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  • The Deal with Bread Dough
    The Deal with Bread Dough

    Different types of doughs require different techniques, and sometime familiarity with one dough's method takes you down the wrong path with another type of dough.

  • Cream of the Crop
    Cream of the Crop

    What is Culinary Cream, and is there a good substitute for adding to hot or acidic liquids?

  • How Eggs Provide Lift
    How Eggs Provide Lift

    Adding an egg to a cake mixture will tend to cause the cake to rise more. What is it about eggs that provide lift, even without making a foam?

  • Salt: Pasta and Water

    We salt our pasta water because our pasta is unsalted, but why is our pasta unsalted?

  • It's Only Mostly Cooked

    The techniques of blanching and parboiling seem awfully similar. Are they the same?

  • Saucy Lumps, and How to Avoid Them

    Lumps in a sauce are the sign of a cook who isn't your grandmother, and is therefore an inferior cook. Learn to avoid the lumps, and be ready for a better comparison at holiday meals.

  • The Why of the Wooden Spoon

    Recipes sometimes specify using a wooden spoon. What's wrong with plastic?

  • Slow Cooking Secrets

    Too often the results of a night of slow cooking are a grey, gooey mess. If you're making oatmeal, that's not so bad, but for most things, it's icky. Here are some tricks to slow cooking success.

  • A New Method for Panna Cotta

    A reader runs across a new method for making panna cotta, but it seems vaguely familiar in a different context.

  • Ginger ale, ginger beer

    What's the difference between ginger ale and ginger beer, and is there really such a thing as a "ginger beer plant"?

  • Mashed potato textures

    Potatoes processed with a ricer have a different texture than those processed with a mixer. Why?

  • Cucumber Preservation

    Though it's not the best for the environment, there are reasons to wrap cucumbers in plastic.

  • Less Moist: Dehydration at Home

    Sometimes you get a bounty of tasty food that you want to preserve, but you don't want to take up all that freezer space and you've canned about as much as you're going to can. Do you buy a specialty machine to do that, or are there other options?

  • How Baby Carrots are Made

    There are no storks, but baby carrots often have to go a ways to get to your home

  • Why is Spicy Food Spicy?

    Some foods are a little spicy, and some are really, really spicy. What causes the spiciness and why?

  • Steak vs. Hamburger

    If beef is beef, why is it safe to have a rare steak, but not a rare hamburger?

  • Chef vs. Cook

    What is the difference between a chef and a cook? Should you feel bad if you are one and not the other?

  • Under Pressure

    Pressure cookers speed up cooking by increasing pressure inside the pot, thus raising the temperature of the food inside. So why are they also affected by high-altitudes?

  • Freezer Burn

    A surprising find in a freezer and why it's safe from dehydration

  • Is "Cheese Food" Either?

    There are things masquerading as cheese in grocery stores all across America. Are these things cheese, especially the cheese that is named for our country?

132 posts

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