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Oven Temperature

Many housewives feel that it is impossible to secure accurate results in baking in the gas range; this is due to the fact that few women really understand the principle of baking with gas.

To secure a slow oven, light both burners and let them burn for five minutes; then turn both of them down low, turning the handle that controls the flow of gas two-thirds off. This will maintain a steady even heat. A slow oven requires 250 to 275 degrees Fahrenheit of heat.

A moderate oven is 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit of heat. It can be obtained by burning both burners of gas range for eight minutes and then turning them down one-half to maintain this heat.

A hot oven requires 425 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and will need to have the burners burning twelve minutes and then turned off one-quarter.

This heat is intense and entirely too hot for breads, pastries and cakes. Meats require this heat for one-half of the length of time in the period of cooking. This heat is also necessary for broiling, grilling, etc.

Now, also try to utilize the full oven space when baking by cooking two or more dishes at the same time. Vegetables may be placed in casseroles or earthen dishes or even ordinary saucepans; cover them closely and cook in the oven until tender. This will not injure other foods baking in the oven.

Do not place breads, cakes and pastries upon the top shelf; rather, place them on the lower shelf and cook in moderate oven. Do you know that there are still among us women who firmly believe that placing other foods to cook in oven with cake will surely spoil it? This is a mistake; utilize every bit of oven space.

An oven thermometer soon pays for itself. Pay strict attention to heating the oven; if the oven is too hot, the heat is wasted, while it cools sufficiently. This wastes gas. When food is first placed in the oven, keep oven door closed for first ten minutes and then open when necessary.

Placing food in oven will materially reduce the heat. Do not try to increase the heat; just as soon as the mixture acquires the heat, the baking will begin in the usual manner and the dish will be ready to remove from oven in given time.

Never keep the oven waiting for the food; rather let food remain in cool place while oven is heating.

Before mixing materials select the pans that will best fit the oven. This does not mean that you must discard your present equipment. It means that you should place in groups such pans that entirely fill oven space without crowding. Keep this fact in mind when purchasing new utensils.


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Mrs. Wilson's Cook Book (1920).

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