AbsorbTake in or soak up, To      absorb and retain heat.

Acid - Lemon juice (citric), vinegar, cream of tartar.

Aerate - To incorporate air or carbon dioxide during production to make the product more digestible and an increase in volume.

Albumen- A protein, the white of an egg.

Aspic - Savoury jelly.

Bacteria - A microscopic living organism.

Bain-marie  - A pan of hot  water on which a container is placed for slow cooking/warming allowing for indirect heat.

Bake blind - Baking an unfilled pastry case. The unbaked pastry case is lined with baking parchment and filled with baking beans or an alternative (dried peas ,rice etc) to stop the base from rising.

Baking Parchment- A treated paper that is non-stick and ideal for creating clean baking surfaces. Protects baking tins/trays etc. Enables products to be transferred before and after baking without handling the product. e.g. sliding proved bread onto a baking stone.Not to be confused with wax paper.

Baking powder - A chemical that produces carbon dioxide ( CO2) when moistened and heated. Used to aerate bread and cakes.

Batter.- When fat, sugar, eggs and flour are mixed together  the finished product is known as a batter.

Bay.-  A well, made in the middle of dry ingredients, to receive the liquid ingredients for mixing.

Beat -  To mix together, creaming. To aerate by beating.

B.F.P.- Bulk Fermentation Process A bread making process based on ancient traditional methods of bread making.

B.F.T.- Bulk Fermentation Time.  A period of time given to a dough to allow it to ferment and develop after mixing.

Bicarbonate of soda (Sodium bicarbonate) also known as baking soda used as part of baking powder to assist aeration.

Blackjack.- Caramelised sugar syrup used for colouring rich fruit cakes.

Blanch- A processes for removing the skins of nuts by plunging in hot water and then into cold water.

Blend--  Mixing together  two or more ingredients to form a single product or for assisting in the next stage of the production.

Bloom-- Describing the crust of a correctly baked loaf of bread or baked goods in general.

Book Fold-  A term used in the production of puff pastry when folding the fat into the pastry dough.

Buttercream- A filling cream made from butter and  some form of sugar which can be enriched by the addition of eggs and flavouring.

Butterfat.-  The natural fat that occurs in milk and dairy products.

Bun wash-- A sugar syrup solution brushed on to yeasted buns on removal from the oven to impart a glaze or to assist the dusting of sugar.

Cake-- Food made from a mixture of flour, fat, eggs, sugar, and other ingredients and then baked. 

Cake hoop/tins-- A variety of shapes and sizes in which cakes are baked. Until recently these were made of tin but other materials such as silicone are now being used.

Caramel-- Sugar heated above its melting point.  A sugar solution boiled above 156 C (321F) until it turns amber brown.

Caramelize - During baking ,sugar will change and and give colour to the crust.

Carbon dioxide  (CO2 ) - The gas produced by baking powder or yeast during fermentation that aerates bread and cakes.

Catalyst - A substance that helps to bring about a change without itself being affected.

Celsius - A temperature scale with 0 being freezing point and 100 boiling point of water.

Chinois - A fine meshed conical strainer.

Clarify - The removal of water from butter by gentle heating.

Coagulate - The setting of a liquid into a solid or semi-solid state.

Collagen-  The main structural protein in animal connective tissue.

Comb scraper - A serrated edged tool used to form a variety of finishes to a product ,especially when using buttercream or chocolate.

Compound fat - White in colour, made from hydrogenated oils, it is usually 100% fat. Recent health trends have highlighted the use and safety of this product.

Contaminate -  The introduction of an unwanted substance. Usually used when referring to food hygiene problems.

Couverture - Plain or milk chocolate made from the cocoa bean.

Cream - The word is used to (1) describe the process of beating products together to form a light fluffy mass such as fat and sugar or (2) the fat content of fresh milk. i.e dairy, clotted, whipping, double and single creams.

Cream of tartar. Potassium hydrogen tartrate, used as the acid component of baking powder.

Crimp/Crimping - Usually carried out with the thumb and fingers or with special pincers to give a decorative edge to pastry, shortbreads and almond paste.

