Baking and pastry arts are a complex sciences – one wrong move could ruin your dessert and prevent it from reaching the best possible outcome. As you hone your skills as a baker, you’ll pick up a few tips and tricks that will ensure your desserts come out of the oven perfect every time. Take a look at these baking hacks to get you started:
1. Tunnel-free muffins
The muffin method of baking is most commonly used with, well, muffins. The key is to prevent little pockets of air from forming inside the batter in order to stave off the creation of tunnels. When you use the muffin method, the texture of your baked goods should be even and dense. To achieve this texture, start by combining all the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another. Sugar counts as a wet ingredient in the muffin method. Then you pour the wet into the dry (not the other way around) and stir. However, only mix the components a few times – over mixing can cause tunnels to form in the batter as it cooks. You might still see some unsaturated flour or clumps in the batter, but you should leave it!
2. Chewy or crispy cookies
The debate over which cookie is better, crunchy or chewy, has long been unresolved. Without choosing a side on this contentious issue, we will share the secret to making both types of cookies. The answer lies in the fat. Butter has a creamy texture perfect for giving you the softness of a chewy cookie. Margarine, on the other hand, will cause your cookies to come out crispier. Of course, the length of time you bake your cookies is another factor. Pull them out of the oven a few minutes early if you want them to be chewy.
3. No more sticky pans
You could make the most delicious brownies, but if they stick to the pan, their presentation will be lacking. To avoid a sticky pan, grab parchment paper and butter. Start by buttering both the pan and the paper. The parchment should be larger than your pan, extending out a few inches on each side – that way you can lift it after the dessert bakes. Then settle the paper into the pan and pour the batter on top. Bake your dessert per the instructions and let cool. When you’re ready to cut it, simply lift the parchment and your entire baked good will slide out, no problem.