Baking Tips for Beginnners
  1. Gather all materials and ingredients before you start.
  2. Preheat the oven.
  3. Unless you consider yourself an expert baker, follow the recipe exactly.
  4. Do not over or under mix.
  5. Measure exactly.
  6. If your recipe calls for 1 cup sifted flour this means you sift the flour before measuring. However, if the recipe calls for 1 cup flour, sifted this means you sift the flour after measuring. Sifting flour removes lumps and aerates it so that when liquid is added the dry ingredients will be fully moistened.
  7. To measure flour, spoon flour lightly into a dry measuring cup and level it off with a straight edge metal spatula.
  8. Brown sugar should be packed firmly in the measuring cup.
  9. Read liquid ingredients at eye level.
  10. Bring eggs to room temperature before beating and incorporating into cake batters, cookie batters etc.
  11. All ingredients should be at room temperature unless the recipe specifies otherwise.
  12. Cold butter makes a flakier pie crust.
  13. Add ingredients in the same order as the recipe calls for them.
  14. Don’t overbake. Cookies such as chocolate chip cookies will “carryover bake” meaning the residual heat from the cookie sheet and the heat from the cookie within will further firm up the cookie as it cools. However the opposite is true when baking cakes. Cakes need to remain in the oven until they are done. An inserted toothpick needs to come out clean or when the cakes surface is lightly pressed with a finger it bounces back.
Cooking Surfaces and Types

 

From convection to induction and gas to electric, every professional chef has their favored type of cooking surface or oven. No matter what type you use, be sure you know it well. Consult your appliance’s owner’s manual. Learn how to adjust cooking times. Learn how different types of cooking and baking vessels can react. The links below will help you learn how to get the most out of your oven, cooking surface and recipe.

Induction Cooking

Convection Oven Tips

Electric vs. Gas Cooktops

Caramelization

Sugar enhances browning and flavor development in sautéed vegetables and meats. Caramelization is the process of cooking sugar, to the browning stage. During sautéing, sugar helps brown vegetables and enhances their flavor. Sugar also increases the browning of meats, adding a depth of flavor to stew dishes featuring well-browned meat. Add sugar judiciously to sautéed vegetables and meats. For more information on caramelization, click here.

Which is the Best Cookie Sheet?

That depends on what type of cookies you prefer. As a general rule, choose shiny cookie sheets with low or no sides over dark cookie sheets. Next, determine what type of cookies you want to bake.

  • Thick, Cake-like Cookies – Choose a Non-stick Cookie Sheet.
    The non-stick surface provides easy release and cleanup.
  • Bar Cookies – Choose a Jelly Roll Pan.
    The 1” sides of a jelly roll pan will prevent other types of cookies from baking evenly.
  • Light Colored Cookies with Soft Centers – Choose an Insulated Cookie Sheet.

Other cookie sheet tips:

  • Insulated cookie sheets should not be used for cookie cut-outs because the slower baking method can cause butter to melt out before dough sets. When cooking on an insulated cookie sheet, if bottom of cookie is brown, the rest of the cookie is often too dry.
  • Greasing a cookie sheet makes for quicker clean up and easier removal, however greasing when a recipe does not call for it can create problems such as thin and brown edges.
  • Baking cookies on parchment paper is practiced by baking professionals and guarantees easy release and provides continues good results.
Soften and Store Sugar

How to Soften Brown Sugar

  1. Place hard brown sugar in an open microwave-safe container with 1/2 cup of water in a second container and microwave for 1-3 minutes until soft. Measure and use as soon as sugar becomes soft. Brown sugar will harden again when cool.
  2. Introduce a slice of apple to an airtight container with hardened sugar.
  3. Put a moist paper towel in a resealable bag overnight with the sugar.
  4. Put hardened sugar in a food processor or blender and process until usable.

How to Store Brown Sugar

  1. Store in a cool area in a sealed container.
  2. Place your brown sugar in a resealable, airtight bag.
  3. Do not refrigerate brown sugar; however you can freeze it if you live in a very dry climate. Frozen brown sugar should be thawed for at least 3 hours. Any ice crystals should be stirred in to avoid moisture pockets.

How to Store Granulated & Powdered Sugar

  1. The beautiful thing about storing granulated and powdered sugar is that, provided you don't have a pest control problem, granulated and powdered sugar has an indefinite shelf life. This means a variety of storage methods are effective. The key is to create an airtight seal to keep moisture out. Here are few ways to do just that:
  2. Invest in some airtight canisters.
  3. Place your sugar in a resealable, airtight bag.
  4. Pour granulated and powdered sugar into a resealable plastic container and store in the freezer.
  5. Eat it all before you have to store it!
Brown sugar bag
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Imperial Sugar sugar bag

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