There is no better time to start baking than during the holidays. The sweet smells of pumpkin spice coupled with the savory tastes of turkey make for a perfect combination for celebrating with loved ones.
We, at Medina Baking Powder & Supply, are aware that baking is not as easy as it looks. In fact, it can be quite the opposite. There is a science to baking that when not executed well, can leave your pastries falling flat. If baking is not your thing, you are in luck. We have a few practices up our sleeves for baking tips and tricks that will make you the life of the holiday party!
First, we’ll start with the basic baking tips:
Everything’s better with butter, but only at the appropriate consistency. Most often, a recipe will call for butter to be room temperature. To accomplish this, butter should be left on the counter for about an hour. If your short on time, pour two cups of water into a bowl, and microwave for 2 to 3 minutes. Then place the butter in the microwave and close the door, trapping the hot air inside. This will allow the butter to soften in 10 minutes. Viola!
Mind the temperature
If the recipe calls for room temperature, it is important to follow those instructions. Whether it refers to eggs or dairy ingredients, the idea is to ensure the room temperature so that items blend easier. This results in a consistent and well-blended batter.
Follow the recipe
Are you using a recipe? It’s a good idea to read it before you start. This seems like a no-brainer, but it can help prevent missing an important step to baking perfection.
Always have your ingredients prepped, and ready to go. This includes measuring the ingredients, placing them on the counter, and reading the recipe completely.
This aspect can’t be stressed enough. Throwing ingredients together just doesn’t work well in baking. Using precise ratios and measurements guarantees a perfectly baked item every time.
Weigh it out
This goes hand in hand with measuring. Using a small kitchen scale provides more precision to your recipe.
Temperature is everything
Having an oven thermometer ensures that your baked goods are cooked evenly, every time. Your oven is more than likely at least 10 degrees off. This means that the temperature that you think you are baking at is not the true temperature in the oven. A thermometer will help with this. Inaccurate temperatures will ruin what you are baking.
Close your oven door
Most people like to open the oven door frequently to “check in” on the baked item. What most people don’t know is that doing so throws off the temperature in the oven, and may prevent your baked goods from rising appropriately. If you absolutely have to check on your baked goods, do so quickly. Otherwise, take a chill pill, and let the oven do the work.
Chill your dough
Speaking of chill pills, if the recipe calls for chilling your dough, make sure to do so. Chilling cookie dough firms it up and prevents spreading.
Cookies, cookies, and more cookies
Storing your sweet treats with a piece of bread will keep them soft for up to a week. They can be stored in Tupperware or jars and will have the same effect in either.
These baking tips will take your baking prowess to another level. Baking is a science and using quality ingredients matters. With the holidays right around the corner, it is important to plan ahead and get creative. Try utilizing a cake pop mold or adding cute designs that will bring the festive factor up a few notches.
Whether you are a baking novice or a seasoned vet, these tried and true baking tips will always be timeless. Have a favorite holiday baking tip you’d like to share with us and the baking community? Visit Medina Baking Powder & Supply Facebook page, and post your story!