It occurred to me that I added a new category to my website called tips and trick and have yet to write a post under it. That ends today. The purpose of this category is to share some tips and tricks that I’ve learned along the way that make cooking and baking easier and better. I am hoping that my readers will also join in with their tips and tricks since I know I’ve still got a lot to learn.
My initial post covers two of my favorite tips, ones that have made a big difference in my baking. I call them knife aerated flour and quick and easy room temperature eggs.
KNIFE AERATED FLOUR:
I’ve often mentioned that my mother wasn’t a very good cook. She simply wasn’t interested in it. But when she did, she was not intuitive and she often made mistakes that affected the outcome of a recipe. One of her big mistakes was how to measure flour. Baking purists will tell you that the only way to measure flour is by weighing it. That may be the case, but I hardly find any recipes that include the weight of the flour in the ingredients. Normally it is listed in cups.
But not all cups are created equal. What my mother used to do is put flour in a measuring cup and then shake it so that the flour would settle. She would continue that process until she got the amount called for in the recipe. Basically she was using packed down flour as her measurement. Not good…
I found the best way to measure flour without weighing it is to use the knife aerator technique. Before I scoop my flour out of my canister into a measuring cup, I take a knife and stir it in the canister to aerate it. Then I put my cup in my canister and scoop out a heaping amount. After that I take my knife and level the measuring cup and voila, I have an amount that parallels weighing it. Easy, quick and recipes tend to work out well using this technique. The only time they don’t is if I need to do a high altitude adjustment. Then I add one to two additional tablespoons of flour and that usually does the trick. If you don’t live in high altitude you don’t need to worry about that.
So next time you measure flour, aerate it and level it in your measuring cup using a knife. You’ll get a much more accurate amount that way.
EASY ROOM TEMPERATURE EGGS:
From watching a lot of professional chefs I’ve learned that using room temperature eggs when baking makes the eggs blend more thoroughly in the batter. The problem is, who ever remembers to take the eggs out of the refrigerator in enough time to render them room temperature. Not me, that’s for sure.
But I recently learned a great little trick that in 5 minutes gives you room temperature eggs. Just put some very warm water in a cup deep enough to cover the eggs (I normally use my 2 cup measuring cup) and let them sit on the counter for 5 minutes. Voila, you have room temperature eggs. I do this all the time when I am baking now. It’s a great little trick and it hardly takes any time at all.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE BAKING TIPS N’ TRICKS?
I know there are a lot of tips that can make for better results or are amazing time savers. I would love to hear some of yours. Feel free to share and we can all learn from each other! Enjoy!