Cooktop Cove: Master baker shares top 15+ baking tips of all time
Have you ever made a batch of cookies only to have one time turn out well but another be an epic fail, even though you used the same recipe each time? Baking, unlike cooking, is more of a science. You can't just "wing" it or guesstimate, unfortunately. To bake well and consistently each time requires a much higher degree of accuracy and precision.
But what if you wanted to learn how to bake well without investing hours and hours on failed attempts in the kitchen? If you don't have an expert baker in your household to teach you, don't sweat. We've compiled a list of tips used by professional bakers from all over. After reading these ideas, your baking game will never be the same.
1. Choose the right pan for baking
Are you baking on a dark pan or light pan? Believe it or not, the color of your baking pan affects your results. Lighter pans reflect light, making it harder to heat up when compared to dark pans.
Tip: You don't need to throw out dark pans. The general rule of thumb is that if you have a dark pan to reduce oven temperature by 25% so you don't overbake the bottom.
2. Before baking cookie dough, let it ripen for 24 hrs
It's indeed better to premake your cookie dough before you use it. Keep the dough in the fridge for 24-48 hrs. This process will give added flavor and texture to your cookies.
3. Use apple slices to soften brown sugar
Are you sick and tired of hard brown sugar that's impossible to use? Next time, place a few apple slices into a bag with the hard brown sugar and seal. The next day or two, your brown sugar will be soft. If you don't like to use apple slices, you can also use a slice of bread!
Tip: Just be sure to replace the bread or apple slices regularly to keep the brown sugar soft.
4. Keep your frosting soft
To boiled frosting, add a teaspoon of vinegar. This will ensure the frosting stays soft, especially when the cake is cut.
5. Make sure cakes don't dry out
To ensure cakes don't dry out while baking, try adding a pan of water to the oven while the cake is baking.
6. Measure all ingredients by weight rather than volume
Pro bakers swear by this tip. Invest in a food scale to ensure baking accuracy as measuring by volume can lead to inconsistencies each time you bake.
7. Grate your butter
Graters aren't just used for cheese. Using a grater on butter gives the butter a softer, thinner texture. Try this method when incorporating butter into batter the next time you bake. This will allow you to more easily integrate and distribute the butter and is particularly useful when it comes to baking biscuits or pie crusts.
8. Soften butter with a warm glass
Sure, you can heat the entire butter stick in the microwave, but that can also lead you to over-soften the butter (or worse just melt it). Instead, try the following tip by Creekline House
. Warm up a glass. Then, put a stick of butter underneath the upside down glass to soften.
9. No cookbook stand? Try this DIY solution
Plastic hangers for pants make effective baking cookbook holders. Hang one on an overhead cabinet handle, and clip open the cookbook at the desired pages. Don't hang the cookbook where grease or food might splatter on it when you are cooking.
10. Keep your cakes moist with sliced bread
The following tip is from Baked Bree
. Most people that see the trick below don't even believe it works. After baking, place a slice of bread on top of the cakes. The cake layers won't become stale, but the slice of bread will become very hard.
11. Invest in an oven thermometer
Unfortunately, oven temperatures aren't always the most accurate, and older ovens can be off by 100°F. To ensure you are baking at the right temperature, get an oven thermometer. Simply hang the thermometer on the rack while you are baking.
12. Easily separate your egg yolk and whites
It turns out all you need is a plastic bottle! Use the bottle to suck the egg yolk up.
13. Need a rolling pin? Use a wine bottle!
The wine bottle as rolling pin trick works especially well for pizza dough. It also helps save room in your cupboard as you don't need a rolling pin! Just make sure you wash the wine bottle and take off the label before you use it.
14. Dip your cookie cutters in flour
Make sure to dip your cookie cutters in flour before you use them. Why? This makes the cookie cutting process easier as the flour allows the cutter to more easily cut through the dough.
15. Get fluffier whipped cream
To get the best whipped cream, chill your beater and bowl in the refrigerator before you use them. This results in fluffier whipped cream and stiffer peaks.
16. Turn cake into cookies with 2 ingredients
Want cookies but only have cake mix? Try adding 1/2 cup of oil and 2 eggs to any boxed dry cake mix to get cookie dough.
17. Get the perfect slice
How do you get the perfect cake slice? Run knife under hot water for a few seconds and dry. Then cut into your cake or pie for the perfect, cleanest slice.
18. Store your cake in the microwave
A closed microwave can actually keep your cake fresh and moist. This tip is especially helpful if you don't have a cake stand with a cover and have limited counter space. Just remember that the cake is in the microwave, so you don't accidentally heat it up!
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