Quick FAQ's
Baking Powder: How can I tell if my baking powder is still good?

Baking Powder: What is double acting baking powder?

Corn Starch: What is the basic technique for thickening with corn starch?

Corn Starch: My recipe using corn starch seemed perfectly thickened when it was just cooked, but thinned and was watery after it cooled. What happened?

Extracts: What is the difference between extracts and flavorings?

Freezing Yeast Dough: Can I freeze my dough?

Freezing Yeast Dough: How is freezer dough prepared?

High Altitute Yeast Baking: Should recipes be adjusted for high altitudes?

Measuring: can a dry and liquid measuing cups be used interchangably?

Measuring: How can I get sticky ingredients like honey, peanut butter or corn syrup completely out of the measuring cup?

Measuring: How do I measure flour?

Measuring: How do I measure brown sugar?

Meringues: Sometimes the filling for Lemon Meringue Pie seems to "weep" or water out a little. Is it easy to prevent?

Oven tempurature: Is it really necessary to preheat the oven?

Oven tempurature: Do I use the same temperature in a convection oven as in a traditional oven?

Oven tempurature: How can I tell if my oven temperature is accurate?

Pans: If a recipe calls for a 13 x 9-inch pan, what else can be used?

Pans: As long as the pan size is what the recipe calls for, does it matter what the pan is made from?

Spice & Herb Substitutions: How much dried spice or herb is needed to replace fresh?

Substitutions: Can corn syrup be substituted for brown sugar or granulated sugar in recipes?

Substitutions: Can corn syrup be substituted for honey or molasses?

Substitutions: Can I use sugar substitutions for sugar in yeast recipes?

Substitutions: Can you use corn starch in place of arrowroot, potato starch or all-purpose flour when thickening sauces or gravies, preparing puddings, or making pies?

Substitutions: Can I substitute butter, shortening and oils in a recipe?

Substitutions: Can self rising flour be substituted for all-purpose flour?

Substitutions: Can I substitute baking soda for baking powder in my recipe?

Thermometer: What kind of thermometer should I use for yeast baking?

Water Temperature Guide: What does warm or very warm water mean?

White Whole Wheat Flour vs. Whole Wheat Flour - What is the difference?

Yeast: Can I use expired yeast in my recipe?

Yeast: What is the difference between Instant Yeast, Bread Machine Yeast and RapidRise Yeast?

Yeast: What is the difference between fast-rising yeast (RapidRise/Bread Machine Yeast) and Active Dry Yeast?

Yeast: How do I use Fresh Active Yeast?

Yeast: How do I proof yeast to test for activity?

Yeast Baking: Can any yeast dough be refrigerated?

Yeast Baking: Can I rescue dough that does not rise?

Yeast Substitution: Can RapidRise™ and Bread Machine Yeast be used in Active Dry recipes?

Yeast Substitution: Can Active Dry Yeast be used in RapidRise recipes?

Yeast Substitution: How do I substitute dry yeast for Fresh Active Yeast?

Yeast Substitution: Can Active Dry Yeast be used in bread machines?
FAQ's
Baking Powder: How can I tell if my baking powder is still good?

To test your baking powder to be sure it still has potency, use this easy test! Pour hot tap water into a small bowl or cup. Add a teaspoon of baking powder. The baking powder should immediately begin to fizz vigorously. If it doesn't, or if the fizzing is weak, your baking powder probably won't cause your dish to rise, and needs to be replaced.


Baking Powder: What is double acting baking powder?
Double acting baking powder is what is commonly found in the US today.  It reacts twice – once with liquids and once with heat  - to leaven best!

Corn Starch: What is the basic technique for thickening with corn starch?

The following basic techniques assure good results every time.

* Amount of stirring. Gradually stir cold liquids into corn starch until completely smooth. Continue to stir gently during entire cooking period. When adding ingredients after cooking, remove the mixture from the heat and stir them in quickly and gently. Stirring too vigorously may cause mixture to break down and thin out.

* Temperature. Cook over medium-low to medium heat. Cooking over high heat can cause lumping. If mixture contains egg, high heat may curdle it.

* Cooking time. Stirring constantly, bring mixture to a full boil and boil 1 minute. After boiling 1 minute, the starch granules will have swelled to their full capacity, causing the mixture to thicken. Significantly overcooking thickened mixtures such as puddings, pies and cake fillings may cause mixture to thin out as it cools.


Corn Starch: My recipe using corn starch seemed perfectly thickened when it was just cooked, but thinned and was watery after it cooled. What happened?

