10 secrets of baking pros

Posted on Oct 30 2022 in Features, Heartland REMC

  1. Make a list of the recipes you plan to make, noting all the ingredients you’ll need and how much. Then translate that into packaging terms. Example:
    7 cups of butter = 14 sticks. Buy 4 packages.
    6 cups of sugar = 3 pounds. Buy a 5-pound bag.
    12 cups of flour. Each cup is about 4.5 ounces so 12 cups is 54 ounces. That is about  3.4 pounds. Buy a 5-pound bag.
  2. Check your pantry to see if you already have any ingredients you’ll need. If you do, make sure that the ingredient is not expired. If it is, throw it out and replace it.
  3. Planning a holiday baking marathon? Then you’ll probably need some extra cooling racks. Your ironing board can come to the rescue. Remove the cover and voila! You have a super-sized cooling rack that you can set up in a convenient location in the kitchen.
  4. Before you start baking, organize and prep your work area. Make sure you have plenty of room — especially if you plan to make several pies, cakes or batches of cookies. Start by clearing off your counters, getting any clutter out of the way. Then wipe them down. Now, get all your tools (measuring cups and spoons, bowls, cookie cutters, etc.) out and in plain view. Better to do it now instead of scrambling to find something in the middle of mixing the ingredients.
  5. It’s best to use room temperature eggs when baking since they will more easily incorporate into batter. If you forget to take them out of the fridge to give then ample time to rest, just place them in a bowl of warm water for about 10 minutes.
  6. Butter should also be at room temperature. Take it out of the fridge 1-2 hours before mixing your ingredients together. Cut the butter into cubes to speed up the warming up process.
  7. To ensure your baked goods can easily be removed from baking pans and sheets, line them with parchment paper or non-stick silicon baking mats first. Or, for Bundt cakes, be sure to coat the pan with melted butter or oil and sifted all-purpose flour first. 
  8. Turn baking day into a divide-and-conquer party. Assign different tasks to family and friends. For instance, one person can cut the cookie dough into shapes, another can place the cookies onto baking sheets and put them in and take them out of the oven, someone else can place the cookies on a cooling rack, another can frost them, and someone else can oversee the sprinkles. Oh, and everyone is on taste-testing duty! 
  9. If you can’t enlist others to help you bake, manage your expectations. Don’t overload yourself. Pick one to three treats that you want to make and tackle those. Now isn’t the time to try something new. Bake what you’ve already mastered.
  10. Bake when you have time and put the sweet treats in the freezer until they’re ready to be enjoyed. Even iced and decorative sugar cookies can be frozen.