This simple trick will greatly affect the flavor of your dish.
According to chef and cookbook author Rosie Sykes, preheating is the culinary equivalent of “take it right off the bat.” “Some foods, like bread and cakes, need an immediate dose of hot air to start to rise,” Sykes explains. Moreover, meat also requires a high temperature. If you do not brown it before or after it is in the oven, the same caramelized crust will not form, on which the “meat” taste largely depends.
But that's not the only reason to preheat the oven. “Other dishes, like soufflé or something with a pastry base, benefit from being immediately heated from below,” Sykes continues. "So when you turn on the oven, put a thick baking sheet inside to warm it up." And then on it - a baking dish.
If you feel like the energy is wasting due to preheating, use it for something useful. For example, you can roast nuts, heat spices, or melt butter. “Nuts are high in fat so that they can burn easily in a skillet,” Sykes says. "And in a gradually warming oven, this is unlikely to happen."
Well, if you bake bread, preheating is a must. “We want the dough to double in size quickly,” says Ben Glazer, head of the bakery at Coombeshead Farm. This is because of its elastic structure, created during mixing, and the yeast's carbon dioxide works carbon dioxide. It turns out loose bread of impressive volumes."
All this will happen in an unheated oven, but much more slowly. By the time it heats up, the yeast may have lost its ability to raise the dough, and your bread will be flat and dry.
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Another important factor is steam. “Steam inhibits crust formation,” explains Glazer. "When the outside is soft and pliable, the middle can grow in volume and bake." There will be no steam in a cold oven. However, this obstacle can be circumvented by placing the dough in a cast-iron pot with a lid. The pan will turn into a micro-oven, where the bread is simultaneously stratified and baked, and the steam released will have nowhere to go.
Still, Glazer said the benefits of preheating outweigh any doubts anyway. Estimated time and energy savings are offset by the dough taking longer to bake.
Adapted and translated by The Cop Cart Staff
Sources: Life hacker