Doughs are steamed, baked in the oven, or on a griddle on top of the stove. Such mixtures of many different ingredients are more difficult to cook than the separate substances of which they are composed, though heat affects each ingredient in combination much as it does singly. Sugar carmelizes and this aids in producing a golden brown color in the crust of anything containing it. Since it burns readily, cakes and cookies are more liable to be scorched than unsweetened doughs. Flour browns when exposed to dry heat.
An Accurate Oven Thermometer. Punch a hole in a common gas stove oven and insert thermometer, which will register to 600 degrees F, wrapped with asbestos and wire where it passes through the top.
The heat applied should conform to the way in which it affects the principal ingredients in any dough. Those containing many eggs need moderate heat, etc., etc. The size and shape of the article are also to be considered. In general, small thin portions require less time but will bear higher temperature than larger portions as with bread doughs.
There are various tests for the heat of the oven. Oven thermometers are valuable aids, showing comparative if not actual degree of heat. When a thermometer is inaccessible, a piece of white paper or a teaspoonful of flour if charred from a five minutes stay in the oven indicate too great heat and other degrees may be gauged accordingly. All parts of an oven are not equally hot and each housekeeper must study her own.
The lower part of a gas oven is very hot because the full force of heat is below; in the wood or coal range one side is usually hotter than the other because of the position of the firebox.
Temperature of the Oven