Tagged With baking

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Fans of sourdough will be acutely aware of its unique flavour. This is all thanks to a starter or which is used to leaven the bread and make it rise.

A sourdough starter is a living culture made from a simple recipe of flour and water that is allowed to ferment. They can last forever if they're looked after and fed regularly.

If you're just starting out with sourdough baking, here's some tips to keep your starter strong and ready to literally get that bread.

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Pies are really great, like, really great. Personally I am a huge fan of a dessert apple pie with custard and vanilla ice cream during the holidays, or anytime for that matter. With Christmas coming up why not learn how to make a great apple pie that will blow your relatives away?

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If there is one kitchen tool that can improve the quality and consistency of your cooking, it's the digital scale. Unlike measuring things by volume, weighing out your ingredients eliminates any doubt you may have about whether you're "doing it right."

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Every home baker wants a stand mixer, and they often go on sale just in time for holiday gift-giving. If you’re committed to buying one for yourself or someone you love this year, don’t default to the cheapest Kitchenaid on Amazon. Depending on your needs, a vintage mixer might actually be a better choice.

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The difference between restaurant food and homemade is widest when extreme heat is required. Commercial ovens are designed to reach the high temperatures needed for blistered pizza and crusty artisan bread; home ovens just aren’t. But even if you’ve got an ancient, wimpy rental, clever rack positioning can trick your oven into acting hotter than it is.

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Cakes made from boxed mixes can be a little lacklustre, one-note, and cloying, but one ingredient — whipped cream — can change all that. The fluffy dairy smooths over any telltale chemical leavening flavours, and adds height and body.

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Boxed mix brownies are pretty much flawless. Not only can you get a whole batch for less than five bucks (the price of a single fancy bakery brownie), but they consistently bake up with perfectly shiny crusts, chewy edges, and fudgey centres.

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Whether filled with fruit or served unadorned, one of my favourite things about custard tarts is their neat, charming appearance. Unlike rustic tarts, these tidy little sweets look their best when they are filled with a steady, meticulous hand. To keep your tarts looking prim and proper, place them in the oven before filling.

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The molten chocolate cake may have had its heyday in the 90s, but I'll be damned if I'm going to stop making and eating them. Maybe it's because they were the first "fancy" dessert I ever made in an attempt to impress another human, but I associate them pretty firmly with cliche romance, which is what makes them perfect for Valentine's Day.

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Baking a loaf of bread from scratch seems like the quintessential winter cooking project. The coziness of a warm kitchen and the smell of freshly-baked bread are so comforting on a cold day that it feels weird to even think about them in summertime. But believe me: if you’re new to bread making and a little intimidated by the process, you should start now, as your house starts to warm up enough for dough to rise.

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I really, truly love my press cooker and, based on the many blogs, recipes and Facebook groups, the rest of the world does too. But, as with any hyped appliance, things can get a little out of control. Knowing when not to use a pressure cooker can be just as valuable as knowing when you should use it.

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Making pastry in hotter environments means fighting an uphill battle against the laws of thermodynamics. Even when you’ve taken every possible precaution to keep your ingredients — and your tools — nice and cold, dough is still liable to melt the second it hits your counter.

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Believe it or not, there are people out there who don’t care for sweet pies. I’m not one of them, but there are legitimate reasons - celiac disease, egg or dairy allergies or a missing sweet tooth. But I think even sweet pie deniers can find room in their cold, deprived hearts for a cloud-like pavlova smothered in cranberry sauce, whipped cream, and plenty of fresh fruit.

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Perfectly made pie dough is too precious to waste, and scraps left over from decorating should be treated with respect. Rather than tossing them, or letting them languish in the freezer in anticipation of a “future project” that will never arrive, you should bake them into crispy pie fries right away.