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Perfect Baking Tips

If you are just getting started in baking, it helps to have a "cheat sheet" of tips that will help your baked goods turn out perfect

Baking may seem complicated and, for some of us, may require a little practice. However, when you are aware of some of the ins and outs beforehand, your first try at baking may be a little easier.

Here are some of our favorite tips and tricks for perfect baking. They're not really secrets but are a great help to keep handy alongside your favorite baking recipes.

Don't be fooled by non-stick cake pans. They need the same TLC that a regular pan receives: grease and flour. Otherwise, you'll still be stuck, even in that non-stick.

Do preheat your oven or you may face certain ruin with baking. This may not always be true with other dishes, but don't mess up by forcing a cake into a cold oven.

Use glass measuring cups for liquid ingredients; dry ingredients should be in the proper metal type cups that can be leveled. Never pack in dry ingredients - that will affect the so-called "balance of power."

Do not substitute a differently-sized pan for baking. Most recipe directions are based on the size listed. You can find a substitution chart in cookbooks and on-line, but even that may affect the outcome.

Bring all baking ingredients to room temperature before you begin. Eggs, in particular, should have about thirty minutes to warm up, especially if they are to be separated. Butter, however, should not be at the melted stage or it won't cream properly.

Separating eggs takes practice. Unless you're an expert, separate eggs one at a time into a small bowl, then add the whites together and the yolks together in larger bowls. This way, if you mess one up, it won't destroy the whole batch. Do not use a plastic bowl for beating egg whites; fat from the whites will adhere to the sides and you may get a mass of un-whipped whites.

If the recipe calls for buttermilk, do not substitute any other kind of milk. It's the acid in the buttermilk that is expected to react with baking soda. This means your cake will actually rise. In a pinch, however, you can create your own "sour" milk. Combine one tablespoon vinegar and one cup milk and let it rest for about ten minutes.

Last, it is important to follow recipes precisely, so that your baked product will stand the best chance of turning out perfect - every time.


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