There are many things you can do to help your baking be its best. Below, I have some tips to help you get consistent results with anything that you bake. Take notes, now, because you will want to follow each of them.
- Always use the right consistency with butter: The temperature of your butter has the ability to dramatically affect how your baked goods turn out. If the recipe calls for butter that is softened, make sure your butter is soft.
- Room Temperature is very important: If the recipe calls for ingredients that are room temperature, whether its eggs, butter, or anything else, make sure you follow that.
- Before beginning, always read the recipe: Yeah, we all know this is what we should do, but how many times have you not done this. Reading it ahead of time will help you to be prepared for your next step before you get to it.
- Prepare your ingredients ahead of time: Yes, before you even start the first step, get out all the ingredients you will need and put them within easy reach.
- Measure well: Being precise in measurements with baking is very important, so measure each of your ingredients properly.
- Weigh the ingredients: This also falls into being precise. Use a small kitchen scale to get your measurements exact. The precision can make or break your recipe.
- Use an oven thermometer: Unless your oven is calibrated, it is likely off with the temperature. This can cause things not to bake like they should. Using a thermometer inside your oven will help a lot with this.
- Keep the door on the oven closed: When you are baking, it is tempting to open the oven to check on your goods. Resist the urge! Opening the door throws off the temperature and will affect how well the item bakes.
- Refrigerate your cookie dough: This is especially important if the dough is greasy feeling or if you want to cook them later. When you chill them, they will be firmer and will spread less during cooking.
- Keep them fresh: Here is a great tip for your cookies to keep them soft…store them with a piece of bread. This will help keep the cookies moist because the bread will give up its moisture to the cookies.
Hopefully these tips will help you have the kind of baked goods that have people coming back for more. They will certainly help you to have more consistent results in your kitchen. We certainly don’t need big data to help you improve your kitchen baking! But, if you do then check out this blog post from a mobile app development company about big data. Again, it’s probably overkill for your kitchen, but you never know what will help!
With Valentines coming up soon, maybe you want to get ahead on the cookie baking, especially if you have several parties lined up for your children. With three children in school, and their teams and extra curricular activities, I find that I bake quite a few batches of cookies for Valentines Day and other holidays. If you are like me and want to get ahead of the game, you may want to make your cookie dough early and freeze it. Well, it couldn’t be any easier!
Everyone has their own way to freeze cookie dough, but I have chosen the way that is easy and convenient for me. I make the homemade dough per the recipe then chill it in the refrigerator, usually overnight. After that, I roll the dough into balls and chill the cookie dough balls for about an hour. I then place the cold, solid dough balls into a freezer bag and label it with the date and the temperature they should be baked at. Then the bag goes right into the freezer. I only keep them in the freezer for up to three months, so the date on the bag helps me to determine which batches will still be fresh and give me fresh tasting cookies. Of course, the temperature on the bag is written on for reasons that are obvious. You can label the bag with any information that you may find helpful.
When I am ready to back the cookies, I take them out of the freezer and preheat the oven to the temperature the recipe calls for. Since the dough is frozen, I bake the cookies one to two minutes longer than the time on the recipe. This seems to be the best way for me to get the cookies cooked to perfection. Once they are done, simply take them out of the oven and try your best to not eat them all!
When you begin to bake, you will find that a lot of recipes will call for items to be used at room temperature. The items are usually something like milk, butter, cream cheese, yogurt, or eggs. This is a step, though, that many people tend to ignore. This is not a step that you want to ignore if you are serious about having your product turn out well. The recipe doesn’t suggest room temperature ingredients just for the fun of it. There is a real legitimate reason for the items to be room temperature. There is even a science behind it. This is why one of my biggest rules with baking is to always use ingredients at room temperature if the recipe calls for room temperature ingredients. There is no short cut around this step. If you use cold eggs or cold butter when the recipe says they should be room temperature, then your recipe will not live up to its potential. The final product will not come out tasting the way it should either.
When your eggs, butter, or other dairy type ingredients are at room temperature, they trap air by forming an emulsion. Then you bake the items, the air that was trapped will expand and create a baked good that is fluffy. This is how you get a tender cupcake or a light textured cake. You will not only have the benefit of a fluffy treat, but by using ingredients at room temperature, the ingredients will bond together easier, making your batter evenly textured and seamless. When your batter is smooth, your baked goods are more uniformly textured. When you use cold ingredients, they do not mix together as easily, if at all. This will give you flat breads and muffins, dense cookies, chunky cheesecake, or clumpy frosting. To put it simply, you will have a recipe failure.
