Bake: To cook in an oven with dry heat. The oven should always be heated for 10-15 minutes before baking, unless specified differently.
Batter: A mixture of flour, liquid and other ingredients that is thin enough to pour.
Beat: To thoroughly combine ingredients and incorporate air with a rapid, circular motion. This may be done with a wooden spoon, wire whisk, rotary eggbeater, electric mixer or food processor.
Blanch: To partially cook food by plunging it into boiling water for a brief period, then into cold water to stop the cooking.
Boil: To heat a liquid until bubbles rise continually to the surface and break.
Caramelize: To heat sugar until it is melted and brown. Caramelizing sugar gives it a distinctive flavor.
Chop: To cut into small pieces using a sharp knife, appliances or scissors.
Coats spoon: When a thin, even film covers a metal spoon after it has been dipped into a cooked mixture and allowed to drain.
Combine: To stir together two or more ingredients until mixed.
Cool: To come to room temperature.
Cream: To beat one or more ingredients, usually margarine or butter, sugar and/or eggs, until the mixture is smooth and fluffy.
Crimp: To seal the edges of two layers of dough with the tines of a fork or your fingertips.
Cut in: To distribute solid fat throughout the dry ingredients using a pastry blender, fork pr two knives in a scissors motion.
Dash: A measurement less than 1/8 teaspoon.
Dough: A soft, thick mixture of flour, liquids, fat and other ingredients.
Dot: To distribute small amounts of margarine or butter evenly over the surface of pie filling or dough.
Drizzle: To drip a glaze or icing over food from the tines of a fork or the end of a spoon.
Dust: To sprinkle lightly with sugar, flour or cocoa.
Flute: To make or press decorative pattern into the raised edge of pastry.
Fold in: To gently combine a heavier mixture with a more delicate substance such as beaten egg whites or whipped cream without causing a loss of air.
Glaze: To coat with a liquid, thin icing or jelly before or after the food is cooked.
Grate: To shred with a hand-held grater or in a food processor.
Grease: To rub fat on the surface of a pan or dish to prevent sticking.
Grind: To produce small particles of food by forcing food through a grinder.
Knead: To fold, push and turn dough or other mixture to produce a smooth, elastic texture.
Lukewarm: A temperature of about 105 degrees F. that feels neither hot nor cold.
Mix: To stir together two or more ingredients until they are thoroughly combined.
Mix until just moistened: To combine dry ingredients with liquid ingredients until the dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened, but the mixture is still slightly lumpy.
Partially set: To refrigerate a gelatin mixture until it thickens to the consistency of unbeaten egg whites.
Peel: To remove the skin of a fruit or vegetable by hand or with a knife or peeler. This also refers to the skin or outer covering of a fruit or vegetable.
Proof: To allow yeast dough to rise before baking. Or, to dissolve yeast in a warm liquid and set it in a warm place for 5 to 10 minutes until it expands and becomes bubbly.
Refrigerate: To chill in the refrigerator until a mixture is cool or a dough is firm.
Rind: The skin or outer coating of foods such as citrus fruit or cheese.
Rolling boil: To cook a mixture until the surface billows rather than bubbles.
Rounded teaspoon: To mound dough slightly in a measuring teaspoon.
Scald: To heat a mixture or liquid to just below the boiling point.
Score: To cut slits in food with a knife, cutting part way through the outer surface.
Softened: Margarine, butter, ice cream, or cream cheese that is in a state soft enough for easy blending, but not melted.
Shred: To cut food into narrow strips using a sharp knife, grater or food processor fitted with a shredding disk.
Soft peaks: To beat egg whites or whipping cream to the stage where the mixture forms soft, rounded peaks when the beaters are removed.
Steam: To cook food on a rack or in a wire basket over boiling water.
Stiff peaks: To beat egg whites to the stage where the mixture will hold stiff, pointed peaks when the beaters are removed.
Stir: To combine ingredients with a spoon or whisk using a circular motion.
Toss: To mix lightly with a lifting motion, using two forks or spoons.
Whip: To beat rapidly with a wire whisk or electric mixer to incorporate air into a mixture in order to lighten and increase the volume of the mixture.
Zest: The colored outer peel of citrus fruit, which is used to add flavor. The zest is often referred to grated peels in recipes. To create zest, use a micro grater or the small size of a box grater and rub lightly to grate the peel. Don’t grate the white pith part of the fruit, that is bitter.