Fall is in full swing and that means BAKING! I love “Baking Season” but sometimes baking can be a little intimidating. My baking nemesis is pie crust. I stand in awe of pie crust makers! We have a friend who’s “famous” for her pies with homemade crusts. Mine never seem to come out quite right.
Recently, we made a batch of chocolate chip cookies using a recipe we’ve used before and they were perfect. This time not so much. They were thin and spread ALL over the baking sheet. What went wrong?
Shortly after the cookie incident, I was looking through a magazine and came across baking tips from master bakers. Some I’d hear before and some I hadn’t. It didn’t take me long to realize, the problem with our cookies was our butter had been too soft.
Four out of five of my 2014 Epic Fails were baking related! In an attempt to avoid that this year I’m sharing and putting into practice these 7 Tips for Successful Baking. They’re simple things that make a BIG difference. I guess we’ll see how I did with them when it come time for this year’s Epic Fails.
1. Get Prepared
Read and understand the full recipe before getting started. Make sure you have all the tools and ingredients needed, then measure all ingredients and have them ready when needed.
2. Room Temperature Butter means soft, not oily
Pushing with your thumb should leave an indention but you should NOT be able to stick your finger through it. If butter is needed before it has time to soften it can be grated with a box grater to allow it to whip easily.
3. Use the right size eggs
It may not seem like there’s that much difference but it can be. For example, large eggs weigh about 50 grams, extra-large about 60. If a recipe calls for several large eggs and extra-large are used it can add a significant amount of extra liquid. That will have an effect on the final product.
4. Use eggs at room temp
Room temperature eggs beat to a higher volume and allow food to rise better. If you forget to take the eggs out to warm I have a great Time Saving Tip to warm them quickly.
5. Portion out batter evenly
When baking a layer cake try using a ladle to alternate between pans for more even amounts. This method can also be used for muffins or pour batter from a large measuring cup. For cookies use a cookie scoop. They look like an ice cream scoop and allow for more uniform cookies, plus it just makes scooping the dough easier.
Although I haven’t tried this one, I hear it’s great. Only a little butter is needed to allow your creations to slip right out of the pan…no sticking!
7. Don’t open the oven door
Opening the oven door causes the temp inside to drop significantly. Only open to check for doneness and rotate pans, otherwise use the oven light to peek in on your goodies.
Hope today’s Time Saving Tuesday will not only save you some time but prevent any holiday baking disasters!