I have been sharing recipes and comments with you on my blog for a while now and realized it might help to share some basic baking tips/information with you. I titled it Part 1 because there are always new hints and tips to be learned along the way and I’m sure I’ll remember a few others I want to share with you so, I’ll need a Part 2 or 3.
First and foremost…enjoy! I know how frustrating it can be to have a ‘fail’, (last weeks post was titled “Keep or Weep”) but don’t let it deter you from trying again. Whether it’s the same recipe or another just get right back in the kitchen! Sometimes just a few simple changes can improve your results.
Grab a cup of tea or a cool drink and take a read through.
Baking 101 – these are in no particular order but I hope they help and drop me a line if you have a question. I cannot promise I’ll have the answer but you never now. Happy baking and eating.
1. Unless otherwise indicated in recipe books and magazines eggs used are large. Eggs are sized by weight with a large egg being 50 grams.
2. Use the correct size baking pans to ensure the best results. If you use larger or smaller pans you will need to adjust baking times. It is especially important to use bundt or angel food pans when called for – no substitutions!
3. For cakes, cupcakes, muffins, etc. have your ingredients such as milk, eggs and butter at room temperature before beginning your recipe.
4. When baking biscuits and pastry you will need to have your butter, cream, milk, etceterra, chilled.
5. Purchase a set of dry measure and wet measuring cups and use accordingly.
6. If you haven’t used your baking powder or baking soda in several months and the package(s) is open toss it and purchase a new one. Stale or flat baking powder or soda will ruin your baked items.
7. Preheat your oven and make sure it has a chance to go through a ‘cycle’ before baking.
8. All ovens have hot spots. It doesn’t matter how much you spent on your beautiful appliance! Make sure to rotate your pans and switch the racks they are on half way through baking.
9. Check your baking after the minimum amount of time to give you an idea of whether you need less time or more time than suggested. Opening the oven door the least amount of time when baking is best!
10. Organization is key!! Put every ingredient out on the counter, whether cooking or baking. This ensures you have all the ingredients and will actually save you time when measuring everything out before you begin. There is nothing worse than getting part way through the recipe and realizing you are missing a key ingredient or something has gone bad.
11. When zesting limes or lemons make sure to not grate the pith (the white part under the peel) as it is bitter. Extra zest can be frozen.
12. Limes and lemons can be microwaved for 15-20 seconds before juicing to optimize the juicing process. Using a reamer helps get the most juice out.
13. Don’t over mix. Once you reach the part in the recipe where the dry ingredients are added to the wet be cautious. If the recipe states “mix only until combined” or “mix only until no streaks of flour remain” your best bet may be to mix in the dry ingredients by hand NOT with a mixer. It is easy to overmix and this can result in a heavier denser baked item.
14. Separate whites from yolks immediately after removing eggs from fridge. They separate easiest when cold. Then bring them to room temperature. Extra yolks and whites can be frozen for future use.
I hope you bake up a recipe for muffins, cookies or scones from sweetenuftalk with great success. If you do, share a picture with me on Instagram.
Thanks for stopping by!