The holiday season is around the corner, which means many people will be spending more time in their kitchens. If you plan on baking this holiday season, then you need to invest in the right ingredients like dry active yeast and cake flour. You can also take advantage of additional resources online that will help you prepare for your holiday baking. In particular, these tips will teach you how to bake like a pro.
Use the Right Equipment
Good desserts begin with the right equipment. Pans are especially important for the baking process. Dull, aluminum pans are great for baking because they absorb heat efficiently. The shiny ones tend to deflect the heat, which can cause the outer edges of your cakes to cook more quickly. Also, if you are cooking a layer cake, use pans that have tall, straight sides. Along with good pans, try to mix your batter in a stand mixer. This offers more power than a traditional hand mixer, and it will make the preparation process easier.
Preheat the Oven
One of the best things you can do to ensure your baked goods turn out right is to preheat your oven. When you preheat the oven, you will be able to bake your cake right after you finish mixing. If you wait to heat the oven after you mix the batter, air might escape into the mixture. This can cause your cake to become less moist and more tough and dense.
Prepare the Batter
Making the batter is arguably the most important part of baking. It is usually best to mix the ingredients at room temperature – approximately 65 to 75 degrees. Most professionals leave the colder ingredients on the counter for 20 minutes before they add them to the mixture. They also soften the butter so that it will accept more air. If the butter is too hard, the cake might turn out too dense. Furthermore, it is usually best to mix the dry ingredients separately. Then, add them to the other ingredients.
When you are mixing, make sure that everything disperses evenly. You do not want to see clumps in the batter. However, be careful to over mix after you add the flour. This can actually harden the cake and increase the amount of gluten it contains.
Once your batter is mixed, place it in the oven as quickly as possible. This ensures that the leavening is fully active. Also, it is important to try to bake your cakes on the same racks. If you bake on different racks, you might have to rotate. However, once you place a cake in the oven, it is best to keep the doors closed so that no air comes out. You will be able to tell when the cake is done if a toothpick comes out of the middle of the cake clean.
Usually it is best to let a cake cool on a wire rack for a few minutes. Then, you can wrap it or store it until you need to use it during the holiday season.
Baking doesn’t have to be complicated. If you invest in the right tools and follow these tips, your holiday treats will probably turn out amazing.
EAuthor on December 3rd 2014 in Deserts