The joy of baking

The process of baking involves the use of cooking food using dry heat in an oven for a prolonged period of time.  Food cooked using this method include cakes, cookies, pastries, pies, and breads.  Most dessert and snack items are cooked this way.  Baking sometimes
can be an activity between parents and children in making popular snack items like cookies and brownies.  The children and the adult help each other in making the mixture called cake batter or cookie batter before arranging it in an oven-safe dish (depending on the recipe) before the adult places it in a preheated oven.

Aside from desserts and snacks, meals can also be made this way. A popular dish made by baking is Garfield the cat’s favorite dish – the lasagna, which consists of layering flat and wide lasagna noodles in a dish with meat and/or cheese sauce and topped with cheese before baking (usually until the cheese melts).  Seafood like mussels and scallops may also be baked for delicious appetizers in a party.

Unlike frying, which needs oil or fat to cook the food, baking relies solely on heat to cook the food. It also cooks for a more prolonged period of time.  Such examples are chips and crisps.  Pita bread, for example can be sliced to bite-sized pieces and sprinkled with
parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper before putting it in an oven to make pita chips.  A “healthier” way to cook french fries is also by baking the potato slices with salt and pepper.  However, some cake pans need to be greased with butter and sometimes dusted with flour before pouring the batter to ensure that the cake does not stick to the pan.  That is why some recipes use baking as a “healthier” or “fat-free” alternative to those who want to enjoy their
foods but are under a specific diet program.

Another popular dish made by baking is pizza, which is made by baking a flat, round bread with toppings. It is usually baked in an electric oven.  Some restaurants use a coal-fired brick oven to bake pizza resulting in a crispier crust as the pizza rests directly on hot
bricks or stones.  Conventional pizzas popular today are baked in pans, like pan pizzas or deep-dish pizzas, which may be filled with cheese, ham, spinach, vegetables, or meat.

From appetizer, to main dish, and dessert and some snacks, baking produces a lot of treats that are popular to many of us. It has been a form of recreation too among family members to bond as well as to make delectable treats.

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