‘Tis the season for delicious baking!  This holiday season we’ve compiled a list of “must-have” baking tips to help you find more joy and success in the kitchen.  

Here are 7 baking tips every baker must know. 

  1. Inventory your baking supplies and pantry before you start the baking season.  Stock up on spices, parchment paper, baking powder, baking soda, flour, sugar and any special ingredients you need for your recipes.  A little planning can prevent a lot of panicking.
  2. Baking soda and baking powder both have expiration dates.  They lose their efficacy over time.  Make sure they are both fresh before baking.   #bakertip: Baking soda and baking powder are NOT directly interchangeable. You can DIY a substitute for 1 teaspoon baking powder by combining 1/4 teaspoon baking soda with 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar.
  3. Bring your butter to room temperature before baking. Unless your recipe specifically calls for “cold butter” be sure that it has time to come soften before adding it to your recipe. #bakertip: In a hurry?  Cut butter into small cubes and it will soften in about ¼ of usual the time. 
  4. Bring eggs to room temperature before baking.  Most bakers know to soften butter, but many forget to set eggs out to warm up as well.  Room temperature eggs will separate easier, blend better and whip up higher than cold eggs.  #bakertip:  In a hurry?  Put eggs into a bowl of warm water for 5-10 minutes.  
  5. Handmade pie crusts are best.  For tasty butter crusts, ensure your butter is COLD before cutting it into flour.  For flaky shortening crusts, ensure the shortening is fresh.  (If it smells like old oil or old nuts, it’s gone bad.)  Want the best of both worlds?  Mix cold butter and shortening in your next pie crust.  Just keep the total fat to flour ratio the same.  #bakertip: If your recipe calls for a prebaked pie shell, use dried beans on foil or parchment paper to weigh down the center of the pie shell as it bakes.  #bakertip: Use a strip of foil or an edge shield to prevent edges from burning.
  6. When prepping cut-out cookie dough, here’s how to ensure your cookies will be light, chewy and resist spreading.  #bakertip:  When beating butter and sugar, beat them for several minutes before adding dry ingredients.  It will change color and lighten to almost white, creamy color.  Mix just until combined when adding dry ingredients to prevent overworking. Refrigerate dough for at least an hour before cutting and baking.  
  7. Pans. Pans. Pans.  When you’re baking up a storm, you may run out of the size of pan you normally use for a particular recipe.  Don’t worry.  You probably have a reasonably close alternative on hand.  Just adjust cooking times for pan sizes.  #bakertip: Here are common pan-size substitutions.
    1. One 9×5″ loaf pan = three 5-3/4x3x2″ mini loaf pans
    1. One 8×4″ loaf pan = two 5-3/4x3x2″ mini loaf pans
    1. One 9″ round baking pan = one 8″ square baking dish
    1. Two 9″ round baking pans = one 13×9″ baking pan or one 12” oven-safe skillet
    1. One 10″ bundt cake mold = one 10″ tube pan or two 9×5″ loaf pans
    1. One 11×7” pan = 10” cast-iron or oven-safe skillet
    1. One 13×9″ baking pan = two 9″ round pans or one 12” oven-safe skillet
    1. Regular muffin pan (12 muffins) = 6 jumbo muffins or 24-36 mini muffins

We wish you the best of baking this holiday season with your family and friends. 

Check out our holiday specials.  You can always preorder your favorites to make the most of your holiday time.  

Happy Holiday Baking!