Baking 101: Questions and Answers

By March 17, 2011Baking, Baking 101

Welcome to Baking 101 series! This series is a little behind and I apologize. There has been so much happening around here, GREAT things, that I have gotten behind.

So, today I wanted to address some of the questions that readers had for me about baking. Again, I am NOT a professional, I have never had any schooling or classes. I am just a Mom and wife that loves to bake and share my tips and tricks for making it easier for you.

I will continue the series soon, with some more videos {I owe you a pie crust video}, but it will be a couple weeks while I get caught up. {I hope}

The following questions were from readers, if you have a baking question, please leave it in the comments and I will answer it, to the best of my knowledge.

Gigi asks…when a recipe calls for softened butter, do you melt the butter completely?

If I can remember to set the butter out to soften I do, it is better that way, but if you don’t remember, you can soften it in the microwave for about 20 seconds {depending on your microwave}, you can lay it on the warm stove or in the sun by a window. If the recipe calls for softened, you just want it SOFT not MELTED.

I am making a soup that calls for heavy cream…is that the same as heavy WHIPPING cream?

Here is what I found on Difference Between.net “Heavy Cream is a special dairy product that is made out of the top most layer of milk which is rich in cutter fat. On the other hand, the very term “whipped cream” or “whipping cream” refers to such cream that is subjected to a process of continuous beating till it gets fluffy and light.”

Now, with that being said, I personally use heavy whipping cream for both. I have never found JUST heavy cream.

Issy asks…

Should eggs really be at room temperature before using?

I very rarely use eggs at room temperature. I have never really noticed a difference.

If a recipe isn’t specific about butter, should salted or unsalted be used?

I always use unsalted butter. Most recipes call for salt, and if you use salted butter you are doubling up the salt. In my opinion, you really don’t need it.

Why does the idea of using a simple candy therometer scare the daylights out of me? What is a good one to buy?

Honestly…I don’t use one. I’m not a big candy maker, but I do know it is important to use one on certain candies. Here is a good one I found from Wilton.

What is the best way to get recipes from friends that were handed down in their family? Or is this something that shouldn’t be asked?

I would absolutely ASK! I feel like if recipes are not handed down, the history of the family does not continue. I would compliment them on the recipe and tell them that you would be honored to give it a try.

Measuring: should dry items be measured in the pre-measured cups or can everything be measured in a measuring cup? You know, like i do.

Dry ingredients should be measured in a dry ingredient measuring cup and liquid should be measured in a liquid. I have a video on How to measure.

How do you know if a cookie or cookie batter should be frozen before it’s baked or after it’s baked?

I actually rarely freeze cookies, but that is just preference of taste. I have frozen cookie dough a few times with great results. Just scoop and place on a cookie sheet, and flash freeze {place in freezer for a few hours} and then place them in a resealable bag. Baking 911 has a great article on cookies.

If you have baking questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments and I will answer them soon!

I’m linking to…Works For Me Wednesday

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