I don't know about most but I got my start in baking with my grandma and my mom. My grandma would always stress the importance of exact measuring, mixing dry and wet ingredients separately and not stomping around in the kitchen while a cake was in the oven. Well the rest of this week and into the next I'm planning on researching the reasons behind some of these "baking rules" and what each ingredient does.
The first question answered is: Why mix wet and dry ingredients separate?
In my research I found that there are two answers to that question. The first and main reason is that flour has protien in it that when mixed with water turns to gluten, when the gluten in the flour is over mixed it results in tougher cakes, cookies or pie crusts.
The second reason has to do with distribution, when you dump everything in the bowl at once you run the risk of not distributing the ingredients well and you end up with too much baking soda in one area and not enough in another. That results in lop-sided cakes... fluffy on one side and flat on another.
Flour- it's the base and main component in baking. Most commonly used is All-purpose flour. All-purpose flour is a wheat flour that comes in Bleached and Unbleached forms which and be interchangeable. "Bleached" flour just means that the wheat was aged with the use of chemicals before it was ground.
Another type of flour is Cake flour. Cake flour is also a wheat flour but is more finely ground and smooth. It's best used for making white cake and in recipe where a more delicate texture is desired.
To subsitute Cake flour for All-purpose flour, use 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of cake flour for every cup of All-purpose flour.
To make your own Cake flour, use 3/4 cup sifted Bleached All-purpose plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch for every cup of