You see, I was using my (still) new double ovens, where I produced about 20 dozen cookies in just over an hour. For retail bakers that may not sound like much, but for a home baker like me it’s a huge win. It’s climbing the Matterhorn. It’s reaching the top of Everest without altitude sickness. It’s getting the grocery shopping done without any impulse purchases.
Get it? It was big. So why on earth was he talking to me about ‘chimping’? And why do we need to do it?
As usual, I started on Google and found this definition in the “Urban Dictionary”-
Chimping: What one does after taking a picture with a digital camera and looking at the result. Derived from the words they speak when chimping: "Ooo-oo-oo!"
OK, so my husband is a photographer and apparently they (that group of other digital nerds he considers friends) tease each other about eagerly chimping every time they snap a digital photo. He saw me peeking into the ovens repeatedly and instantly burst out with the chimping comment.
It’s a fact that wheat flour will sometimes contain more or less moisture, depending on the ambient humidity and temperature and also that time of year can affect flour as well. Some of the very best recipes I’ve found say to ‘add flour until it reaches…..consistency’. And the type of baking pan used makes a difference as well, including both thickness and color of the pan.
So the bottom line is that a good baker chimps a lot. Use the timer for a general idea of how long to bake an item, but check, check, check. Mostly through the oven windows, until the last minute at least. Is the surface still shiny? How is the bottom browning; how does the cookie or cake smell; is the surface ok, translucent or golden?
At least now I have a name for my pastime of watching the cookies in the oven: Chimping. Want to join me in chimping? Have at it.
Look what I just bought and assembled: