Baking Made Simple (And Tasty) With These Helpful Hints
Expert Baker Secret Baking Technique Involves A Blow Dryer, And It Is Genius
Katie Mooney 12/27/2016
The chilly months are here, and so are the peppermint chocolate chip cookies, the cranberry gingerbread loaves, and the homemade apple pies - 'tis the season of baking. Some of us enjoy creating these scrumptious holiday treats, while others prefer just eating them (my hand is raised). But, whichever side of the baking pan you stand on, we can all surely agree that there is no scent more wonderful than that of baked goods - pastries, cookies, and cakes...oh my!
Whether you're a pastry pro and in need of a few reminders, or you tend to burn toast and are just beginning "Baking 101" - these tasty tips are for you. Let's get cookin'!
Although we're able to select the temperature of our oven on the dial - unfortunately, that number doesn't always reflect what's really going on inside. All too often, the actual temp of the oven doesn't align with the number you've set it to. Easy fix - purchase an oven thermometer. In the words of Goldilocks, your oven won't be "too hot, or too cold...you'll know it's just right!"
It's A Marathon, Not A Sprint
One seemingly simple suggestion (yet extremely critical) is to slow down in the kitchen. All too often, being distracted or in a rush causes us to miss a recipe step, forget an ingredient, or combine things in the wrong order. So, take a breath and enjoy the baking ride - you may even find it quite therapeutic!
You Glow Girl
Want to give the crusts of your baked goods an added shine? Just prior to tossing them in the oven, brush on a bit of egg wash. Your desserts will be glowing with perfection.
Butter is an important and necessary ingredient in most baked treats. Let's be honest, everything is better with butter! The consistency and state of the butter going into a recipe (softened, chilled, frozen, melted, room temperature) greatly affects the final texture of the baked good. So pay close attention to the instructions, and baby the butter!
Proper Preparation = Success
Taking the time to "read as you go" and search for supplies and ingredients during the baking process is just a "recipe" for disaster! Instead, review the recipe thoroughly ahead of time, collect all of your ingredients and supplies prior to starting, and have everything that you'll need organized on your counter - as with life, being prepared is key!
Purchasing your common baking ingredients in bulk is certain to save you money, time, and headache! Money, because it's cheaper to buy in large quantities; time, because you'll be running out to the stores less often for ingredients; and headache, because you'll always have enough of everything on hand - rather than getting to the end of a recipe and then realizing you're fresh outta flour. Ugh, rookie mistake!
An Exact Science
Eye-balling-it, winging-it, and guesstimating are terms that should NOT be used when baking. Most recipes (in order to come out as desired) require exact and precise measurement. Be certain to have the proper measuring tools on hand, and take the time to level (not eyeball).
Goodbye To The Goo
As we all know, ooey gooey ingredients such as honey, maple syrup, and molasses leave behind a sticky, messy coating on our measuring cups. That is, until now! Prior to measuring anything with "goo-like" consistency, give the measuring tools a quick spritz with non-stick cooking spray - enjoy the glide!
Get your blowdryer ready because you'll need it for one of the fabulous tips below!
We may not be able to avoid all of life's sticky messes and unexpected challenges, but we can certainly avoid them in the kitchen. Share these baking tips with your baking friends, and spread the baking joy! What the world needs now - is more baked goods!