Baking Tips OFA 2015 January 26, 2015 | The Old Farmer's Almanac

Baking Tips

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Never hurts to try out some new baking tips! These were taken from The Old Farmer’s Almanac Everyday Baking cookbook. You can find even more tips and helpful tricks in our Comfort Food cookbook!

Try Our Baking Tips!

A Good Turn for Your Pie

• Ken Haedrich recommends rotating pies 180 degrees midway through the baking. The back of most ovens is typically hotter than the front. Rotating helps baked goods to cook evenly and balances the surface browning.

Coming Up Short with Toothpick Testers

• Let’s face it: Toothpicks are typically not long enough to reach the middle of a thick quick bread. The solution? Use a thin wooden skewer, the kind used to grill shrimp. After testing the bread, rinse the skewer and wipe it dry, and you can use it again (and again).

Why Room Temperature Eggs?

• Have you ever added cold eggs to your cookie dough or cake batter and watched the butter in the recipe separate and congeal? Doing so can alter the volume and texture of a recipe. Unless otherwise noted, make sure that all of your ingredients, including your eggs, are at about the same temperature. Celebrated baker Ken Haedrich usually takes his eggs out of the fridge about an hour ahead of baking. If he forgets, he puts them into a bowl of warm water (at about body temperature, 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit) for 5 minutes before using.

Storing Whole Grain Flours

• Whole wheat pastry flour and other whole grain flours contain bits of the oily germ of the grain. At room temperature, these oils can deteriorate quickly. It’s best to place the entire bag of flour in a sealed plastic bag and store it in the refrigerator or freezer, where it will stay fresh for months.

The Wisdom of a Short Batch

• Whenever trying a new cookie recipe, bake a “short,” or trial, batch of two or three cookies before baking an entire sheetful. This helps you to learn the nuances of a recipe and especially the precise baking time for your oven. Perhaps, for example, the cookie dough isn’t chilled enough or the cookies need to be shaped thinner or thicker. It’s better to learn this in the beginning.

If you enjoyed these baking tips you'll be sure to enjoy some of our cooking tips in our Comfort Food cookbook!