What’s the difference between cooking and baking?
If you are new to the kitchen, you may see the term “cooking” and think it covers everything under a broad umbrella. In general, that is true however when it comes to baking there are some major differences. All baking is cooking, however not all cooking is baking.
The way these two were described to me when I was new in the kitchen was that cooking is an art, or expression of flavor that you want to explore, while baking is a science.
Baking is a science?
This may sound a bit confusing to some, but when you truly sit down and think about it, it’s true. In baking, different ingredients such as baking soda, baking powder, yeast, salt, etc. all can cause differences in how your baked goods turn out.
We’ve all baked some cookies before and had them turn out completely flat and paper thin and wondered what we did wrong. Well, in that case, your oven might be too hot which causes the butter to melt extremely fast, causing the entire cookie structure to spread out without the rest of the ingredients having the chance to firm up and form that perfect cookie structure.
Check out this picture from Delish, that shows how slight changes in your recipe can affect the outcome of a cookie!
Cooking as an Expression of Flavor
In simple terms, cooking is a variety of methods of turning raw food ingredients (produce, meat, herbs, etc) and changing them into something that’s not only edible, but delicious and attractive as well.
In most cases, many people may think cooking involves just adding heat to raw food to create its cooked variant. While this is true, the expression of who you are as a cook comes from how you decide to add different herbs and spices to the dish, whether to explore something new, or repeat a favorite flavor.
While there are multiple ways to cook a dish, the different flavors that you infuse into a dish can change a basic recipe into something personal and fulfilling.
Stay tuned over the next few weeks and I’ll share some favorite recipes of my family and friends for you to explore!