Tips for Better Baking – Week One

Every day in January I am sharing some of my best Tips for Better Baking.  These are tips that have made my kitchen life easier and helped me become a better baker.  Follow along on Facebook or check back here each Sunday for a roundup of the week’s tips.

Tips for Better Baking #1 – Use a scale, start weighing your ingredients, and get comfortable working in grams. 

Using a scale and weighing your ingredients is the number one way to improve your baking.  If you’re trying to get 1 cup of flour, the results can vary greatly based on how you fill the measuring cup, but 1 ounce is always 1 ounce and 100 grams is always 100 grams.  It’s a much more accurate way of measuring ingredients and once you get comfortable working with a scale, it’s much easier too.

I have created a handy Cups to Grams Baking Conversion Chart that includes the most common conversions needed in baking. I recommend printing it out and taping it to the back of your kitchen cupboard doors. Click here to download the chart and a free tutorial on how to use it.

I recommend this My Weight Kitchen Scale because it’s easy to use, fast, and lightweight.  It’s also really affordable for such high quality.

Tips for Better Baking - Get comfortable using a scale to weigh your ingredients.  It's more accurate and your baked goods will be better!

Tips for Better Baking #2 – To bring cold eggs to room temperature, warm them in a bowl of hot tap water for 10 minutes. 

When baking cakes, room temperature eggs provide a finer, more even crumb and, overall, a better baked good.  In some cakes it won’t make a huge difference, but for cake batters that rely on whipping air into beaten eggs, you want to make sure your eggs are the right temperature. Cold eggs don’t whip as well as those at room temperature and you will end up with a dense cake.

The same is true when making meringue.  Room temperature egg whites can be beat to a greater volume than those straight out of the refrigerator.

I’ve also made the mistake of mixing cold eggs into melted butter and suddenly my butter isn’t melted anymore.  Not only is it annoying, but usually you have to dump what you have and start over.

Tips for Better Baking - Make Sure your eggs are the right temperature when whipping them or they will not whip properly

Tips for Better Baking #3 – When mixing liquid ingredients or making whipped cream, wrap your mixer in plastic wrap to avoid splatters. 

The worst part about baking is the mess and this tip will save you some trouble.  Simply wrap your mixer in plastic wrap when you’re working with liquid ingredients and you’ll protect your kitchen and counters from splatters.  This is especially helpful when making whipped cream.

Speaking of whipped cream, there’s no reason not to make your own.  It’s so easy and SO much better than the pre-made stuff that comes out of a tub or can.  Here’s what you do: Pour a cup or two of chilled heavy cream in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Next, add in a few tablespoons of powdered sugar and a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract.  Wrap your mixer with plastic wrap, turn it to high speed, and beat until stiff peaks form.  There’s no need to measure and you can’t mess it up.  It will blow you away and you’ll never purchase the artificial, waxy tasting store made stuff again.

Tips for Better Baking - A Brillant Way to Avoid a mess in the kitchen.  Especially helpful when making whipped cream!

Tips for Better Baking #4 – Easily soften butter to room temperature by leaving it out on the counter overnight. 

If you can plan ahead, this is the best way to soften butter. If you’re baking in the evening, simply put the butter out on the counter in the morning and it will be room temperature when you get home from work.

Tips for Better Baking - This is the easiest way to get perfectly softened butter

 

What are your best Tips for Better Baking?  Do you have any baking issues you would like resolved?  Comment below and let me know!

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