Baking Tips For Holiday Season
Baking tips for holiday season are something that concern us much. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year – with the holiday season in general just round the corner, baking becomes an important activity. Cakes, pastries, cookies, soufflés – a perfectly baked recipe is what’s on your mind, always. But most of the times, a perfect result is not what you get, and risking this during the holiday season is too much of a risk. So, here are a few baking tips for holiday season that will surely help you come up with some deliciously soft and tender baked recipes.
Use Fresh Ingredients:
This is one of the greatest secrets of perfect baking. The fresher the ingredients that you use, the better the results you get. If the ingredients had been sitting on the shelf or in your refrigerator for too long, they may not work in the desired manner. For example, baking soda or yeast. Fresh baking soda ensures that your baked items are properly leavened, making them as fluffy and soft as you want, and not leaving them flat. Similarly, expired yeast may not give you the desired lift and your baked item may turn into a disaster. Therefore, using fresh ingredients is a must for perfect baking.
The more accurately you can measure your ingredients, the better results will you get. For measuring dry ingredients, like flour, use dry measuring cups that can be leveled at the top. Also, spoon the dry ingredients in the measuring cups, so as to get an exact measurement. Do not pack or shake the flour in your cup, for you may land up using an excess amount in that case. For wet ingredients, always use wet measuring cups that have measurement lines on the side. Keep these at the eye level to ensure an exact measurement.
Temperature of the ingredients that you use as well as that of the baking oven is very important. If some of your ingredients, like margarine or butter or maple syrup are cold, adding them directly to the batter may result in imperfect blending. Consequently, some parts may bake faster than others, thereby causing an improper baking. Therefore, set the ingredients out of refrigerator beforehand and allow them to get the room temperature before you add them to the batter. Similarly, your oven temperature has to be accurate. Baked items rise properly only if the batter is at the correct heat. Therefore, ensure that the oven is calibrated correctly.
Another tip for perfect baking this holiday lies in the way you blend the ingredients. Always, blend with a light touch and do not over-mix. Over-mixing makes the protein or gluten in the flour to get over-developed, thereby making your batter tough. Therefore, blend your batter until it just comes together, so that your cakes and muffins are light and airy.
Know your Equipments:
Talking about tips for perfect baking this holiday, knowing your equipments is an important step. For example, your baking pans. They can either be dark in color or lighter and shinier. Darker pans absorb more heat, and faster too. Therefore, if using them, check your baked items 5-10 minutes before the directions suggest. Similarly, for lighter pans, be ready to give an extra 10 minutes, if needed.
Parchment paper is another “equipment” that gives you your perfectly baked goodies. Not only are they specially designed for the oven so that they don’t burn, they are also easy to use and let your cake or cookies come off easily when baked. Therefore, this is surely a baker’s best friend.
Put Batter Immediately:
The moment you finish mixing your batter, put it in the oven immediately. This is because the moment the wet ingredients merge with the dry ones, leavening activates – something that you would want to happen in the oven and not on the counter outside. This in turn helps the muffins or cakes rise properly.
Thus, these are the main baking tips for holiday season. Keep these tips in mind while baking your holiday goodies this season and come up with some deliciously soft, fluffy cookies and cakes this winter.
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