Crumb - The soft inner part of a loaf of bread. The aim of the bread baker is to produce good crumb texture and structure. Also used to describe the soft inner part of a cake. A small fragment of cake, bread and biscuits.

Croquant - Melted sugar with nuts which can be moulded into shapes when hot or used crushed when cold.

Crust - The outer part of a loaf of bread (a nice crusty loaf). The outer hardened surface of a softer product e.g. A cake has a crust, the surface being different to the inside. Also used to describe pastry when used to cover a pie.  (Pie crust)

Cup cakes - Small cakes baked in small paper cases.

Curdle - The separation of an emulsion (fat and liquid) When adding eggs/liquid to a fat and sugar mix............Cheese is formed by the curdling of milk with the addition of rennet.

Cutters - Tools used to cut out various shapes of pastry, almond paste, sugar paste etc. Can be plain or fluted, square, round etc.

Dead Dough- This usually refers to a dough that has not moved (not risen) normally caused by insufficient yeast ,too low a water temperature, excessive salt or even old yeast.

Decorate - The final appearance of a product is improved by decorating. This can be pre-baking e.g. egg or milk wash, dusting with flour, placing on nuts or seeds, dipping in sugar etc. or post baking, syrup wash and sugar (chelsea buns). or by the use of creams, chocolate, nuts, almond paste, edible decor etc.

Deep freeze -  Used to preserve food usually at -18 C. Certain foods will freeze better than others.

Defrosting- Returns the frozen product back to its original state.

Develop - A dough is mixed thoroughly to increase the extensibility and elasticity of the gluten 

Dilute - Make a liquid thinner and its strength reduced by the addition of water or some other solvent.

Dipping - A method used to coat a product in a melted state such as chocolate, fondant and jam. The product is usually held by hand or a utensil such as a dipping fork.

Dock - By using a fork or multi-spiked tool  products can be decorated before baking. Also used to provide holes for steam to escape e.g. when you do not want puff pastry to rise to high.

Dredge - To sprinkle sugar,flour etc over a product. e.g. Shortbread biscuits are often dredged with sugar on removal from the oven.

Dredger- A small container with a perforated lid.

Drumming - A term given to the practice of stretching greaseproof paper across the the bottom of a cake hoop or across the top of a cake tin. By twisting the paper around the top or bottom rims a tight "drum skin" is formed. Used to help retain a fluid mixing and give protection during baking.

Dust - Sprinkling flour or sugar to prevent a product  from sticking. e.g. flour is used when rolling out pastry. This term is also used when pre-bake decoration is carried out as in dredging.

Egg wash - Beaten egg ,sometimes with added water, used to give a golden glaze on a baked product. (1 whole egg beaten with 1/2 egg shell of water)

Emulsion-- Emulsify -Emulsifier         Oil and water do not mix easily, when they do it is known as an emulsion. To do this it needs an emulsifier. This happens when making a cake that contains fats and eggs. Eggs contain lecithin which acts as the emulsifier allowing the two ingredients to emulsify. 

Enrich - The quality of a dough or pastries can be improved by the addition of enriching agents such as fat, sugar, eggs, etc .

Enrobe - Covering with icings or chocolate usually by pouring over.

Enzyme -- A substance that acts as a catalyst to bring about a biochemical change without itself being affected.

Essences - Compounds used for flavouring i.e.vanilla, lemon almond etc. Can be either natural, synthetic, or blends of both.

Extensibility -  Usually used in reference to the condition of the gluten.For want of a better word. (stretchability).

Fahrenheit - A temperature scale where  32=  freezing point  .... 212 = boiling point of water.

Feathering- (also known as Marbling) The use of at least two contrasting colours,  either of the same medium eg: Dark chocolate on light chocolate or of  different mediums/ingredients eg: chocolate on icing/buttercream etc. 

Ferment - Used to grow the yeast and used as a starter for fermented goods. Consists of water, yeast, flour and sometimes the addition of a yeast food, kept at a suitable temperature and allowed to ferment.

Fermentation - Yeast, given the right conditions and food,  will reproduce and multiply and in the process produce carbon dioxide gas, alcohol and other by products. The carbon dioxide gives the aeration in the product and the alcohol and other products help in the flavour.

