Baking Like a Pro
We asked a professional pastry chef to share some of her secrets for better baking.
Most recipes call for standard ingredients. Knowing what those are can help you become a more successful baker.
- Eggs: Use “large” eggs in recipes unless the recipe specifies something else.
- Butter: Most recipes are written for unsalted butter. Margarine typically contains more water than butter, so unless a recipe calls for it, don’t use it.
- Flour: Use all-purpose flour unless the recipe calls for another variety. Cake and pastry flour have less gluten so they won’t provide as much structure; whole-wheat flour contains the whole grain of wheat and is typically mixed with some white flour in recipes.
A Kitchen Scale is a Baker’s Best Friend
Having accurate measures is the real key to consistent baking. Having a scale, such as the Kalorik Electronic Kitchen Scale, can make all the difference.
- Ever wonder why your chocolate chip cookies are chewy one time and doughy the next? It’s probably how you measured your flour. By weighing ingredients such as flour, you take that variability out of your recipes – 4 ounces by weight will always be 4 ounces, a cup of flour by volume could weigh anywhere from 3 to 5 ounces.
- Getting started. The next time you prepare your favorite recipe, take the time to weigh out each of the ingredients. Mark the weights on the recipe. The next time you prepare it, just weigh everything out. You’ll be amazed by how much faster measuring will be and by how much more consistent your baking will be.
Get the Temperature
Ingredients mix better when they are close to the same temperature.
- Butter: You can leave butter out to soften, or microwave it for 20 to 30 seconds on medium heat (50% power).
- Eggs: Take them out of the refrigerator about an hour before they’re needed.