Next Up: Peeps

I’ve been wanting to try these for years, but have kept forgetting (typical me). Maybe it’s because we have a jump on spring this year, the idea had plenty of time to sink in. On another note, sorry I didn’t get any posting in this week. All the business travel was murder! Back Monday tanned and ready!

4 thoughts on “Next Up: Peeps”

  1. You mean making peeps?!?! Gah! One of my family’s favorite spring rituals is eating peeps and now that I’m in Mexico I usually miss out…can. not. wait.

  2. Hi my name is Maddy Pater i go to St. Robert school and i have a big project coming up…. my topic is called the history of baking cakes so i have a few questions for the bakers at the bakery. Please let me know if u get this by Wednesday please!

    1. Do you know when the first cake was baked?
    2. How did they bake the cakes?
    3. What were the first ingredients of a cake?
    4. What was the first flavor?
    5. What were the tools they used to bake a cake?
    6. When did they first put frosting on a cake?
    7. What pans did they use for cakes?
    8. When did the other flavors start?
    9. When did caked get their shapes?

    Thank you,
    Maddy Pater 🙂

    1. Hi Maddy!

      This is a big topic, but I’ll do my best.

      1. Cakes are the oldest “baked” things. Anthropologists think pancake-type cakes were made by stone- and bronze-age hunter-gatherers who mashed grain and mixed it with water to make a type of gruel.

      2. This type of cake baking was done on a flat rock. A fire would be lit, allowed to burn (thus heating the rock), then brushed away. The gruel would then be poured on, where it would cook.

      3. The grain used would have depended on the area where the people were. In Eurasia grains like wheat, spelt and emmer were some of the possibilities for the first cakes. Native Americans made cakes out of mashed corn.

      4. People didn’t really add “flavorings” to cakes until much later. Cake baking pretty much stayed like that until relatively recently. In Scotland and England, “cakes” were the sort of thing you made on a griddle…all the way up until 1800 or so. In Scotland especially, they were thick, flat mixtures of coarsely ground grain..maybe wheat but also oats. Sometimes honey would be added to make them sweeter, fat like butter or lard made them more tender. But if I had to guess what the first cake flavoring was, I’d say it was salt.

      Oh by the way, Scotland is important because that’s where many American immigrants — and cake bakers — came from. The Scots-Irish. Their baking traditions became our baking traditions.

      5. For the first many thousands of years, all you needed to make a cake was a hot surface: a hot rock or a griddle ( a hot sheet of metal over a fire). Otherwise all you’d need was some sort of device to grind the grain…a mortar and pestle or some other mashing device would have done it in the early days.

      In the 1800’s chemical leavening like baking soda and baking powder came along. That made cakes a lot lighter, but also more prone to spreading as they baked. So they needed a form, a cake pan, to hold them. These sorts of pans came along in the mid- to late-1800’s as more people started to use chemicals to leaven cakes, and more people began baking cakes in home ovens. They look very like the cake pans we use now.

      6. Frosting has been around since probably the 1880’s. That’s when home baking really took off in the US…and cakes were things that were usually made in the home, not purchased from bakeries.

      7. See question 5!

      8. It’s hard to say for certain when other flavorings came along. However chocolate was a very big thing around the turn of the last century. Around 1900, candy bars and pre-made cookies were hugely popular. Lots of them were chocolate flavored. Most early chocolate cakes came along at this time.

      9. Cakes have been round since just about forever. Grain gruel naturally puddles in a round shape. They got tall when American bakers were inspired to stack cake layers one on top of the other, then put some sort of filling in between. That filling was usually either frosting or jam.

      Good luck with your project!

      – Joe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *