Wok this Way! (Part 1 of 5)

Written by Helen Fan


Woks have been synonymous with Chinese cooking sincerepparttar emergence of Chinese cuisine. They have been used for some 3000 years in China for a variety of cooking methods, including stir frying, boiling, and steaming. A wok is a large, thin-walled, round-bottomed, metal cooking pan, and shaped like a shallow bowl with handles. The addition of a wooden rack and cover transformsrepparttar 148997 wok into a steamer. Although woks come in sizes ranging from 10 to 32 inches in diameter, a wok that's 11 to 14 inches should suffice for use in a household kitchen.

Withrepparttar 148998 increasing popularity of Chinese cuisine, there are now many “Westernized” versions ofrepparttar 148999 wok. There isrepparttar 149000 addition of a metal ring, which is set on top of a gas or electric stove to holdrepparttar 149001 wok to prevent tipping. Some have a small flat bottom instead ofrepparttar 149002 traditional round bottom, forrepparttar 149003 same reason. The new versions will getrepparttar 149004 job done, butrepparttar 149005 "traditonal" large round-bottomed woks are still, by far,repparttar 149006 preferred wok of choice.

Sincerepparttar 149007 essence of Chinese cuisine

High Altitude Baking

Written by Lauren Danver

High altitude baking can be a real adventure forrepparttar cook, with a number of challenges to keep you on your toes. The higher you are in elevation,repparttar 148954 less pressure there will be. How does this affect your baking creations? Low air pressure creates increased evaporation of liquids duringrepparttar 148955 baking process and this can cause your cakes to fall. Baking at high altitudes means a few more adjustments so that your baked goods will come out perfectly, ready to temptrepparttar 148956 finest of taste buds.

Start by followingrepparttar 148957 high altitude recipes byrepparttar 148958 letter. For some bakers, this will work out fine. For others, changes will be necessary. Begin with making adjustments to your oven temperature by 15 - 25 degrees F. Next, adjustrepparttar 148959 ingredients in your recipe. For cakes that are supposed to rise, using either yeast or baking powder, you will need to make some changes.

If you are using yeast during high altitude baking you will have to make sure thatrepparttar 148960 dough rises slowly. For cakes using baking powder make certain not to over-beatrepparttar 148961 eggs. You will also have to decreaserepparttar 148962 amount of baking powder used.

A decrease in atmospheric pressure will cause gases to expand easier. For your lovely meringue toppings, meringue (angel) pie shells, angel and sponge cakes, followrepparttar 148963 following suggestions: Whiprepparttar 148964 egg whites to medium-soft peaks instead of stiff peaks. Add more stiffening with a bit more flour and a bit less sugar. Also, with your increase in oven temperature by 25 degrees F,repparttar 148965 batter will have a better chance to set beforerepparttar 148966 air bubbles or leavening gases haverepparttar 148967 chance to become too expansive.

When preparing puddings and cream-pie fillings above 5,000 feet, using a double boiler will not provide you withrepparttar 148968 maximum gelatinization of starch. You can simply use direct heat rather than a double boiler.

High altitude will affectrepparttar 148969 rising time of breadrepparttar 148970 most. At high altitudes,repparttar 148971 rising period will be shortened. To maintainrepparttar 148972 development of a good flavor in your breads, you will need to preserverepparttar 148973 longer rising period. Punchrepparttar 148974 bread dough down twice to giverepparttar 148975 time forrepparttar 148976 flavor to develop. Remember that flours tend to be drier and able to absorb more liquid in high, dry climates. Use less flour when bringingrepparttar 148977 dough torepparttar 148978 proper consistency. You may want to experiment a bit with this for best results.

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