The one thing about baking is this: it pays to bake like a perfectionist. Always pay attention to the temperature of things. The temperature is the main reason for people failing at baking. Always follow, to a tee, the recipe. And always use room temperature ingredients when the recipe calls for it so you can have baked goods worth eating.
Have you ever eaten the perfect cookie? The one that melts in your mouth and calls your name every time it’s presented? Yeah, that one. You know,
you can make them yourself. Yes, you. I am sure of it. And I will give you some tips to help you with making them.
- Chill the Cookie Dough: most cookie dough should be chilled before you cook it. Feel it and look it over to determine whether you should chill it or not. If the dough is wet feeling or greasy, you should chill it. This makes it less likely to become a greasy puddle when you cook it. After the chilling process, let the cook dough sit for about ten minutes at room temperature before you roll it into balls and bake.
- Prevent Excessive Spreading: Do your cookies turn into greasy puddles? There are a few things you can do to help with this.
- Again, chill the dough
- Use parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Spraying with nonstick spray just makes things more greasy. Using the mats or paper will prevent the cookies from sticking and promote even browning.
- Put the cookie dough only on baking sheets that are room temperature. Never put on a hot sheet.
- You may have used butter that was too warm
- You may have too little flour. The flour helps to absorb the wet ingredients in the dough, so too little makes your dough too wet.
- Never over mix the ingredients in the dough. When you whip too much air into your cookie dough, they will likely collapse when baking.
- Keep all Temperatures in Check: This goes for your oven and the temperature of the ingredients.
- Oven temps: there’s a really good chance the the temperature on your oven is inaccurate, unless you have it calibrated regularly. This can cause issues with baking. Use an oven thermometer to help you with this and prevent you from cooking at the wrong temperatures.
- Temperature of butter and eggs: When your ingredients are at room temperature, they give the dough a more uniform texture and structure. Try to set them out an hour or so before you start baking.
- Following the Baking Times: Yeah, that’s something I don’t really do. I use the times listed more as a suggestion. It is best to go with your instincts on this one. Keep in mind, though, that the items will continue to cook a little a few minutes after they are out of the oven.
- Only Bake a Single Batch at a Time: Yeah, it’s tempting to bake a few batches at a time, I know. Problem is, ovens all have a hot spot. If you want your baked goods to be consistent, then consistently bake only one batch at a time.
Hopefully these tips will help you the next time you are wanting to bake something. Maybe you will become the person that always brings the perfect cookies to the party.
Have you ever gone to make a recipe and realize that it calls for soft butter? All the butter you have is in the refrigerator! What will you do?
The reason soft butter is typically called for is because the recipe usually calls for you to cream the butter with sugar, a pretty crucial step. When the butter is at room temps, the sugar will aerate the butter through the creaming process. This puts air into your recipe. After that, the baking soda or baking powder will expand the air pockets and help your final product to be light and fluffy. All because your butter was room temperature.
I have tried, in the past, to simply microwave the butter. Problem is, if it’s melted, the air bubbles will not form. It will simply dissolve the sugar. If the butter is cold, though, it will not be pliable enough to blend and cream. This is why it’s important to follow the recipe just as it states when it calls for room temperature butter.
When it comes to baking, there’s nothing that can match soft butter. Of course, the best way to have it handy is to keep it on the counter way before you need it. Yeah, we don’t always make that a priority.
Don’t fret. There’s a great trick that will help you get your refrigerated butter to room temperature in no time. And it is super simple! All you need is:
- Butter, cut into small slices
Using these items, you can have room temperature butter in no time. Here’s how:
- Using a microwave safe bowl or cup, measure out 2 cups of water
- Microwave the water until boiling, usually 2 to 3 minutes
- Place your cold sliced butter into a bowl that is heat proof and place it in the microwave
- Close the door on microwave to keep the hot air in. The butter will be soft in about ten minutes
After these steps, your butter should be ready for your recipe. Just remember, the more butter you need for your recipe, the larger the bowl you use for the butter should be. Piling a bunch of butter together in a large pile will not allow it to warm up like it needs to.