Baking & Cooking Terms

In baking there are many terms used in recipes for different cooking or mixing methods. Heres a list of some of the main terms you may come across when baking and an explanation of what they mean to help you with your baking techniques.

Child making cookies

Boil

To cook until liquid is so hot it forms bubbles

Broil

To cook directly under a heating element

Chill

To place in the refrigerator to lower a food's temperature

Chop

To cut into pieces with a sharp knife or chopper

Combine

To mix ingredients together

Cream

To beat until smooth, soft and fluffy

Cube

To cut into 1/4-inch cubes

Cut

To mix a solid fat into a flour mixture with a pastry blender, a fork or two knives

Dice

To cut food into 1/8-inch cubes

Dot

Drop bits of butter or cheese here and there over food

Drain

To pour off liquid

Flour

To coat greased pans or dishes with a fine coat of flour. Shake out extra flour

Fold

To mix gently by bringing rubber scraper down through mixture, across the bottom, up and over top until blended

Fry

To cook in hot fat

Garnish

To decorate a finished dish with colorful food to make it look pretty

Grate

Rub against a grater to cut into small shreds

Grease

To spread the bottom and/or sides of a pan with shortening to prevent sticking

Grill

To cook directly over a heating element or hot coals

Knead

To fold, turn, and press dough with heel of your hand in order to develop the gluten and make dough more elastic

Ladle

To dip and serve liquid with a ladle

Melt

To heat until it liquefies

Mince

To chop or cut into tiny pieces

Mix

To stir foods together

Panfry

To cook in fat in a skillet

Pare

To cut off the outside skin, as from an apple or potato

Peel

To pull off the outer skin, as from a banana or an orange

Pit

To take out the seeds

Roll

Flatten and spread with a rolling pin

Saute

To cook in small amount of fat in a skillet

Scald

To heat milk just below a boiling point. Tiny bubbles will form around the edge

Shred

To cut into very thin strips

Sift

To put dry ingredients like flour through a sifter or sieve

Simmer

To cook in liquid over low heat so bubbles form slowly

Stir

To mix round and round with a spoon

Toss

To mix lightly

Well

A hole made in dry ingredients in which you pour liquid

Whip

To beat with a rotary egg beater or electric mixer to add air