Healthy Baking Basics-A beginners short guide to eggless baking

Healthy Baking Basics-A beginners short guide to eggless baking

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Healthy Baking Basics-A short guide to healthy baking:

Hello Folks! Hope you are doing great. It has been a long time since I wrote a post. My man is transferred to Baroda and we are yet to move and get settled. We hope for things to move peacefully by God’s grace. As this season tempts all of us to bake cakes/cookies, I have been receiving queries about healthy baking and beginner baking. I myself is a novice baker who is learning slowly about baking. I am definitely not an expert to put a complete guide but I thought I can share my learnings. Recently I started an exclusive women FB group to share my recipes on a daily basis and the group members gave me a nod for this idea. Click the link to join




Time to repeat, I am a self-taught baker who bakes after a lot of learning from the web, fellow moms, friends and books. All of the below pointers shared are based only on my mustard sized knowledge and experience. I shall keep this section updated as I learn more and more. Baking is science. It is therapeutic and it is also an art. We began our baking experiments way back in 2015-16 with a pressure cooker and slowly moved to OTG.

You may see only hand-few recipes in my blog as of now (Failed recipes haven’t been shared but tips have been included). As of now, I am adding tips and recipes for cakes and cookies. The learnings based on those experiments(Both success & failure) will be shared here.Kindly bookmark this page to stay tuned to this section

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And before we begin a few words for who are stepping into my space, the blog is completely focused on sharing “Only Healthy Recipes-Zero refined ingredients, no processed/artificial additives and being local/traditional). I am an ardent believer of sustainable and minimalistic living. So I ensure to keep my buying as less as possible and stay away from plastics as much as possible. I am taking baby steps in all of these. So you would find the traces of these throughout the post.


Healthy Baking Basics-A short guide to healthy baking:

Please do not forget to stay tuned with me by liking my facebook page here or follow me on Twitter or Pinterest or Instagram or join my exclusive women group here. You can also receive all my recipes in your mailbox by providing your mail id here. Do share this with your kith and kin. If you have a picture of a recipe tried from my blog kindly share with me. I shall share them on my page





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1. What is healthy baking according to you?

Healthy baking is done without the use of any refined flour/sugar (maida/APF, white sugar) and artificial sweeteners(condensed milk), colours, flavours along with the less usage of leavening agents(Baking soda & Baking Powder). Yes, it is totally in coherence with my blog’s purpose.

2. What was your first bake?

When I began baking I got so nervous about substituting eggs, maida/apf, sugar because baking always had them as essential ingredients. Being a beginner and making a cake in a pressure cooker after substituting all of these was a great challenge. My first cake was whole grain cake made with ragi and WWF. Husband and I referred a lot of books and several websites over the net. As I have already mentioned in many of my baking posts OMBC group is my best guide ever. I gathered a lot of courage from there only to experiment with healthy baking.

whole grain cake
Whole Grain Cake

3. What is the basic equipment required for beginner baking?

You can make all basic cakes and cookies in a pressure cooker but in the long run, it might not help. Hence you can prefer to buy either of the below (If and only if you would love to bake often)

An OTG or (I have Morphy Richards OTG )

A Microwave Oven or

A Convection Oven or

A gas Oven.

Let me detail their differences in my next posts.

4. What are the basic accessories required for baking?

Healthy Baking Basics-A short guide to healthy baking

Your oven(OTG) will come with a baking tray, spill/drip tray, cooling wire rack, rotisserie rod(for grilling). Most of them come with these. You may have to buy the following (I prefer aluminium or glass)

    • Measuring cups

      • Cake Mould

    • Muffin/Cup Cake Tray

      • Butter Paper
      • Brush

    • Glove
    • Cup Cake Liners

    • Skewers(For tikka)

    • Whisk/Electric Beater

5. What is the next primary step?

Once you have the basic equipment and accessories, (Pressure cooker baking tips is given as a separate part below)

Know your equipment: Kindly read through the product manual and learn thoroughly about the modes and all temperature settings. Hunt the web to watch recipes made with your equipment.




Decide on the recipe:  ( The flour, the sweetener, the raising agents/leavening agents). The recipe you choose is the first step to success. Keenly follow the recipe if it is your first experiment. Stick to the measurements, timing and almost every line until you gain confidence to play around.

6. My basic understanding about eggless baking

You basically need a flour, sweetener, leavening/raising agent, binding/foaming/structure forming agent.

