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Baking is a food cooking method that uses prolonged dry heat by convection, rather than by thermal radiation, normally in an oven, but also in hot ashes, or on hot stones. The most common baked item is bread but many other types of foods are baked.
In the food context, baking is a cooking method that involves dry heat applied to food in an oven, resulting in the food being cooked evenly and developing a crispy or crunchy outer layer.
Some examples of foods that are commonly baked include:
- Bread: Baked dough made from flour, water, and yeast or sourdough starter.
- Cookies: Baked sweet treats made from flour, sugar, butter, and eggs.
- Cakes: Baked desserts made from a combination of flour, sugar, eggs, and flavorings such as vanilla extract or chocolate.
- Pies: Baked desserts made with a crust and a sweet or savory filling, such as fruit, custard, or meat.
- Casseroles: Baked dishes made from a combination of ingredients, such as pasta, vegetables, meat, and cheese, that are baked together in a single dish.
- Quiches: Baked savory pies made with eggs, cheese, and vegetables or meat.
Similar cooking methods to baking include:
- Roasting: A dry heat cooking method that is similar to baking but is typically used for larger cuts of meat or whole birds.
- Grilling: A cooking method that uses direct heat from a grill or barbecue to cook food, resulting in a smoky flavor.
- Broiling: A cooking method that involves cooking food under a high heat broiler in an oven, resulting in a crispy outer layer.
- Frying: A cooking method that involves cooking food in hot oil, resulting in a crispy outer layer.
- Steaming: A cooking method that involves cooking food over boiling water, resulting in a moist and tender texture.