Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tuesday Tip: Key to Baking Success

The key to baking success is to make sure all the ingredients you will use are at room temperature (unless otherwise specified).  Why?  The dough's temperature affects the texture and moisture of the finished product.  Think about it:  if the dough is cold when it goes in the oven, it will have to bake longer.  Plus, if the dough is not an even temperature throughout, then one part will bake faster/slower than the other parts which leaves you with a lop-sided product.  This applies to anything you bake: whether it's from scratch or a box.

Doesn't it make more sense to put a room temperature dough in the oven rather than one that is cold? 

The easiest way to bring ingredients to room temperature is to take them out of the fridge/freezer and place them on the counter (or in the microwave when you have starving cats) for at least 8 hours.  Typically, I set everything out before I go to work or the night before, and the ingredients are perfect when I am ready to bake.

But Jennifer.....  I completely forgot to set everything out this morning!

Don't worry....  I did that just the other day.....  So I made a little tutorial!

{I was making Blueberry Cornmeal Cake for dinner with my in-laws}

{Step 1:  Cut butter into 1/2 tablespoons or roughly 16 even pieces}

{Step 2:  Layer them in a bowl so that they are not stacked on each other and air can get through}

{See how my butter is stacked?}

{Step 3:  Wait for 1 hour and everything should be soft and ready to go! (that's my fingerprints as I was checking)}

{Warming eggs is really easy, just place in a bowl under cool, running water for about 15 minutes (yes, those were 'dirty'--don't judge)}

For liquids, gently warm it on the stove or in the microwave; it doesn't need to boil, just be warm to the touch. 

So there you have it!  One of the best tips that I ever learned from culinary school!

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