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8 Baking Terms Every Cook Should Know

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8 Baking Terms Every Cook Should Know

Not everyone has a knack for baking and following a recipe in a cookbook isn't always a guarantee that things will turn out great. If you've ever been confused about baking terms like bain-marie or aren't really sure what proofing the dough means then allow us to help you navigate the world of baking a little better.

Behold our quick guide to eight essential baking terms and their meaning:


The French name for a water bath. It requires a smaller vessel sitting in a larger one filled half way with hot water. Essential for the gentle cooking of custards.


To heat sugar or a sugar mixture until it changes to a golden brown colour.

You'll see this in flan recipes and candy making.


Many cookie and cake recipes call for 'creaming' the butter and sugar, but what does that really mean? To beat until smooth, fluffy and fully incorporated.

Crème Chantilly

The French term for whipped cream.

En croute

The French term for baking something wrapped in dough. For instance, Brie wrapped in puff pastry


To combine gently, usually refers to incorporating egg whites into a mixture. It is done by bringing the spatula through the centre of the mix and back up.

This is typically called for in mousse recipes, sponge cakes and soufflé.


It means to allow dough, such as that for bread or pizza, to rest and rise before baking. This quick one-minute tutorial from Jamie Oliver's Food Tube breaks it all down:

Soft peaks 

This term refers to whipping egg whites until they stand up when the beater is lifted. Beating until stiff peaks means they are very firm and will hold their shape.

Here is a great video tutorial from Everyday Food to help you get the perfect peaks:

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