Includes breads, cookies, crackers, and crumbs.
Produced by Nabisco, these are the best-selling crackers in the United States. They're high in fat and sodium, which makes them a tasty foil for cheese or peanut butter. Cooks sometimes crush them and use them as a pie crust or topping for casseroles. The crackers are also used to make the filling for a mock apple pie, which contains no apples. Reduced fat and low sodium versions are available.Learn more
These sweetened biscuits are traditionally split in half and topped with whipped cream and strawberries. You can buy them ready-made in stores, where they're often displayed near the strawberries, but they're easy to make from scratch. Don't confuse shortcake with shortbread, a rich butter cookie.Learn more
Like sponges, these cakes have lots of air pockets, which are made by beating egg whites and folding them into the batter. Angel food cakes are similar, but they're made without egg yolks, while sponge cakes are made with whites and yolks. A sponge cake will keep its shape better if you cut it with a serrated knife.Learn more
These are breads that are made with a starter instead of fresh yeast. A starter is a mixture of flour, water, and baker's yeast that been set out so that it can be colonized by airborne yeast and friendly bacteria. Starters lend a special character to the bread--sourdough bread, for example, needs to be made with a starter to acquire a sour flavor.Learn more
This is usually put inside a whole turkey to absorb flavorful juices while the bird roasts, but it can also be baked in a casserole dish. It's usually made of small bread cubes or shredded pieces of bread that have been dried. Commercial stuffing is convenient, but not as fresh-tasting as homemade stuffing.Learn more
These are crunchy corn tortillas that have been loosely folded and deep-fried. You just fill them and serve. Look for boxes of them among the Mexican foods in your supermarket, or make them yourself by deep-frying corn tortillas, forming them into a U-shape, then allowing them to harden into a crispy shell.Learn more
These thin wraps are used to make countless Mexican dishes. Corn tortillas have little or no fat, and they're the preferred tortilla for making tacos and enchiladas. Flour tortillas are softer, higher in fat, and more pliable. They're traditionally used to make burritos, chimichangas, fajitas, flautas, and quesadillas, though some cooks use them to make everything from spring rolls to peanut butter sandwiches. Before filling tortillas, cook them briefly on a hot, dry frying pan or wrap them in damp paper towels and heat them in the microwave. Store uncooked tortillas in the refrigerator or freezer.Learn more