Corn starch mixtures that don't thicken at all, or thicken during cooking, then thin out during cooling are disappointing to say the least! One or more of the following may have caused the problem.

* Too Little Liquid: If there is not enough liquid (water, milk, juice) in the mixture, the corn starch granules will not fully swell and remain thickened when the mixture cools. Adding a little more liquid (not more corn starch) is likely to solve the problem.

* Too Much Sugar: A higher proportion of sugar than liquid (water, milk, juice) in a mixture can interfere with the swelling of the corn starch granules and prevent thickening during cooking and/or cause thinning during cooling. Adding more liquid (not more corn starch) will often solve the problem.

* Too Much Fat: An excessively high proportion of fat or egg yolks in a mixture can interfere with the swelling of the corn starch granules and prevent thickening during cooking and/or cause thinning during cooling. Adding more liquid (not more corn starch) will usually solve the problem.

* Too Much Acid: Acid ingredients such as lemon juice, lime juice or vinegar will reduce the thickening ability of the starch or prevent the mixture from thickening. Increase the starch level slightly or stir acid ingredients in after cooking.

* Too Much Stirring: Excessive or rough stirring with a wire whisk or even a spoon may break the starch cells and cause the mixture to thin out.

* Excessive Cooking: Simmering or boiling a corn starch thickened mixture for an extended period of time may cause the starch cells to rupture and the mixture to thin.

* Tasting: The digestive enzymes in a person's mouth will cause a properly thickened mixture to thin dramatically in just a few minutes. Be sure to use a clean spoon when tasting a corn starch thickened mixture to correct the seasoning.

* Freezing: Freezing corn-starch thickened mixtures will rupture the starch cells and cause the mixture to thin out.


Extracts: What is the difference between extracts and flavorings?

Extracts must contain the natural flavor.  Flavorings or imitation extracts may contain imitation or artificial flavors. 


Freezing Yeast Dough: Can I freeze my dough?

For best results, use only specially developed freezer dough recipes. Freezer dough recipes are high in yeast and sugar and low in salt. Bread flour is recommended. Other flours do not hold up well. Lean dough, such as pizza, freeze better than rich dough.


Freezing Yeast Dough: How is freezer dough prepared?

After kneading, flatten dough into a disk and wrap airtight, in a freezer-proof plastic bag for up to 4 weeks. When ready to use, thaw at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Once thawed, remove dough from bag; shape, let rise, and bake as directed. To shape before freezing, cover kneaded dough and let rest 20 minutes. Shape as desired and freeze as quickly as possible.


High Altitute Yeast Baking: Should recipes be adjusted for high altitudes?

Yes. But there are no exact rules for adjusting yeast breads at high altitudes. Altitude affects the ingredients and the entire breadmaking process. We suggest these general guidelines for baking above 3,000 feet.

•Because atmospheric pressure is lower and leavening gases expand more quickly, yeast dough rises 25 to 50 percent faster at high altitudes. Begin checking the dough halfway through the rising time listed in the recipe. Continue to check frequently.

•Flour tends to be drier and absorbs more liquid at high altitudes. Therefore, it is very important to store flour in an airtight container.

•When mixing the dough, you may need less flour than called for in the recipe. To compensate, add flour slowly and work in only enough to make the dough easy to handle. Because recipes call for varying amounts of flour, there is no standard measurement for reducing flour.

•If dough is slightly sticky during kneading, use greased instead of floured hands. This way, you won't knead in too much flour

•Dough dries out faster at high altitudes. To prevent drying, grease or lightly oil the exposed part of dough (whether in a bowl, on a board, or in a baking pan) and cover with greased plastic wrap instead of a towel.

•Baking temperature and time should not change at high altitudes, but check for browning at the shorter time listed and use traditional doneness tests

•Just as dough dries out faster at high altitudes, so does the finished product. Store cooled bread in airtight plastic wrap, bags, or containers.

•If you are using a bread machine at high altitude, refer to the manufacturer's instruction book. Since flour may dry out faster at high altitudes, you may need to adjust the ratio of liquid to flour. Experiment by reducing the amount of yeast, flour or sugar (yeast feeds on sugar), and/or adding liquid or a little gluten. Or try a shorter baking cycle, such as rapid bake, if available.

Conventional Oven

Problem

 

Solution

Strong yeast odor

  

Avoid over-fermentation Be sure dough is doubled in size (use finger-top test)

Sour taste

  

Avoid adding too much salt Make sure yeast used is fresh

Odd or uneven shape

  

Let dough rest for 10 minutes for easier handling/shaping Be sure bread pan is correct size for recipe

Crust cracked on top

  

Reduce flour used in kneading and shaping

Bread collapsed

  

Don’t let dough continue to rise beyond time called for in recipe Avoid too high temperature for dough-rising period

Flat top

  

Knead as directed in recipe Avoid too short kneading period Do not allow dough to rise too long before baking

Wrinkled crust

  

Pull dough firmly when shaping

Soggy crust

  

Do not keep bread in pan after baked Remove promptly; let cool on wire rack

Crust separates from bread

  

Grease surface and cover dough when rising

Thick crust

  

Do not overbake Bake in correct oven temperature Keep dough ‘tacky’, not dry

Tough crust

  

Use all-purpose flour or bread flour

Bread did not brown on sides

  

Shiny pans reflect heat, causing insufficient browning Use glass pans


Measuring: can a dry and liquid measuing cups be used interchangably?

For accuracy, we recommend dry ingredients such as flour be measured in a dry measuing cup.  This is so it can be leveled off.  However, dry and liquid measuring cups can be interchanged for each other if only one set is available.  However, we strongly recommend having 2 sets of measuring cups - one dry measuring set and one liquid cup.


Measuring: How can I get sticky ingredients like honey, peanut butter or corn syrup completely out of the measuring cup?

Spray measuring cups and spoons with cooking spray before using for accurate measuring and easy clean up.


Measuring: How do I measure flour?

Stir flour to fluff before measuring and spoon into dry-cup measure until overflowing.  Level off with a straight edge such as a knife.


Measuring: How do I measure brown sugar?

Brown sugar is always packed into a dry- cup measure.  Even if the recipe does not specify to pack the brown sugar, it is assumed the brown sugar will be packed when measured. 


Meringues: Sometimes the filling for Lemon Meringue Pie seems to "weep" or water out a little. Is it easy to prevent?

Weeping or the release of water is usually a sign of slight undercooking. In the early stage of cooking, the water is held rather "loosely" by the corn starch granules, and when the mixture cools, the water simply runs out. It's simple to stop weeping. Just be sure to bring the corn starch mixture to a full boil over medium heat and, stirring constantly, boil for 1 minute. It might be helpful to set a timer or watch the second hand on the clock for a minute.


Oven tempurature: Is it really necessary to preheat the oven?

YES!  Baked goods simply don’t turn out as well when placed in a cooler oven.  Waiting until the oven is at the recommended temperature will ensure the dish will look and taste like it should.  Also, placing the dish in a preheated oven will mean the recommended baking time will be accurate.


Oven tempurature: Do I use the same temperature in a convection oven as in a traditional oven?

Set your convection oven 25 degrees lower than what the recipe calls for.  Reduce baking time by about 25%. 


Oven tempurature: How can I tell if my oven temperature is accurate?

Place an oven thermometer in the center of the oven.  Heat to desired temperature and check thermometer.  Once preheated, the oven temperature and the temperature displayed on the thermometer should match.


Pans: If a recipe calls for a 13 x 9-inch pan, what else can be used?

Two 8-inch square pans can be substituted for a 13 x 9-inch baking pan. 


Pans: As long as the pan size is what the recipe calls for, does it matter what the pan is made from?

Yes.  If using glass pans, lower the oven temperature by 25 degreees and bake for the time called for in the recipe.  Also, dark colored pans will brown food more quickly than light colored pans. 


Spice & Herb Substitutions: How much dried spice or herb is needed to replace fresh?

Use 1/3 as much dried spice or herb as fresh. 


Substitutions: Can corn syrup be substituted for brown sugar or granulated sugar in recipes?

Although corn syrup and granulated sugars are both sweeteners, it is not possible to use them interchangeably in recipes. Because corn syrup is a liquid, it cannot be substituted for granulated sugar without adjusting other ingredients particularly in baked goods. For best results, follow recipes developed especially for corn syrup. In sugar sweetened beverages, however, it's easy to experiment with corn syrup as a ready-blending substitute.


Substitutions: Can corn syrup be substituted for honey or molasses?

While acceptable in some recipes, this is generally not recommended as the finished product will have different flavor characteristics.


Substitutions: Can I use sugar substitutions for sugar in yeast recipes?

Use at least 2 teaspoons sugar for food for the yeast to get growing.  You can use artificial sweetners for the remaining amount of sugar called for in the recipe.


Substitutions: Can you use corn starch in place of arrowroot, potato starch or all-purpose flour when thickening sauces or gravies, preparing puddings, or making pies?

