7 Secrets to Make Your Baking Better
I love to bake. Last Thursday night I went into the kitchen at 8:30 pm and made pumpkin spice granola, pumpkin spice muffins and three loaves of whole wheat bread. It was just before midnight when I turned the oven off, quieted the podcasts I had been listening to all night and trotted off to bed. It was a good night.
Other people aren’t quite as passionate about baking as I might be and I think it’s because it can often feel complicated. Room-temperature butter. Sifted flour. Pureed pumpkin. Diced apples. It all requires a little effort and can be anything but straightforward, which often turns people off from the task. This has inspired me to provide some tips and tricks, or what I like to call ‘secrets,’ to make your baking endeavours just a list easier:
1. Use room temperature ingredients. Place an egg in a bowl of warm water to bring it to room temp and soften butter by cutting it into small cubes and leave it out for 20 minutes while you gather the rest of your ingredients. Be careful though, because if your butter is too soft it will make the cookies oily and greasy. Make sure it is cool and no warmer than room temperature.
2. To make better bars and brownies, line your baking dish with buttered parchment paper. After baking pull the sides of the parchment up and remove the baked good from the pan. This will prevent the bars from sticking.
3. Measuring your flour is extremely important. Use a spoon to fill your measuring cup with flour and level it off with a butter or palette knife. Don’t scoop the flour directly from the bag otherwise you’ll get too much flour in your measuring cup.
3. To sift flour you can use a whisk in the bowl. You don’t need to have a special sifter.
4. Always buy quality– the best chocolate and butter you can afford.
5. Bake your cookies on parchment paper over a silicone mat whenever possible. It makes the bottoms nice and golden brown, and with sugar cookies you get less spreading.
6. Use an ice cream scoop to portion cookies and muffins for evenly sized baked goods.
7. Bake a test cookie. Test for oven temperature, baking time, size etc. before you bake an entire batch.
Do you have any of your own baking secrets to share?