When we look at the ingredients of whole grain cake,

Flour:

  • Ragi Flour-3/4 cup
  • Wheat Flour-1/4 cup+1 tsp

Leavening/Raising Agent:

  • Baking Soda-1 tsp

Sweetener:

  • Jaggery-1/2 cup
  • Palm Sugar-1/2 cup

Binding/Foaming/Structure making Ingredients:

  • Oil-1/4 cup
  • Curd-1/tsp
  • Water-1/4 cup
  • Banana-2(Ripe)

What flours can be used?

Healthy Baking Basics-A short guide to healthy baking

The most common flour used in refined wheat flour/maida/all purpose flour/cake flour. But since it is highly refined and unhealthy we can choose to make cakes and cookies with any of the following flours

    • Store-bought whole wheat flour(Prefer organic)
    • Wheat Flour/Atta(They are slightly refined compared to the above two)
    • Any millet flour(Pearl millet, Finger millet, barnyard, Kodo,proso etc)
    • Amarnath seed flour
    • Homemade multigrain flour
      • Find the recipe with sathumaavu here
    • Homemade sprouted millet flours
    • Chickpea Flour
    • Besan/Gram flour
    • Almond flour combo
    • A combo of rice flour and others

I have tried with millet flours, multigrain flour and Amarnath flour

You can find the recipes here

Sweetener:



Healthy Baking Basics-A short guide to healthy baking

Since my cooking has no white sugar I would recommend using either of the below (Keeping it local & traditional)

  • Palm sugar/Panakarkandu-
  • Palm Jaggery/karupatti
  • Jaggery/Nattu Sakkarai/Vellam
  • Coconut Sugar
  • Cane Sugar
  • Honey
  • Dates Syrup

Brown Sugar is no different from white sugar except for the colour. Hence kindly avoid using it.

Raising Agent:

Baking Soda and Baking Powder are the most common ones. For bread, yeast is used. I shall write a separate post on this.

Flour, Spoon, Spoonful, Ingredient

Binding/Structure forming Agents:

This is mostly obtained in baking with the usage of eggs. But when it comes to eggless baking we need to find replacements.

  • Flax Seed Gel
  • Fruit Puree
  • Yogurt
  • Curd
  • Buttermilk
  • Chia Seeds
  • Lemon Juice
  • Vinegar
  • Arrowroot Powder
  • Chia Seeds

A vegan cupcake with flax seed gel:

eggless mango muffins

Cupcakes without raising agents:

Red Velvet Cup cakes
Beetroot Cupcakes

7. How do I bake in my pressure cooker?

whole wheat banana oats cake
Oats Banana Cake

Step 1:

  • Measure all the ingredients ready. Remove the gasket and whistle of the cooker and keep it in low flame for 20 to 25 minutes. This is to bring the preheat effect of the oven.
  • You can either add 2 cups of salt/sand (for a 7-litre cooker) to the bottom of the cooker to give the preheat effect and save the cooker from wear and tear.
  • If you use water like this oats banana cake recipe please ensure to use a thick bottomed tray to pour the cake batter.

Step 2:

Grease a cake tray or a bowl with butter and dust with flour. Next, make the batter ready following the recipe.

Two methods to bake cake in a pressure cooker:

Whole Grain Cake

Banana Cake

Step 3:

When the batter is ready and after 25 minutes of slowly heating the pressure cooker, add the cake batter to the greased cake pan and carefully level it (Tap to avoid pores).

Do not allow the batter to rest after mixing.

Now place a stand inside the cooker and then place the cake pan.

Bake it in the medium flame for 25 to 40 minutes.

After 25 th minute please keep checking for the readiness using a toothpick.

What is a toothpick test?

Insert a toothpick into the cake. If it comes out clean the cake is completely done. Else more cooking is needed. Keep checking after 25-30 minutes for cakes(every five minutes) and after 7 to 10 minutes for cookies.

Step 4:

When the cake passes the toothpick test, carefully take it from the cooker and place it outside.

Allow it to cool for 15 minutes.

You can wrap a wet towel around the tray to ensure smooth detachment from the tray.

Step 5:

When it is completely cooled, scrap the sides and invert.

You can try all of the cake recipes from the below collection using a pressure cooker

Healthy bakes

8. How do I bake in my OTG?

multigrain cashew carrot cake
Multigrain Carrot Cake

Please read the manual and understand your oven or OTG completely.

Step 1:

Measure and keep all the ingredients ready

multigrain carrot cashew cake
Settings in OTG

Step 2:

Preheat the OTG to 180 degrees for 10 minutes

Step 3:

Grease a cake tray or a bowl with butter and dust with flour.

Follow the recipe and make the batter ready.

Step 4:

Bake in the specified mode for the given time at the mentioned temperature following the recipe.

Place the cake tray in the middle rack only.

eggless mutigrain brownies
Eggless Multigrain Brownies

What is a toothpick test?