Corn starch has the same "thickening power" as arrowroot, potato starch and tapioca, and you should substitute the same amount. Corn starch has twice the "thickening power" of flour, so it's necessary to use only half as much. Example: If recipe calls for 1/4 cup of flour, use just 2 tablespoons corn starch.


Substitutions: Can I substitute butter, shortening and oils in a recipe?

In some savory recipes, these ingredients can be substituted successfully.  However, in many recipes, this substitution will not be satisfactory because of the resulting change in flavor and texture.  This substitution works best when only a small amount of fat is called for.


Substitutions: Can self rising flour be substituted for all-purpose flour?

No.  Self rising flour contains baking powder and salt.  However, if a recipe calls for self-rising flour and you have all purpose flour, you can easily make your own.  For each cup of self rising flour needed, combine 1 cup all-purpose flour with 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. 


Substitutions: Can I substitute baking soda for baking powder in my recipe?

No! Baking powder and baking soda are not interchangeable.


Thermometer: What kind of thermometer should I use for yeast baking?

Use a "stick" or probe style kitchen thermometer, that can be purchased at discount stores or larger grocery stores.  You can also use a meat thermometer or a candy thermometer.


Water Temperature Guide: What does warm or very warm water mean?

While using a thermometer is always best, this guide may help:  Room Temp = 75˚ to 80˚F, Luke Warm Water = Room Temp = 75˚ to 80˚F, Warm Water = 100˚ to 110˚F, very warm water = 120˚ to 130˚F. The kill point for yeast is 140˚F.  Also, water boils at 212˚F.


White Whole Wheat Flour vs. Whole Wheat Flour - What is the difference?

White wheat is a different variety of wheat than red wheat (which is what "traditional" whole wheat comes from in the US).  White wheat has not only a lighter color, but a milder flavor.  So, for kids and adults used to eating white, refined bread, this may seem more acceptable than whole wheat products made with red wheat.  White whole wheat flour IS a whole grain, because it contains the bran, germ and endosperm of the grain, just like traditional whole wheat flour.  The fiber, mineral and vitamin content of white whole wheat is similar, but not identical to red whole wheat.  The research so far indicates that antioxidants and phenols (natural compounds in both types of wheat) are a bit lower in white wheat.  However, it is very clear that white whole wheat bread is certainly more nutritious than refined white bread.   

As for baking, use a cup for cup substitution between whole wheat flour and white whole wheat flour.  When substituting white whole wheat flour for all-purpose flour, start by substituting half the all-purpose flour with white whole wheat flour.  You may be able to add more and still come out with the same result as when using all-purpose flour.  However, both white and traditional whole wheat flour, is heavier and more dense than all-purpose flour. 


Yeast: Can I use expired yeast in my recipe?

For best results, buy and use yeast before the expiration date. Yeast loses its potency as it ages, resulting in longer rising times. If you have Active Dry Yeast, you can proof it to determine whether it is still active.  To proof, measure 1/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°F), add 1 envelope yeast (2-1/4 teaspoons) and 1 teaspoon sugar.  Let stand 5 to 10 minutes.  If the yeast is foamy, it is good to use.  If not, discard. 


Yeast: What is the difference between Instant Yeast, Bread Machine Yeast and RapidRise Yeast?

Mainly names, but these are all the same yeast! Use interchangeably.


Yeast: What is the difference between fast-rising yeast (RapidRise/Bread Machine Yeast) and Active Dry Yeast?

RapidRise and Bread Machine Yeast are different strains than Active Dry Yeast. RapidRise and Bread Machine Yeast are grown with a higher level of nutrients and are dried to lower moisture content. The particle size of RapidRise and Bread Machine Yeast are finely granulated to allow complete hydration of the yeast cells during the mixing process. The Active Dry Yeast larger particle size should be dissolved in water to achieve complete hydration prior to adding to the mixer. In addition, RapidRise and Bread Machine Yeast contain ascorbic acid resulting in increased loaf volumes.


Yeast: How do I use Fresh Active Yeast?

Fresh Active Yeast is the product that Fleischmann's has been manufacturing for over 130 years. It is also traditionally known as compressed or cake yeast. It has not undergone the drying process, so it does not need to be dissolved before use: soften the cake in warm water first OR simply crumble the yeast into dry ingredients (if directed by recipe). Fresh yeast requires two rises. Yeast is available in two different sizes: 0.6 ounces and 2 ounce household cakes.  Please note that this form of yeast is only available in limited markets. 


Yeast: How do I proof yeast to test for activity?

