Recipes inspired by India, Asia, Europe, Chicago and the Adirondacks, from the Official Reznicek-Guibord Family Cookbook.

May 21, 2005

2 Ways to Revolutionize Your Baking Success

As in many ventures, in baking, the devil is usually truly in the details; if you've ever had trouble with baking recipes not "turning out" properly, consider these two measures that help insure both you and the people who wrote your recipe are on the same page.

One: invest in an oven thermometer. Unless you have a new stove with a known properly calibrated thermostat, chances are the temperature you've set your oven dial to may be somewhat different than its actual internal temperature. With many recipes this can make a difference in baking time, "rise," and the proper color of the finished product. These can be purchased for under $10, and will quickly pay for themselves in successfully baked items from your kitchen.

Two: consider purchasing a kitchen scale. Many cookbooks offer their recipes in both volume measure (cups and spoons) and weight (ounces or metric grams), and personally, I can say that whenever I've used a scale for baking, my recipes are more consistent and closer in results to the published recipe. With just a little practice, using a scale will become as easy as using cup measure - and measuring ingredients by weight guarantees you'll never have to account for how lightly or tightly you've packed dry ingredients into a measuring cup, or whether you've used a "level" or "heaping" scoop.

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