These are just some baking tips and measurement information that I think can be quite helpful for any baker out there. I hope they help as much as they have helped me.
Number 1 Rule– Always measure exact! This is not cooking where you can add a pinch of this and that. Exact measurements are very important as a little too much salt could ruin your pastry. If you are trying to break down a recipe make sure you do it accurately. Even if it means breaking it down into Tablespoons or teaspoons to make the measurement exact.
BUTTER!!!! – I am sure you have looked at a recipe and saw that they call for unsalted butter and thought well crap! I only have salted butter because I never bake and why would I have unsalted butter in my house. Salted butter is so much better on that baked potato! Well no worries because that is what I am here for. To tell you why these recipes call for unsalted butter.
Bakers use unsalted butter unless specified because then they can control the amount of salt in their recipe. That is the main reason. For the longest time I would always use whatever butter I had in my house which was mainly salted butter. I switched to unsalted butter in my cookies and every other dessert I make and OMG what a difference it made. Have you ever made cookies with salted butter and they come out flat? That’s probably because you are using salted butter which is adding too much salt to your recipe causing it to flatten. If you have salted butter and do not feel like going and buying unsalted butter just cut the amount of salt called for in the recipe by half.
Sifting your dried ingredients– I will be honest, it was not until a couple of years ago that I actually started to sift my ingredients. I would normally always put them in a bowl and take a whisk or a fork and stir it together and think okay that’s good enough. Kristie’s sifting. But then I asked for a sifter for christmas and it was the best present ever! My cookies and cakes came out so amazingly! Fluffy and soft and full of deliciousness! So when it says to sift your dried ingredient…. Sift them! You will be amazed how amazing the end result is.
Sifting will fluff up the ingredients. Especially the flour when it has been sitting in the store bag or container where it settles. This will take out all the lumps in the ingredients. I have had several times when I have sifted and at the end there might be a larger grain of salt.
Eggs- When baking it is best to use eggs at room temperature. Very cold eggs can tend to curdle the mixture. If you forgot to bring out your eggs , do not worry. Just place them in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes.
Self-rising flour– I have only had to use this type of flour a few times. I eventually went out and bought some but the first time I needed this flour of course I did not have it. But do not worry because you can make it at home using ingredients you probably already have. 1 Cup Self-Rising Flour = 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour + 1 1/2 Tablespoons baking powder + pinch of salt
Measurements– In case you do not have one of those neat magnets with all the measurements on it, here are a few that I have used the most. Especially if you are planning to cut recipes down.
3 teaspoons = 1 Tablespoons
4 tablespoons = 1/4 Cup
half of 3/4 Cup = 3/8 Cup (but no one has a measurement of 3/8) = 1/4 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons
16 ounces = 1 pound
Once I think of more tid bits of information I will add to my list. I hope these all help Let me know if you have any questions.