Vegan baking is definitely a skill we develop with practice. We may not realise but it’s science. Your ingredients and instructions are your formula. Just like a scientific experiment, every variable matters including how we bring our ingredients together. Here is a quick guide to the different methods bakers use.
Folding: Folding is by far my most common method as I make loads of soft textured bakes. It’s always done by hand. You generally use a spatula to fold dry ingredients or airy foams into batters or to combine airy foams into other ingredients. Sometimes I even use a whisk to fold and stir at the same time.
Folding your ingredients protects any air bubbles that were created in the foam or batter to maintain volume. This is what helps our baked goods be light and fluffy.
When folding your ingredients, hold your spatula vertically and cut down through the middle of your batter. Lift the spatula to scoop the ingredients from the bottom up and bring the contents from the bottom to the surface of the batter. Turn your bowl a quarter way around and then repeat this action until the ingredients are just combined. Always do this gently as you don’t want to over mix your batter and release the air.
Stirring: Stirring is the most obvious technique and is done by hand. Depending on the recipe you can use a spoon, spatula or whisk to mix the ingredients together. If you’re baking goods where you require a soft texture, like a cake or cupcake, don’t over stir otherwise you will overdevelop the gluten and it will become tough.
Blending: This method can be done with a blender or handheld tools like a fork depending on the amount of blending and texture required. This method is great for creating smooth sauces, creams or fillings we use in baking.
Creaming: Creaming generally means you’re using a mixmaster to cream your vegan butter and sugar together before you add any other ingredients. Creaming helps the sugar dissolve into the butter and be distributed more evenly through the batter. It also adds air to the butter, helping to create a lighter texture in your baked goods.
Reverse Creaming: This method is when you mix all your dry ingredients together first and then add the butter. The fat coats the flour and delays the development of gluten giving you a more delicate cake crumb. Then you add your remaining wet ingredients.
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