Bakers Top 15 Helpful Hints
Fifteen of the most helpful hints for successful baking – no matter what you are creating!
1.Â Â Read entire recipe and prepare ingredients requiring special handling first, such as chopping or toasting nuts and softening butter or cream cheese. For baking success, butter must be softened, yet slightly firm.
2.Â Â Be sure the baking ingredients have not exceeded their shelf life. If you question the freshness of your baking powder, for example, test it. To determine whether baking powder is still fresh:Â Â Place 1/2-teaspoon baking powder in a small bowl. Add 1/4-cup hot water. If the mixture foams, the baking powder is still good. If it does not foam, replace your box of baking powder.
3.Â Â Use the proper measuring cups for liquid and dry ingredients. Metal or plastic measuring cups for dry ingredients and glass or clear plastic cups for liquid ingredients.
4.Â Â Use correct measuring techniques. For example, lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup. Level off the excess with a knife. Never pack flour into the cup.
5.Â Â Substitute ingredients carefully. Recipes with substitutions may vary in flavor, consistency or texture.
6.Â Â Preheat the oven. Most baked recipes call for a preheated oven. Turn the oven to the specified temperature for 10 to 15 minutes prior to baking to give the oven adequate time to heat up to the correct temperature.
7.Â Â Use the correct baking pan size stated in the recipe, whenever possible. Substituting a different sized pan may change the baking time required.
8.Â Â Place baking pans in the middle of the center rack of the oven. For most baking, there should be one to two inches of space all around the baking pan for even distribution of heat.
9.Â Â For evenly browned cookies, use a shiny, aluminum cookie sheet open on one, two or three sides rather than an insulated or dark colored cookie sheet.
10.Â Â To avoid a soggy pie crust use a glass or dull aluminum pan. Also, chill the unbaked pie crust for an hour before adding the filling and baking.
11.Â Â Use a kitchen timer. This allows for precision and helps ensure the end product is not over cooked.
12.Â Â Use an oven thermometer to make sure oven temperatures are both accurate and consistent since ovens and oven temperatures can vary.
13.Â Â If your cookies are crumbling, most likely the cookie dough is too dry. Try adding one or two tablespoons of cream or milk to the dough.
14.Â Â Store cookies in the appropriate container. For crisp cookies, store in a container with a loose-fitting lid to maintain texture. For soft cookies, store in a container with a tight-fitting lid to maintain texture.
15.Â Â Once opened, refrigerate butter in a resealable bag. It will retain its freshness for up to four months.
Now that you know the bakers top 15 helpful hints, you can impress everyone you bake for. Happy baking!
See also: Cooking Tips