Tag Archives: how-to

How to bake with olive oil

Olive oil

Rich, fruity olive oil is a fantastic ingredient to cook with. It works in all kinds of meat and pasta dishes, and can be used to make delicious salad dressings and mayonnaise. It is not usually an ingredient used by bakers (especially if you like to bake sweets!), because its strong flavor isn’t what you want to taste in your average vanilla or chocolate cake. ... Read More »

How to Preheat an Oven

Oven at 350

Almost every single baking recipe starts with an instruction to preheat your oven. This step sounds so simple, but it is actually the single most difficult step in baking. Unless you have left an ingredient out by mistake or you’re dealing with a recipe that is flawed (i.e. an instruction has been left out), many baking problems are cause by incorrect oven temperature and can ... Read More »

How to bake with a specialty shaped pan

Shaped Pans

In addition to standard round and square cake pans, the shelves of cooking stores are lined with plenty of shaped pans. These pans come in designs from sandcastles and cartoon characters to miniature wedding cakes, giving you the option of baking a cake that features an elaborate design without trying to carve an intricate pattern into a cake yourself. Most of these specialty shaped pans ... Read More »

Do you need to add lemon juice when baking with apples?

Apple, peeled

Many recipes for apple pie and apple cobbler will call for tossing your sliced apples in a little bit of lemon juice before putting them into your dish. Lemon juice prevents oxidation of the apples, which means that it stops the slices from turning brown by providing a barrier between the apple’s flesh and the air. Lemon juice definitely works when it comes to preventing ... Read More »

How do you use paper baking molds?

Paper baking molds

Paper muffin cups are a standard tool that just about every baker will keep on hand in their kitchen. Perfect for muffins or cupcakes, the eliminate the need to grease a pan and ensure that your baked goods won’t have anything to stick to when it comes time to take them out of the pan. Muffin cups also make baked goods much more portable and ... Read More »

How to soften butter

Softened Butter

With just a few exceptions, most baking recipes call for butter to be softened or at room temperature. Softened butter spreads easily onto bread and toast, and it whips up into a fluffy mixture with sugar that helps produce a fine, tender crumb in baked goods. Chilled butter is too hard to cream into sugar easily and melted butter simply begins to dissolve the sugar, ... Read More »

How long do vanilla beans last?

Vanilla Beans in Sugar

Vanilla beans are a pricey ingredient prized by bakers and cooks because nothing imparts vanilla flavor like seeds scraped straight from a fresh vanilla pod. I usually have a few vanilla beans on hand and, like so many other deal-hunting bakers, I try to replenish my supply when I find a good deal on bulk vanilla beans (the holidays are a great time to stock ... Read More »

How to Hard Boil Eggs

Rinsing hard boiled eggs

My grandmother was a huge fan of Deviled Eggs and made them for all kinds of holidays and family gatherings as I was growing up. I became a fan, too, so as soon as I was old enough to operate the stove safely I asked my grandmother to teach me how to make them myself. I made them with her whenever I visited, and these ... Read More »

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