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The holiday season is steeped in tradition.
Baking is one tradition that comes with the
Many people may only bake in November and
December, so it’s understandable if they’re
a little rusty come the holiday season. These
baking tips can lead to successful yields of
cookies, cakes and other holiday treats.
Follow the recipe carefully
When cooking, it is easy to add an extra
dash of this or a pinch of that. But baking is a
science and the ingredients are used in a ratio
to produce a desired chemical reaction while
cooking. To ensure success, do not substitute
ingredients unless the recipe tells you how to do
so, and measure each addition carefully.
Spoon out your measurements
It can be tempting to dig a measuring cup right
into a bag of fl our, but scooping packs the
ingredients down — potentially causing you
to use more than the recipe calls for. Instead,
spoon the fl our into your measuring cup gently
and use a straight edge to level it out. Even
better, use a scale and metric measurements
to ensure exact amounts of wet and dry
Read up on temperature
Certain ingredients, like butter and eggs, are
temperature-dependent. Cold butter in biscuits
helps them to rise up fl aky and delicious.
Eggs brought to room temperature enable the
emulsifi cation process to work more readily.
The difference in temperature can mean a
completely different chemical reaction, so follow
the recipe accordingly.
Calibrate the oven
Purchase an oven thermometer, set your oven
to 350 F, the standard baking temperature,
and see what the thermometer reads. If it is
different, adjust cooking times accordingly or
have the oven repaired. Cooking at the wrong
temperature might mean the recipe doesn’t turn
Use unsalted butter
Most recipes will call for unsalted butter so you
aren’t adding unwanted sodium to the recipe,
affecting dough consistency and fl avor.
Position pans centrally
Pans should be on the center rack of the oven. If
the oven isn’t wide enough to put multiple pans
side by side, place them on different racks and
slightly offset them to enable air circulation.
Use parchment paper
This unsung hero of baking can keep cookies
from spreading out on baking sheets, prevent
cakes from sticking to pans and may even help
batter and dough bake evenly.
Cool cakes upside down on a cooling rack.
This will help fl atten out the tops, which makes
it easier to stack and level cakes for layered
A few tips can go a long way to helping holiday
baking go more smoothly.
Edition 811 Holiday Magic 2020 www.ALLISLANDMEDIA.com