Answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding baking.
Shiny pans can give your pie a soggy bottom. Choose instead dull-finished aluminum or glass pie pans.
This technique helps prevent soggy pie crusts because the egg protein forms a shield between the dough and moist pie filling. Since the coagulating temperature of the egg mixture is lower than the jelling temperature of the filling, you reduce the period in which the water in the filling comes in direct contact with the crust.
Yes, keep the following pointers in mind when making your pie pastry: Choose dull-finished aluminum or glass pie pans. Shiny pans can give the pie a soggy bottom. Prick an unfilled pastry shell before baking. If the pastry shell is to be baked before it is filled (such as with lemon meringue), prick the bottom and sides with a fork just enough to keep it from puffing during baking. If it does begin to puff, reprick the crust. Don't prick the bottom too much or the filling may seep under the pastry
Yes! Be creative! Add your favorite fruits (dried or fresh), nuts, baking chips, raisins, etc. to a prepared mix for wonderful new taste sensations while still saving time and enjoying the ease of using a mix. To prevent sinking, toss dry fruit or raisins in flour before adding to the mix.
Always prepare your pans before mixing the batter. The texture and volume of the baked product can be affected by allowing the batter to sit in the bowl while greasing pans. To properly prepare baking pans, brush the bottom of the pan with margarine, butter, shortening, or cooking spray. Sprinkle the bottom and sides with a bit of flour, rolling the pan to ensure it is evenly coated, then discard the excess flour from pan. Hint: When making a chocolate cake, use cocoa to prepare pans so that when baked, the cake does not show a coating of white flour.
This is caused by improper greasing of the pan. To facilitate the removal of the cake, place a hot, moist cloth around the pan. Let stand for a few minutes. Repeat, if necessary.
Tunnels may result from over stirring the batter or baking at too high an oven temperature.
Cover with foil or waxed paper. Check your oven temperature. The oven may be too hot.
This can be caused by insufficient rising agents such as baking powder, beaten egg white or yeast. Oven temperature may be too low or there may be too many liquid ingredients used (including eggs, milk, etc.) Hint: Unless otherwise stated, most recipes use large sized eggs.
Place the cheesecake on the lower oven rack to bake. If baked on a high rack, the surface will dry too quickly and the evaporating liquid of the cheese will crack the surface.
Yes. This is because the transparency of glass allows radiant heat to pass directly through it, absorbing comparatively little of that energy in the process. Cooks using a recipe based on figures for a dark-surfaced pan and baking in one made of oven-proof glass must either shorten the baking period or lower the oven temperature by 10° F. When the recipe is designed for a shiny pan and you use a Pyrex container, decrease the temperature 25° F.
Absolutely, cookie mixes, pouch cakes and muffins can be successfully doubled.
Poke a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out dry, the product is cooked. If the batter sticks to the toothpick, continue to bake a little longer.