To proof Active Dry Yeast or fresh yeast, add 1 teaspoon sugar to 1/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°F). Stir in 1 envelope yeast (2-1/4 teaspoons); let stand 10 minutes. If the yeast foams to the 1/2 cup mark, it is active and you may use it in your recipe. Proofing is not recommended for RapidRise™ yeast.

Active Dry Yeast

RapidRise Yeast

Dissolve yeast in ¼ cup warm   (100-110˚F) water before using. Always use a thermometer to check   temperature.

Add yeast to dry ingredients.

“Proofing” (checking if yeast is   active) is not needed; it’s nearly 100% active thanks to modern production   and packaging.*

Proofing not needed.

Add dissolved yeast to other   ingredients according to recipe instructions.

Add liquids heated to 120˚F to   130˚F and follow recipe instructions. Always use a thermometer to check   temperature.

For most doughs:

1. Knead; let rise until double

2. Shape; let rise until double

3. Bake.

For most doughs:

1. Knead; let rest 10 minutes

2. Shape; let rise until double

3. Bake.

Don’t use in recipes calling for   Rapid Rise yeast. (Yeast won’t dissolve properly, and water is too hot.)

May use in recipes calling for   Active Dry yeast. (However, rise may be slightly less.)

This yeast may be substituted for   the Fresh Cake Yeast. The small cake yeast (.6 oz) is equal to 1 envelope of   dry yeast. The large cake yeast (2 oz) is equal to 3 envelopes of dry yeast.

This yeast is the same as Bread   Machine Yeast and Instant Yeast. (Instant Yeast is the a 1 pound package of   Fleischmann’s Yeast sold at Sam’s Club.)

Comes in both an envelope and a   jar. Active Dry Yeast has a red bar at the bottom of the label.

Comes in both an envelope and a   jar. RapidRise Yeast has a blue bar at the bottom of the label.

“*Proofing has traditionally been   done by dissolving yeast in ¼ cup warm (100-110˚F) water, stirring in 1   teaspoon sugar and waiting 10 minutes. The mixture should foam and double in   volume.”

 

Yeast Baking: Can any yeast dough be refrigerated?

Any dough can be refrigerated for a few hours to inhibit rising if the leavening process is interrupted. Long refrigeration is not recommended unless specified in the recipe. For best results, choose recipes specifically formulated for the refrigerator. Refrigerator doughs have more sugar and less salt than regular dough to keep the dough viable in the refrigerator. Refrigerator doughs are particularly good for rich, sweet doughs, as less flour is used. Refrigerator doughs are typically not kneaded. They become stiffer and easier to shape after refrigeration.


Yeast Baking: Can I rescue dough that does not rise?

Dough can be 'revitalized' with a fresh sample of Active Dry or RapidRise Yeast. 1. For each envelope of yeast in the recipe, combine in a large, warm bowl: 1/4 cup lukewarm water (100° to 110°F), 1 teaspoon sugar and one envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) of yeast. Stir to dissolve. 2. With an electric mixer, slowly beat in small (walnut size) pieces of dough until about 1/2 of the dough is mixed into the yeast. 3. With a spoon, stir in the remaining dough. Knead in just enough flour so the dough is not sticky. 4. Let rise, shape and bake as directed in the recipe.


Yeast Substitution: Can RapidRise™ and Bread Machine Yeast be used in Active Dry recipes?

Yes. Simply follow the One-Rise Method detailed on every package. For best results, add undissolved RapidRise or Bread Machine Yeast to dry ingredients first. Add liquids and fat heated to 120°to 130°F. To use the traditional Two-Rise Method, add sugar to water before stirring in Yeast.


Yeast Substitution: Can Active Dry Yeast be used in RapidRise recipes?

Yes, but with limitations. The Active Dry has larger granules and it is necessary to dissolve completely for the yeast to work. Therefore, Active Dry works best if dissolved in warm water (100° to 110°F). To use the electric mixer method, combine yeast with 1/4 to 1/3 of the flour and other dry ingredients.


Yeast Substitution: How do I substitute dry yeast for Fresh Active Yeast?

First determine the amount of dry yeast you will need. One .6 ounce cake is equivalent to 1 envelope (2-1/4 teaspoons) of dry yeast. One 2-ounce cake is equivalent to three envelopes of dry yeast. Follow the directions on the package recommended for the type of yeast you substitute.


Yeast Substitution: Can Active Dry Yeast be used in bread machines?

Bread Machine Yeast is a fast-rising yeast specially formulated for bread machines. It is finely granulated to hydrate easily when combined with the flour. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is added to promote good loaf volume and structure. Active Dry Yeast may be used but may not yield optimal results.