Baking Tips

 
How I bake the goodies found on this site:


∙  Butter is the American version and unsalted unless specified otherwise.  You can use salted butter but 
    you must reduce the amount of salt called for in the recipe.

∙  Ingredients are at room temperature unless specified otherwise.

∙  Unless otherwise noted, all my recipes are baked on the middle rack in the oven.

∙  Brown sugar is always packed in the cup unless noted that it's weighed.

∙  I bake without using the convection setting.  If you prefer to use convection with any of my recipes, 
    simply lower the oven temperature by 25° F (3.89° C) then follow the recipe as directed.

∙  Too, I use insulated cookie sheets as a matter of personal preference.

∙  All gram weights listed in the recipes are based on the King Arthur Ingredient Weight Chart.
 
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Here are a bunch of fantastic baking tips that will help you achieve the best possible results!  This list will be constantly expanding so please check back.  Feel free to let me know your favorite tips!  In no particular order but by process...

Baking tips and tricks:


General Tips...

∙  Store whole wheat flour in the freezer to prevent it from spoiling.

∙  Store nuts in the freezer to prevent rancidity and extend their usefulness.


Before baking...

∙  Be sure to take your time and avoid rushing.

∙  Read the recipe all the way through before you start to ensure you have every ingredient and            
    understand the process.

Baking prep...

∙  To soften butter quickly, slice it into smaller cubes or grate it on a box grater.  Let the butter pieces sit 
    on the counter for a few minutes and it will be ready to go in short order.

∙  To bring eggs to room temperature faster, place them in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes.

∙  When baking with apples, always use a mix of 2-3 different types.  The combination of apples will 
    vary the flavor and texture, improving your recipe.

∙  To get parchment paper to lay flat, crinkle it up into a small ball then unfurl it.  Smooth it out flat and it 
    won't curl up on you again.

While mixing...

∙  Overpour your vanilla as it extra enhances all the flavors.  If the recipe calls for 1 teaspoon, try 1 1/2 or
    2 teaspoons.

Bread rising tips...

∙  If your place is on the cool side, preheat the oven for about a minute or two, shut it off, and set the 
    bread dough inside the slightly warmed oven to rise.

∙  Rising can also be encouraged by placing a pan or bowl of steaming water in the oven, then place the
    covered bowl on a rack above it.

∙  Leaving the light on in the oven, while not good for your electric bill, does warm up an oven a bit to 
    help dough rise as well.

During baking...

∙  Always set your timer for the lowest suggested baking time and begin checking for doneness then.

∙  Rotating the pans or sheets and switching sides for cake pans halfway through baking ensures even 
    results and helps eliminate oven hot spot issues.

∙  For best results with cookies, bake one sheet at a time to avoid crowding the oven plus rotate the sheet 
    halfway through.

∙  Got a log of cookie dough and need to square up the ends?  Holding the log perpendicular to the 
    counter, lightly tap the log on the surface to flatten the end.

Post baking...

∙  Slip a slice of bread in with your fresh-baked cookie storage and they’ll stay fresher longer.
 
Bakeware tips:

∙  When shopping for measuring cups and spoons, be sure to look for sets that include as many 
    measurements as possible.  For instance, spoons, preferably look for 1/8 teaspoon all the way up to 1 
    tablespoon.  Most sets contain just the very basics which can leave you guessing if you're missing a 
    specific measurement.

∙  Do invest in a kitchen scale.  Many can be had inexpensively and work very well.

∙  To lengthen the life of your pans, wash them by hand and towel or air dry.

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