So I wanted to use this space to share some of my baking tips. Over the many years I’ve spent baking, I’ve come up with quite a list of best practices and tips to help me succeed. If you are anything like me, I’m sure you can relate with the disappointment of spending hours to make something, and it turning out so bad that the dog won’t even touch it. I can’t even count how many times my chocolate chip cookies came out as a flat disk, or every time I thought “This will be the time they rise”. What’s interesting about baking/cooking is that everything we make can be broken down by ratios, and that most recipes have the same basic ingredients (flour, eggs, sugar, butter, and leavening agent)… Crazy right? Also the order and time in which we put these basic ingredients together impacts what we create. In essence, the ratio of ingredients, and order in which they are used determines if they produce a cookie or a muffin. Obviously the endless add-ons, such as chocolate chips, caramel, walnuts, fruit, etc… play a big part in the delicious taste and substance of your creation.
I am going to post best practices and tips for different baked goods and update the lists periodically. Also, it’s important to note that these are tips and best practices that I’ve come across throughout my baking journey. These are not the end all of baking methods by any means. If you have any baking tips you want to share, feel free to contact me. email@example.com
Here are a few of my favorite tips that have a huge impact on my overall baking experience:
- Eggs, dairy, butter and most liquid ingredients should be room temperature when added to the other ingredients, unless specified otherwise. If there is a high fat content, adding cold eggs could re-harden the fat, thus making giving the batter a curdling effect. Cold ingredients also tend to separate and not mix well with other ingredients when combined, ultimately effecting the ‘rising’ potential, and the finished product.
- To bring items to room temperature they are usually removed from the refrigerator a half hour to an hour before use. If you are pressed for time, place the items, or container in a measuring cup or dish that is filled with warm water for about 10 minutes.
- Light colored metal bake-ware for some reason seems to works best for most items I bake, in terms of not overcooking. They tend to not cause too much browning of the product. It’s a matter of absorption and radiation.
3. Always line your pan or bake ware with aluminum foil or parchment paper. This doesn’t affect the baking, and makes clean up a synch, especially with some of the gooey deserts.
Butter consistency is key. Butter plays an intricate part in most recipes, and if not added in the correct form this could drastically change the final result. The three main stages are:
Chilled: Take directly from fridge.
Softened: Still has most of its structure but softened, usually on counter (room temperature) for an hour
Melted: Liquid form.
- Butter is best melted on the stove top than cooled, as opposed to the microwave, which doesn’t melt the butter evenly. (Plus the less microwaving the better.)
5. Do not over bake! I know this is not always easy, but most baked goods will continue to bake for a few minutes after being removed from the oven, and they will complete their forming or setting once cooled. Plus once an item is burnt you cannot un-burn it, but if it’s undercooked you can always put it back in the oven for a few minutes.
-If you are anything like me (or my dad), then you prefer most of your baked goods more gooey. Please air on the side of slightly under baked.
-Check back soon for my best practices on Muffins 🙂