I was never much of a baker until after having my son. Over the last 7 years or so, I find myself doing a lot of baking. I love to eat breads, muffins, brownies, cakes… okay, you see where I'm going. I've always loved eating baked goods, just never felt confident in my baking skills.
So I'd like to share some of the tips I've picked up along the way that have helped me. I hope they help you, too. And, if you have a baking tip, please share it with us!
When baking bread, you get a finer texture if you use milk. Water makes a coarser bread.
If your biscuits are dry, it could be from too much handling, or the oven temperature may not have been hot enough.
A teaspoon of sugar mixed with your yeast and water makes it raise better. Even for breads you can use a little sugar. Never mix salt directly with the yeast and water mixture as the salt kills the raising action.
When baking bread, a small dish of water in the oven will help keep the crust from getting too hard or brown.
Over-ripened bananas can be peeled and frozen in a plastic container until it's time to bake bread or cake.
Rinse measuring cups in hot water before using oils, syrups, etc. They will pour out clean and not stick to cup.
Use shortening, not margarine or oil, to grease pans, as margarine and oil absorb more readily into the dough or batter – especially breads.
When greasing and “flouring” cake pans, use a chocolate drink mix powder
or cocoa instead of flour when making a chocolate or dark cake.
To make self-rising flour, mix 4 cups flour, 2 teaspoons salt, and 2 talbespoons baking powder, (mix well) and store in a tightly covered container.
If you need buttermilk for say, biscuits, but don't have any… you can make your own buttermilk substitute
by mixing 1 cup of milk and a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar.
Once mixed you leave it to stand for 5 minutes and then it can be used.
Use eggs at room temperture for best results in baking. To bring eggs to room temperature, you can take them out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you plan to use them.