Most of the things i bake taste fine but look...weird?

Discussion in 'Disaster Help' started by biscuiteer, May 17, 2013.

  1. biscuiteer

    biscuiteer Active Member

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    There's this running joke in my family that the things I bake always taste great, but never look right. Unfortunately, it's true. Many of the things I bake --cakes, cinnamon rolls, biscuits, etc-- taste how they're supposed to, but generally don't look how they're supposed to. It either falls apart or bakes into a really weird shape.
    I do use substitutes a lot, mainly substituting oil (olive oil or coconut oil) for butter, since we don't always have butter. I do also use whole wheat flour. Could either of these be the issue, or is the temperature of the oven off? Am I just not shaping the things I bake correctly, or should I stop with the oil substitution? Is there a chance that's it's something else?
    Ha ha, sorry for all the questions, but if anyone has any suggestions, that'd be great. it'd be nice to bake something that is both edible and looks edible.
     
    biscuiteer, May 17, 2013
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    limcid Well-Known Member

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    I think it could be the oil substitutes. I made a loaf of bread (bread oven) and used vegetable oil since I had run out of butter. It tasted fine, but it didn't rise as much as normal and it had a slightly different texture. I don't think I'll be using vegetable oil again. :p
     
    limcid, May 17, 2013
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    ACSAPA Well-Known Member

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    I definitely think the weird results you're getting are from using oil instead of butter.
    Even substituting margarine for butter can radically change the texture of cookies.
    You should stop using other things instead of butter if you want your baked goods to turn out correctly.
     
    ACSAPA, May 28, 2013
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    danielz Member

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    I agree with the other posters that you should try using butter instead of oil. You should immediately see a difference.
    Also, I tend to think that one of the cardinal rules of baking is "Know your oven." Everyone's oven works differently and even though cooking or overcooking a cake by a few minutes might not fundamentally change how it taste, it might change how it looks. So do some testing and find out how your oven fares when you follow a recipe and the timing they suggest. Best of luck!
     
    danielz, Jun 5, 2013
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    epliu Active Member

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    I agree, the substitutions make it look different. You can buy copious amounts of butter, portion them out in smaller pieces if you want, and store it in the freezer.
     
    epliu, Jun 28, 2013
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    undaunted Member

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    I have to agree with the other people on this thread. I've tried substitutions before and sometimes it doesn't end up right. One time I tried experimenting with substitutions of milk in mac n' cheese and the evaporated milk that substituted for milk tasted so bad. It was too sweet. You can do the same and see if the product is altered by the substitution.
     
    undaunted, Jul 3, 2013
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  7. biscuiteer

    btatro Member

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    The oil for butter is your most likely culprit for why your baked goods look "funny". Take cookies, for example. You can get 3 different types of cookies just depending on whether you used cold butter, soft butter, or melted butter.
     
    btatro, Jul 3, 2013
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    Marie Well-Known Member

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    You even get cookies from using 'brown butter' (normal butter that's been cooked/heated over a hob until brown. Left to cool then used in the recipe). Anyone tried this? I think it gives lovely caramelised taste to any cookie recipe. :)

    But I do agree with the others, substituting butter with oil can significantly change the look, despite perhaps being healthier ( lower saturated fats etc) Maybe if you modified the amount of oil in the recipe (as it's more liquidy than butter), it might fix it a little bit? Look up some recipes that use oil instead of butter in the first place, to give you an idea. :)
     
    Marie, Jul 8, 2013
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    Mayvin Well-Known Member

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    You can try not doing the oil substitutes and see what happens. Is there a particular reason why you do the substitutes like a food allergy or you just don't like the taste of the original oils the recipe calls for?
     
    Mayvin, Jul 18, 2013
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    Elizabeth Member

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    Maybe the problem is the substitutes like you said, I actually have this same problem even though I never use substitutes. Bad luck maybe? This is something I need to work on myself. Practice makes perfect.
     
    Elizabeth, Sep 30, 2013
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    hhh Active Member

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    It definitely the substitution, I've had these issues before. For example with a pound cake I used olive oil instead of butter and the mixture was runnier than normal and it didn't quite look like it was supposed to. I would probably cut down on the substitution even though it is quite healthy.
     
    hhh, Jun 8, 2014
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    SeeofTrees Member

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    I just posted a thread about substitutions. I recently moved to a new country and am having trouble finding the things I'm used to baking with at home.

    Honestly, as long as the taste is great I wouldn't worry too much about looks!
     
    SeeofTrees, Jul 12, 2014
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    kammy Well-Known Member

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    When i just started off in the kitchen my favorite thing to bake was banana bread which would fall on occasions nevertheless they always tasted great...my grandmother especially always whisper a few encouraging words to me and i tried continuosly until i became an expert at it.
     
    kammy, Dec 19, 2014
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    confettine Well-Known Member

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    I think whole wheat flour might be the culprit for things falling apart. People are quick to blame the oil, but really, it should not be such a big deal -- here, a webpage of what different fats do to your baking:

    http://thecakeblog.com/2012/05/is-butter-better.html

    The way it crumbs should be different, but it should still be holding fine before you eat through it!

    But with whole wheat, whole wheat has less gluten/starches, so it doesn't raise as much and does not hold as much. I don't know if you are following recipes meant for whole wheat flour, but if you are just converting from normal flour, that might be the issue. Try looking for whole-wheat-specific recipes, or don't sub more than a third of the flour would be my suggestions.
     
    confettine, Sep 14, 2015
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