Insert a toothpick into the cake. If it comes out clean the cake is completely done. Else more cooking is needed. Keep checking after 25-30 minutes for cakes(every five minutes) and after 7 to 10 minutes for cookies.

Step 5:

When the cake passes the toothpick test, carefully take it from the cooker and place it outside.

Allow it to cool for 15 minutes.

You can wrap a wet towel around the tray to ensure smooth detachment from the tray.

9. How do I store my cake?

Chop into pieces and store in an airtight container.

If you are planning to make decoration, refrigerate till then by completely covering it.(Cling wrap is advisable)

Eggless Cranberry Cake
Eggless Cranberry Cake

10. Is there a secret to a perfect cake?

Definitely yes. A perfect cake is made with a perfect combination of rightly measured ingredients. So please follow the recipe diligently until you get hang of baking. However please don’t expect homemade cakes to be equivalent to store bought one. All recipes shared in my space for homemade baked goodies will not have any artificial additives and unhealthy ingredients. But most store-bought ones have all chemicals and preservatives. There will definitely be a difference.


11. Is using baking soda and baking powder recommended? Are they not harmful?

You can definitely try recipes without both of them just like my red velvet cakes. But be prepared for more efforts in making it and getting the right combination of ingredients. I hope cakes will not be everyday food at home. So an occasional use of both in very fewer quantities is fine. All of my recipes will have less quantity of them. Shortly I shall share healthy substitutes for baking powder and soda along with recipes as I grow with my baking experience. Prefer to buy aluminium free baking powder for more safety. Cookies don’t need both of them. So you can happily bake BP/BS free cookies and serve daily for your kids

Ragi Cookies

Ragi Cookies
Ragi Cookies

Whole wheat Cardamom cookies

whole wheat cardamom cookies

Amaranth Cookies



Rajgira Cookies
Ragi Rajgira Cookies

Linzer Cookies

Linzer cookies

10. Tips for perfect baking with healthy ingredients:

  1. Follow the recipe with no changes in measurements or ingredients
  2. Sieve the dry ingredients at least 5 times to get a soft cake.
  3. Ensure that all the ingredients are at room temperature.
  4. Don’t blend the ingredients together and allow them to rest.
  5. Jaggery helps in making a moist cake whereas palm sugar helps in making crispy cookies.
  6. Always mix the ingredients in a gentle manner.
  7. Over baking will leave your cake hard and dry.
  8. Higher temperature will burn the cake.
  9. The wrong mode will leave an uncooked cake on one part(Baking always is done with two filaments on)
  10. Do not open the oven/cooker within 25 minutes of baking to perform the toothpick test. This will leave a temperate difference and the cake might get sunk in the middle.
  11. A cracked top in a cake is not a failure with eggless baking. It is perfectly fine. If it breaks then it means excess usage of leavening agents.
  12. A sticky crust means excess usage of sweetener.
  13. The cookies don’t turn crisp the moment they are out of the oven. They turn crispy as they get cooled. Store in an airtight container.
  14. If you use a liquid sweetener ensure the other liquids used are varied accordingly.
  15. Using ghee instead of butter makes a better make.
  16. Avoid jaggery in cookies as they turn gooey.
  17. Prefer an odourless oil in baking. Ghee is a better fat
  18. Churning the ingredients in a blender helps in moist and soft cakes.
  19. Sifting the dry ingredients as many times as possible will reduce the density and yield soft fluffy cakes.
  20. Vinegar in healthy baking is a successful tip for fluffy cakes.
  21. Don’t add the cake batter to the rim level. Fill only to 1/3 th.
  22. Don’t open the oven too often especially before 20 minutes for cakes and 7 minutes for cookies.
  23. Don’t forget to preheat the oven/cooker.
  24. Cookie dough should be refrigerated before cutting.
  25. Grease the pan well with butter and dust with flour without fail

Disclaimer: I am a novice baker who is learning continuously and this is my beginner attempt to share the peanut knowledge and experience I have gained. I am no expert at this.

Images Courtesy: Pixabay,Canva & www.kitchenkathukutty.com

The post has affiliate links. You can opt to buy from the links based on your research and liking. I have added them to provide you with a basic idea.




whole wheat cup cakes

Always have a word with your doctor before introducing any new food to babies




Please do not forget to stay tuned with me by liking my facebook page here or follow me on Twitter or Pinterest or Instagram or join my exclusive women group here. You can also receive all my recipes in your mailbox by providing your mail id here. Do share this with your kith and kin. If you have a picture of a recipe tried from my blog kindly share with me. I shall share them on my page

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