Sunday, April 06, 2008

10 Steps To Baking Success

I found the following baking tips at I’ve added my own cooking insights to the list.

1. Read the recipe thoroughly before you begin to cook to make sure you have all the required ingredients.

2. Use fresh ingredients. Check your baking powder and baking soda to make sure their baking properties are effective. Check cooking oil to make sure it is not rancid. Herbs and spices should be aromatic and flavorful. Eggs should be fresh and stored in the refrigerator.

3. Ensure the ingredients are at room temperature for better mixing and baking. Remove from refrigerator 15 minutes before you start. This includes eggs, cooking oil, whole wheat flour, gluten, sesame seeds and poppy seeds, butter, and cream cheese (unless specified otherwise in the recipe).

4. Measure all the ingredients before you begin mixing. Break eggs separately into a small bowl to check for freshness and impurities. Occasionally eggs will have spots of blood. If the egg is fresh remove this blood spot and use the egg in the recipe. Or dispose of the egg and use another.

5. Use standard dry mixing cups for dry ingredients and standard liquid measuring cups for liquid ingredients. Use cooking measuring spoons and cups not utensiles used for eating.

6. Level off dry ingredients when measuring (don’t use a heaped measure), measure wet ingredients on a level counter top for an accurate read.

7. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients slowly and just until combined (don’t over mix, otherwise the batter or dough will become tough).

8. Preheat the oven to correct temperature (use an oven thermometer to confirm it’s accuracy), and use the center rack for the even heat distribution (unless your recipe states otherwise).

9. Line baking pans with non-stick foil or parchment paper to prevent sticking and to help with cleanup.

10. Use the pan size specified in the recipe. Otherwise, the recipe will overcook or undercook.

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