Top 10 Baking Tips and Tricks
Baking is a science; even the most tested recipes can still flop on occasion. If you’ve followed the recipe and still ended up with a less-than-desirable result, we have some tips that can help. Check out our 10 baking tips and tricks that you may not be aware of to help you bake the perfect cookies, muffins and bread every time!
1. Temperature matters – Baking is a science, so if the recipe calls for room temperature butter, plan to take your butter out of the fridge in advance to warm up. (Melted butter is NOT the same as warm butter)
2. Set up before you start – Set up your tools and measure your ingredients before you start. The baking process will be much smoother and you’ll know you have all the ingredients the recipe calls for before you get started.
3. Use the right flour – All-purpose flour isn’t really made for every purpose. While it is the most versatile flour, it’s important to match your flour to your recipe (ex. cake, pastry, bread).
4. Don’t skip the salt – You may think salt isn’t necessary in desserts, but it helps enhance the flavour. If the recipe calls for it, make sure you use it.
5. Whole wheat hack – Whole wheat flour contains both the bran and germ of wheat, which is coarser in texture. Letting the batter rest before baking (10-20 minutes) gives the liquid a chance to hydrate the bran and the germ to soften it.
6. Flour your chips – Coat chocolate chips or other cake add-ins with flour before adding them to the batter so they don’t sink to the bottom while baking.
7. Don’t rush the rise – When it’s time to let bread dough rise, many bakers put it in the warmest place possible to speed up the process. The best possible bread flavour is developed during a slow, natural rise; leave your dough to rise in a room-temperature spot and don’t rush it.
8. Use a light coloured pan – Dark-coloured pans may absorb more heat than light ones, which can cause the bottoms of your cookies and cakes to burn.
9. Pans are interchangeable – A standard 12-muffin recipe is roughly the same volume as a 9×5 inch loaf. The only alteration to be made is the bake time.
10. High altitude baking – Altitudes of 3,000 feet or higher (like in Calgary) affect the baking of cakes and yeast breads. Consider making these adjustments if you notice a recipe isn’t turning out the way it should.