear the cake while doing so, creating a lot of unnecessary crumbs and uneven surfaces. It may be too cold to spread, so let it warm to room temperature. Some can be thinned with 3 - 4 tablespoons of corn syrup or milk to thin it down, so it spreads easier. Others may need the addition of more liquid. Also, make sure the icing is SMOOTH (not full of air pockets) or LIGHT (fluffy) for icing the cake.

QUESTION: My icing is starting to thin on the cake. What's causing this?
You may be "playing" with the icing too much and trying to make it too smooth on the cake. Try not and make the cake perfect because you'll start to pop the air bubbles previously beaten into the frosting and it will start to thin and bleed water. That's where you'll start seeing your cake showing through both the frosting and crumb coat layer. To fix, apple a patch of icing with your icing spatula flat against the cake. Let it set a few minutes.

FILLINGS
Anything that goes between the layers of a cake is called the filling. A filling can be inside the cake, if it's rolled up such as for a Jelly Roll Cake, placed inside of a cupcake or sandwiched in between two cookies. Some recipes, such as cakes, use more than one type of filling, such as whipped cream and berries between two layers, or alternating fillings between different layers, such as ganache between some and buttercream between others. Some fillings can also be used to cover the outside of the cake, such as Buttercream.

GLAZES
A coating, as of syrup, applied to food is called a glaze. Glaze can be poured, drizzled or brushed on with a pastry brush on the outside of cakes or cookies or in between cake layers for different looks, called glazing. Once applied, the glaze sets up very quickly, so you only have a small window of time in which to use it.