Final proof - The period prior to a dough being baked after being processed, ideally in a prover. 

Flan - An open pastry or sponge case which, usually after baking, is filled with either a savoury or a sweet filling.

Flash - Putting a product into a very hot oven for a short time to impart a golden colour.

 Flock stage- Term used to describe the appearance of a dough mixing just as all the ingredients start to combine as it has the same look as Flock (a soft material used for stuffing cushions etc made of wool refuse and torn up cloth)

Foam- Usually used to describe a product that has been whisked such as egg whites and sugar

Fold- Part of the layering process in the making of puff pastry.

Fondant- Used as a decorative coating and as an addition to butter creams. Made from boiled sugar ,water and glucose.

Food Hygiene - Making sure that food is handled, stored, prepared and served so as not to allow the food to be contaminated.

Food poisoning- The result of bad food hygiene leading to sickness and diarrhoea and sometimes death.

Ganache- A mixture of fresh dairy cream and melted chocolate. 

Garnish- The use of additional products to improve the look and presentation of a product.

Gateau- A rich cake with layers of fruit or cream.

Gelatine- A virtually colourless and tasteless water-soluble protein prepared from collagen. i.e bones ,seaweed.

Gelatinization- Starch (cornflour) cells, when mixed with boiling water, rupture and form a thick jelly on cooling. Ideal for thickening stocks and sauces.

Genoese (Genoise) A plain cake or sponge used to produce  Torten, Gateau and small fancies.

Glace cherries- A method of preserving cherries in sugar/syrup.

Glaze- Give a product a gloss finish  by using an agent such as apricot puree 

Glucose- A thick colourless syrup used in boiling sugar preparations.

Gluten- The insoluble protein of wheat, which ,when hydrated (mixed with a liquid)  forms the elastic substance  which helps to entrap the Carbon Dioxide gas in a dough giving the bread its structure.

Glycerine- A colourless and odourless syrup with a sweet taste. It is used for its hygroscopic property (attracts moisture). It is used to reduce staling in confectionery.

Greased- Applying a thin layer of fat or oil to a baking  tray , bread tin, cake tins to allow easy release.

Greaseproof- A paper used in baking that is impermeable to oil and grease.

Green dough- A term given to an under ripe (under fermented) or  under developed dough.

Gross Weight- Total weight of ingredients in a recipe.

Gum Paste- A paste made for modelling.Contains icing sugar, starch (cornflour). gum tragacanth.

Half Clear-  A stage in the mixing process, usually half way towards a clear mix  e.g. .."add the fruit when the batter is half clear".

Half Turn- A term used in the production of Puff Pastry.

Hand Up- After scaling a dough it is usually moulded into a round ball and allowed to rest before the next stage of the moulding/shaping process.

High Ratio- The high level of sugar and liquid to flour in a cake batter.

Hoop- A round, usually metal band used for baking a product ( a tin without a bottom or top)

Hotplate- A heated metal plate (griddle) used for baking scones, soda breads, crumpets, welsh cakes etc.

Hydrate - Adding a liquid, usually water, to dry ingredients.

Hydrometer-  An instrument used to measure the density of liquids (specific gravity) at a certain temperature.

Hygroscopic- The ability to attract moisture. e.g.  Salt .


Icing- Sugar mixtures used for coating and decorating such as Royal Icing, Fondant and Water.

Icing Sugar- A finely powdered sugar.

Incorporate- Blend and combine ingredients together.

Infestation- The unwanted presence of rodents, insects etc.

Infuse- Soak in a liquid to extract the flavour.

Intermediate Proof- The time given to a dough piece between scaling and final moulding.

Jelly- A soft semi-transparent food chiefly derived from gelatine....aspic, pectin,starch all used in confectionery.

Jigger- A serrated wheel used fir cutting pastry with a crinkled edge

Knock back-  Forcing the gas out of a dough, usually about  2/3rds of the way through its total fermentation time, to assist in dough conditioning, stretch the gluten and equalise the dough temperature.

Lamination- Forming the layers in the production of puff pastry.

