Hungry for baking hacks you haven’t read tens of times on the internet?
I know what you’re thinking: “Isn’t this another web page with reworded versions of 20-something hacks I’ve seen on dozens of blogs online?”
You know what? I felt that way, too.
I like finding more of them, but reading rehashed tips online is so tiring.
I like cutting corners if it’ll save time and resources. So I searched for fresh baking cheats I can add to my arsenal.
When I learned of these, I was l like “where have you been hiding all these time?” And, of course, I’d like to share them with you, my readers.
#1- Separate eggs right after taking out of the refrigerator
Eggs separate better when cold.
For recipes that call for room temperature eggs like meringues and fluffy whites, just let the egg whites and yolks stand for a while.
#2 – No time to bring shortening to room temperature before creaming in an electric mixer?
I’m set to make my favourite soft chewy cookies. At my appointed hour, I gather my ingredients. Oh, good gracious! I forgot to take out the shortening from the refrigerator beforehand. I’m left with a cold lump of fat.
Have you ever found yourself in this situation? I often do.
What do you do?
Sure, I take it out in advance when I remember to. But after finding this ‘cold shortening’ trick, I don’t worry if I forget.
I just dip the beaters in hot water for a few minutes. The, voila, I’m set to cream. The shortening does not stick on or clog the beater blades.
#3 – No cooling rack? No problem…
Perhaps you don’t have enough cooling rack or you don’t have one at all. It’s one of those baking accessories you can make do without. I don’t have one. Here’s a simple trick…
Once out of the oven, place the pan on top of a wet towel or rag. Compared to a wire rack, a rag is handy. Surely, you have several of them.
#4 – Use powder puff to dust flour
Hate flour that gets under your fingers and sticks on your palm when you use your hand to pick it up and dust your pan? Not to mention, the spills you will have to clean.
A powder puff is not just for the ‘cake’ in your dresser…use it for dusting flour. There will be less mess to clean later.
#5 – Don’t wash the flour sifter after each use
You don’t have to. Just place it in a plastic bag and store, or place a paper plate underneath and place in storage. This way flour will not mess the cabinet.
I prefer the plastic bag technique.
Less one item to wash helps.
#6 – Do this to make less oily donuts…
Add a teaspoon of vinegar to the cooking oil. Vinegar lessens the absorption of oil.
Also, line the tray or plate with paper towels before transferring donut in it. Paper towel absorbs oil.
#7 – Don’t waste the remaining heat in the oven
Throw in some slices of bread while the oven is still hot. You’ll have crunchy toasted bread by the time the oven cools off.
Better yet, spread butter and garlic powder before toasting for delicious garlic bread. Here’s a quick and tasty pull-apart garlic bread recipe.
Alternatively, you can make bread crumbs. Put the toasts in a Ziploc bag and use a rolling pin to crush them.
#8 – Want to keep cookies fresh for longer?
Store a slice of fresh bread in the cookie jar. Replace it with a fresh slice daily
#9 – Make softer and moister cakes…
…by placing a can half-filled with water in the oven while the cake is baking.
#10 – Save time with prepared pudding in a box
The usual instruction is to put milk and powdered pudding in a box in a pan, stir until blended and place over low heat. Continue stirring until the mixture thickens. This takes time.
Here’s a quicker way:
If the recipe calls for 2 cups of milk, measure 1 ½ cups into a pan and heat it on low. No need to stir.
Pour the remaining half a cup of milk in a bowl, add the pudding mix and dissolve.
When the milk in the pan is fairly heated, add the dissolved pudding mixture and continue stirring until thickened. This takes about a minute. Quick.
#11 – Short on cookie sheets?
I only have 2 cookie sheets and I use this technique to finish faster.
Cover cookie sheets with foil. Arrange cookie dough on the foil.
Put the first batch in the oven.
Cut a third sheet of foil. Arrange another batch of cookie dough on it.
When the first batch of cookies is done, place the second batch in the oven. Slide the foil with baked cookies off the first cookie sheet.
When the first cookie sheet has cooled down, slide the third piece of foil with cookie dough onto the cookie sheet.
Take out the second batch from the oven and repeat the process. You can reuse the sheets of foil. Wipe any crumbs off them with a paper towel.
#12 – For flaky pastry dough…
…Use a chilled rolling pin.
Wrap the rolling in a plastic bag and keep in the refrigerator. Keeping the dough cold as much as possible will yield a crumbly pastry shell.
#13 – Use water for a crispy pie top.
Here’s how to make that top pie crust crispy…
Pour ice water on the crust before baking. Crazy effective.
But, remove the water before putting in the oven by tilting the pie to spill it off.
#14 – Flour mess? Use paper plates when sifting flour.
Have you been using plates and pans to catch flour you are sifting? Then, I’m sure you have spilt some or had some flour puffs when transferring it to a mixing bowl.
Use paper plates instead. You can fold or curl them. It’s easy and quick to get flour into any container in one easy dunk.
#15 – Keep weevils from invading your flour.
Weevils grow in flour that’s stored for too long. To keep them away, place flour in a plastic bag and throw in the freezer.
No, the flour won’t harden. Take out in advance before using for most recipes, but one…
I chill flour that I’m going to use for making pastry dough. You know, how it is with pastry. Chill everything you’re going to use and you’ll be rewarded with that coveted flakiness.
There you have it…15 simple but useful baking tricks that will add more fun to baking whilst saving precious time.
Source: 1001 Household Hints by Rosario J Fabian