Dayna Hoskin really knows how to bake up a storm.
~Best Recipes

DAYNAS TOP TIPS FOR THE HOME BAKER


Always read the entire recipe through before starting. 

Mise en Place - a French term meaning to gather your ingredients before you start!
i need to take my own advice on this one.

When baking, the ingredients should always start at room temperature.
except when making pastries where chilled butter is preferred.

When whipping egg whites, use room temperature egg whites, avoid silicone or plastic mixing bowls, and ensure that your beaters and bowl are clean and dry. 
except when baking desserts of Japanese origin, in this instance egg whites, should be cold.

If a recipe calls for you to divide your batter between multiple cake tins, ensure you do so atop a set of kitchen scales to ensure it's divided evenly. 

Always crack your eggs into a glass or bowl separate to your batter to ensure there isn't anything wrong the eggs.

Before adding eggs into any recipe, whisk them lightly with a fork to ensure they incorporate evenly through the batter.

Always bake your desserts in the centre of your oven.

Both pancake and muffin batter is better-left juust incorporated than over mixed.

Always use granulated sugar for cookies.
exceptions being things like melting moments, Greek butter cookies and some shortbreads.

Never fill a cake tin any higher than 3/4 of the way.

To achieve flat top cakes, perfect for icing, bake at a temperature no higher than 160 degrees Celsius. don't forget to adjust the cooking times!

To 'line' irregularly shaped cake tins like bunt tins, grease the tin and sift flour or cocoa powder for chocolate cakes into it. don't forget to tap out the excess. 

Use cake flour instead of all-purpose for cakes that are light and fluffy, such as sponges and chiffon cakes.

Always use unbleached flours. bleached flours will toughen baked products.

Use a whisk to combine dry ingredients to ensure that your dry ingredients are completely mixed together before adding any wet ingredients.

Always mix your batter in a folding motion. 
scraping down the bottom and sides of your bowl and then folding it into the centre. 

Always use unsalted butter when baking. 
if you want to take it one step further when choosing your butter, you want something high in fat and low in water. European butter usually meet this requirement. 

If there are any ingredients you don't want to skimp on in a bake, it's chocolate and butter!

Always leave your cakes in their tin to cool for 10 to 15 before transferring them to a cooling rack.

Cookie dough is best left to rest overnight in the fridge before balling and baking.

When measuring dry ingredients, fill your measure, tap the sides with a knife to knock out any air pockets and then level the top with the back of the knife.

Invest in a magnetic measurement conversion chart, it'll save you A LOT of time.

Creaming butter and sugar together should take about 10 minutes.
dont skip on this step, it really will make a lot of difference to your final product. 

Always use the tin size recommended in the recipe.
if it's unavoidable, remember larger, shallower pans need increased heat; smaller, deeper pans need decreased heat.

Invest in an oven thermometer, to take out the guesswork in temperature difference for fan forced vs non-fan forced oven, and it will help avoid problems incurred due to inaccurate temperature gauges.

Don't open the oven door during the baking process.
If you open the door even just a little bit! the temperature inside the oven will drop and your cake may sink. 

You'll know when your cake is ready to come out of the oven when a skewer pierced through the centre of your cake is removed clean. 
always use a metal cake skewer when testing is a bake is done, wooden versions can be quite misleading. 

Always pre-heat your oven 20 degrees Celsius higher than your baking temperature to allow for the drop in temperature when you open the oven door. 
reduce the temperature down to your cooking temperature once your items are in the oven

Get your cakes straight in the oven! 
the longer cake batter sits outside of the oven the less effective it's leavening agents become. 

When using a fork to compress balls of cookie dough, coat your fork in a thin layer of flour first to prevent it from sticking.

If your cookie dough or pastry is cracking at the edges as you roll it out, it's too cold. Allow it to come a little closer to room temperature and try again.

Ran out of an ingredient? Consult this post.


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