Lecithin-   (phosphatidylcholine) An emulsifying agent. Found naturally in  eggs, commercially extracted from Soya beans. Used extensively in processed foods.

Macerate- Steep in a liquid to soften. Dried fruit  left for a period in a spirit or liqueur to impart the flavour.

Madeleine- A small rich sponge cake baked in a mould and usually decorated with jam and coconut.

Manipulation-  Shaping and handling of a dough, pastry, almond paste etc.

Marble Icing- A decorating technique using two or more colours.  Also called Feathering.

Marzipan- A mixture of two-thirds almonds and one third sugar sometimes with the addition of whole egg or egg whites which is cooked to form a paste. Used as a covering and decorative medium in confectionery.

Mask, Masking- To cover a product with a decorative ingredient, the sides of a cake for instance, with creams , jams, nuts etc.

Maw seed- Seeds from a species of poppy, used for sprinkling on rolls and bread etc as a pre-bake finish. available as blue or white.

Mature- A period of time allowing the product to reach prime condition ie a mature dough .


Shaping and manipulation of doughs or paste.

Microscopic organism belonging to the fungi family of plants.

A hollow form made from metal, plastic etc to shape and form pastes and chocolate .   

Musty- A stale ,mouldy or damp smell from raw materials stored under unsuitable conditions.

Net Weight- The actual weight of ingredients in a recipe after production losses.

Nib- Small bits of a product ...Nib Almonds   Nib Sugar.

Notch- A decorative finish usually on a paste.

Organic Acid- Acid obtained from edible sources.

Oven Bottom- Breads that are baked on the sole of the oven.

Oven Sole.-  The floor of a traditional chamber oven usually made of tiles or sheet metal.

Oven Spring- The increase in the volume of bread in the first 10 minutes of baking.

Oxidising Agent- A substance that stabilises the gas cells within a dough

Palette Knife- A thin bladed knife with a rounded edge used for spreading.

Panary fermentation- Fermentation by yeast , from the Latin panis meaning bread.

Pastillage- Paste made from icing sugar and gum tragacanth and used in the production of models Not usually eaten.

Pastry Wheels- A tool used for measuring, marking and cutting.

Pasteurized-  Heat treated to kill Bacteria.

Pasty- Small savoury containing meat and vegetables.

Pectin- A jellying agent found in most fruits and vegetables. It can be purchased in both a powder or as a liquid. Used in cold set jelly and jams. Used a lot in Jam making.

Peel- The candied rinds of citrus fruits (mixed peel) also available as halves (caps).

It is also the name given to a flat wooden or metal (shovel) that is used to put bread and cakes in and take them out of the oven. (setting and drawing).

Petis fours- Bite size pastries. (sec) -dry biscuit types. (glaces) finished with icing.

Pincers- A tool used to form a decorative edge to pastry and pastes

Pinching - Using either pincers or finger and thumb to give a decorative edge.

Pinning- Rolling out with a rolling pin.

Piping- By placing a mixture in a bag and forcing it out of a small hole that can be shaped or plain to form a decorative finish.

Plaiting- Using lengths of dough,almond paste, pulled sugar etc. to form a decorative finish.

Praline- Croquant which has been milled into a smooth paste and used for flavouring purposes.

Production-loss- The loss of ingredients unavoidably during the production such as mixing left in bowl or on equipment used , trimming skin and grizzle from meat, Similar to Scaling loss .

Prove- The time from final moulding to the start of baking.

Prover- A temperature and humidity controlled cabinet that provides the right conditions  to prove yeasted goods.

Puff pastry- A light flaky pastry created by the lamination of dough and fat.

Rancidity- The spoilage of fat due to chemical changes.

Recipe- Should give all the information that is required to produced the end product. ie  ingredients, weights, times ,temperatures, yields etc.

Reconstitute- Adding water to a dried product to revert to its original state ie milk powder reconstituted to milk.

Recovery time-A period of time  given to help the gluten relax in a dough.

Relative Humidity- The amount of moisture present in a given volume of air.

Retard...Retardation- The slowing down of yeast activity usually by keeping at a low temperature               1-3C(34-38F).

