Sometimes we can all use a little help in the kitchen.
Baking at home requires more than just following a recipe. It also takes some basic understanding of the baking process, tools, techniques and ingredients. Here are some everyday do’s and don’ts you should always keep in mind when whipping up sweet treats!
Do Use Butter At Room Temperature
Let butter sit out until it reaches room temperature; it will produce smoother batter and a fluffier dessert! It also makes creaming butter and sugar, which most recipes call for, much easier if the butter is soft. Do this unless otherwise specified, for example when making a pie or tart crust.
Don’t Skip Preheating
Always preheat the oven at least twenty minutes before baking. Time and temperature affect the texture and flavor of your baked goods, and starting in a cold oven will result in an uneven bake. No matter how much of a rush you’re in preheating the oven is essential!
Do Sift Flour
It’s important to sift with a sifter or sieve, to remove clumps and add airiness. If you’re sifting flour, you can easily sift in any other ingredients (like salt or spices).
Don’t Forget To Test Your Cakes With Toothpicks
Inserting a toothpick into the center of your cakes will tell you if it’s done baking or not. It should come out clean, with no streaks of batter, unless a recipe states otherwise.
Do Use Fresh Eggs
You’re always best off using the freshest eggs in baking. Eggs begin to break down as they age, which means when whipped they won’t hold as much air as a fresher egg will.
Don’t Walk Away From Certain Items
It’s important to keep an eye on certain things as you bake. Always pay attention to caramel, as it can burn in a matter of seconds. Creme anglaise is another delicate sauce that needs a lot of attention; walk away and you may end up with scrambled eggs.