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  • You ever notice this instruction that's in nearly every baking recipe?

  • Preheating your oven to 350 degrees is sort of a basic requirement for baking in America.

  • Our ovens even do it automatically as we turn them on, but have you ever stopped and asked

  • yourself ...

  • What's so special about this number?

  • I love to bake, but I'm certainly not a pastry chef, so let's meet someone with

  • a bit more experience.

  • This is Michael Laiskonis, the creative director at the Institute of Culinary Education.

  • He's a pastry chef.

  • So temperature is really important in baking not only to develop color and flavor, but also

  • to control the moisture in our products.

  • As the temperature rises and moisture is lost at the surface, we get browning and also the

  • creation of flavor compounds that didn't exist in that product previously.

  • This happens because of a chemical process known as the maillard reaction,

  • which occurs when proteins and sugars are transformed by heat and moisture.

  • When sugar molecules are exposed to the heat in your oven they start to reduceor break

  • downand interact with the proteins.

  • That's when you can see your pastry turning golden brown.

  • But it's not just about that physical transformation.

  • You can taste the effects of the maillard reaction too

  • that's what gives us the flavors of the golden crust on a piece of bread or

  • a nice sear on a steak or that mellow richness of, say, caramelized onions.

  • The trick behind that reaction

  • is to find the perfect temperature that sets it into action without over or under-doing it.

  • These recipes might make you think that Maillard reaction occurs at 350 degrees, but actually ...

  • So these Maillard reactions tend to occur at a fairly low temperature

  • around 230 to 240 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • You want to manipulate the rate at which this reaction occurs both at the surface and

  • internally to get the results you want.

  • If we bake too cool, the

  • entire cookie, for example, will dry out before we get that surface drying that will lead to browning.

  • If we bake things in too hot an oven, the opposite occurs and we get burning.

  • To get it just right we preheat the oven to 350 degrees so the Maillard reaction has time to occur

  • throughout the entire cookie.

  • For most home cooks and to also account for the fact that everyone's oven is slightly

  • different,

  • I think 350 is a great benchmark to work from.

  • It's a safe standard for most people, but the number can also be altered

  • to yield slightly different results. Some pastry chefs might bake at

  • 325 if they want a lighter colored cookie, and some push it to 375 for a crispier outside.

  • A lot of things that contemporary bakers tend to forget is not too long ago, in history,

  • we didn't have as much control over our ovens or being a pastry chef meant being able to

  • build a fire and maintain an oven temperature.

  • Before the 1900's, when ovens didn't have temperature regulators, recipe writers instructed

  • bakers tocook in a moderate” “hotorslowoven depending on the food.

  • After the second world war, the temperature gauge was developed

  • and it became widely popular across households.

  • Modern ovens typically ranged from 200 to 550 degrees, so over time, recipe writers

  • converted these temperature guidelines to actual numbers -- they

  • settled on the 350 mark formoderatewhich was the sweet spot for baking.

  • Using these more specific numbers is really a result of better oven design and better

  • oven control.

  • And the more you understand about what goes on inside your oven,

  • the better results you'll get.

  • And who doesn't want a better cookie?

  • Hey everyone, thanks for watching.

  • If you're interested in more food content,

  • head on over our sister channel Eater.

  • They've got this cool series where they test out different kitchen gadgets

  • and they recently put up a video on pressure cookers.

You ever notice this instruction that's in nearly every baking recipe?

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B1 US Vox oven temperature pastry baking reaction

Why 350°F is the magic number for baking

  • 25 3
    Samuel posted on 2018/06/08
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