Practical Baking Tips for Perfect Desserts

Blossom Lady
May 07, 2021 03:34 AM
Practical Baking Tips for Perfect Desserts

Nothing is worse than spending time in the kitchen creating what you think is a work of culinary art, only to see the finished product fail to live up to expectation. Make your time in the kitchen a little bit more pleasant with these top 10 practical baking tips that actually work. These tips are easy to follow and require almost no extra effort.

1. Refreshing spices

Practical Baking Tips for Perfect Desserts
Spices lose their intensity over time. Ever open a jar of cinnamon and wonder where the fragrant aroma went? To refresh spices for baking, place them in a dry skillet and set over medium heat. Watch closely. The moment you can smell the spices, toss and remove from heat. This draws the remaining oils to the surface so you can use the last of your spice jar.
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2. Servings

Practical Baking Tips for Perfect Desserts
It’s hard to measure servings for pan sizes, especially when eager youngsters are cutting their own piece of cake! Yet, here are some standard guidelines: 8 inch square cake = 6-8 servings, 8 inch round layer cake = 12-16 servings, 9 X 13 inch sheet cake = 12-16 servings, 12-cup bundt cake = 12-20 servings.
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3. Rise time

Practical Baking Tips for Perfect Desserts
Bread (or other yeast doughs) usually call for two rise times. The first is 1-2 hours to double the dough in size. Then deflate the dough, roll, cut, or separate as needed and rise again for approximately 30-45 minutes before baking. If you allow the dough to rise too long, it may deflate in the oven. If you do not allow enough rise time, the loaves will be dense and compact. The general rule of thumb for rising is one hour to double in size, then half the time on the second rise. Heavy dough with dense grains may take longer to rise the first go-around.
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4. Dairy substitutions

Practical Baking Tips for Perfect Desserts
Some people may argue with this, but I have found full-fat buttermilk, sour cream, and Greek yogurt can be interchanged in equal proportion, without any major effects on the outcome.
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5. Salt

Practical Baking Tips for Perfect Desserts
There are not many things I get snobby over, but salt is one of the few. I never buy basic iodized table salt. If you test-taste table salt with quality sea salt you will notice a distinct difference in flavor. This little change carries through in baked goods. Always choose fine-grade quality salt for baking, over quantity.
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6. Dairy substitutions continued…

Practical Baking Tips for Perfect Desserts
However, substituting skim for whole milk can have a disastrous effect. If a recipe calls for whole milk, and you only have skim, add 2 tablespoons of melted butter.
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7. Perfectly Sliced Desserts

Practical Baking Tips for Perfect Desserts
Get perfect slices of pie, cake, or bars by using a hot knife to cut them. Just run your knife under hot water for several seconds, wipe the water off, and get slicing! The hot knife will slide through your treats with ease!
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8. Split your dough

Practical Baking Tips for Perfect Desserts
When working with chilled dough, I usually spilt it into several pieces and wrap them separately. This helps the dough to chill faster. Then I can take out one piece at a time to cut for cookies or crusts, leaving the rest to chill.
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9. Add Moisture With Mayo

Practical Baking Tips for Perfect Desserts
I’ve heard people swear up and down that adding mayo to the batter of a boxed cake mix makes extra moist and delicious! Since mayo is mostly made up of eggs and oil, it actually makes a lot of senes! Scoop a tablespoon or so into your next cake batter to give it a try. (But never fear mayo haters—apparently it doesn’t affect taste the taste of the finished product!)
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