Ripe...Ripening- The point at which gluten is in an ideal condition for processing, it becomes mellow making it more extensible and less tough.

Round Up... The term given to the process of forming dough into a ball shape, usually prior to intermediate proving and final shaping. Sometimes referred to as Hand-up.

Roux- A cooked mixture of flour and fat.

Royal Icing- A decorative medium made of Egg Whites and Icing Sugar

Rubbing in- Term used for mixing fat into flour. The purpose of this is to coat the grains of flour and blend the 2 ingredients together, as in short-pastry

Saffron-  The dried stigmas of the crocus plant are infused to form a deep  orange colour and used for flavouring and colouring. ie Saffron cake.

Saturated  solution- A solution holding the greatest amount  of another material without precipitation occurring.

Savoy Bag- A large piping bag in which different shaped savoy tubes are placed  to give different finishes. Used to deposit soft mixings such as meringues, choux pastry and soft biscuits.

Savoy Tube- A nozzle used in a savoy bag , can be plain or shaped and of different sizes. Can be made of plastic, nylon or metal.

Scaling- Dividing a dough or cake mix into weighed units before baking.

Scaling loss- When scaling a 2lb lump of dough into 2oz units you will not obtain 16. This is more  noticed if using traditional balance scales, this is due to the very small amount needed to "break" the balance of the scale, however with modern digital scales the amount lost in scaling is a lot lower. 

Scotch Scraper- A metal bladed scraper. Also used as a cutting tool.

Scraper- A shaped piece of plastic used to scrape down the sides of a mixing bowl. Can be used to coat the sides of a cake with cream etc. Also available with a decorative edge (comb effect).

Season- Burning in new tins to eliminate  the new shiny surface to allow better heat conduction.

Seasoning- Adding a mixture of salt and pepper along with other flavourings  to savoury products to enhance the flavour.

Setting- Placing unbaked goods into the oven.

Shelf life-The period of time between making and the use by date.The period of time that a product will remain in an edible condition.

Shorten-  To give a firm but tender eating quality.

Sieve-  A fine mesh through which dry or liquids can be passed to eliminated lumps or foreign objects. Can be used to aerate dry goods such as flour.

Silicone- A synthetic material developed to resist heat , baking parchment is coated in it. (silicone paper) it is non stick.

Skinning- The drying of the surface of a dough.

Sodium Bicarbonate-The alkali constituent of Baking powder.

Slack dough- A dough with extra water  to make it soft.

Snow- The foam made when egg whites are whisked.

Soft flour - Flour with a low gluten content.

Spatula- An implement with a broad, flat, blunt blade used for mixing and spreading.

Sponge- can refer to a light cake made by whisking eggs and sugar and then folding in flour. It is also the term used for a thick fermented batter.

Sterilising- A process of destroying bacteria.

Stock rotation- Making sure that stock is used in order of purchase.

Stock syrup- A near saturated solution of sugar and water that has been boiled.

Strong flour- Flour containing a high content of gluten, ideal for bread making.

Sweating- Moisture that is unable to escape from a product during cooling eg. bread left in the tin on removal from the oven.

Tempered- Liquids that have been warmed to specific temperature.

Texture-The feel and consistency of the crumb.

Toxic- Harmful or poisonous.

Trimmings- Formed when cutting or shaping pastry or dough.

Trivet- Originally a stand or support with 3 legs used to support pots on an open fire

Turntable- Used to assist the decorating of cakes. It enables the cake to be rotated.

Vol-au-vent- A puff pastry case.

 Volume- The size of a product  : whisking egg whites to increase the volume : the volume of the dough after fermentation.

Volumetric- Most modern day scaling devices now work on volume rather than weight, this helps to eliminate scaling loss which when making 1000s of units can be quite considerable

Wafer paper- An edible paper sometimes referred to as Rice paper.

Wash-  Egg...Milk... Water... used as a pre-bake, usually by brush, or as a post bake using icing or a glaze.

Washbrush- Used to apply a wash.

Whip- To aerate by beating with a whisk.

Yield- The number of units to be produced from a recipe  eg.  this recipe will produce 12 scones. 

Zest- The outside rind of citrus fruit which contains the essential oils of the fruit.