One of the hardest things to master in cooking is learning how to bake. Baking requires time, patience, and practice. Try using these tips to help you learn either how to bake or make yourself a better baker. If you stick to these tips and practice them, you should be able to bake breads, cakes, and pastries with ease.
When you are making stock, make a lot of it. Then save it in a plastic zip bag, date it and freeze it. That way you can pull it when you would like to make a soup. You can use it to boil some veggies in. Having some in the freezer will make preparing healthy meals very much easier.
To increase the texture and quality of the pasta that you cook at night, make sure that you finish cooking with the pasta in the pan with sauce. This will help to absorb the sauce so that it blends in properly and tastes great when you sit down to the table and eat.
Microwaving a lemon or a lime for a few seconds can release the juices. Sometimes the citrus at a grocery store is not as fresh as it could be, making it difficult to juice. If you microwave it for 10 seconds, and then roll it between your hand and the counter it will release more juice.
Since you are going to be using a lot of sharp knives in the kitchen to cook your meals, you will want to maintain precautions at all times. Instead of simply putting your knife in the drawer, make sure that you put a wine cork on the tip to protect against cuts and scrapes upon use.
Flouring the baking pan is called for by lots of recipes. It is necessary for the baking, but leaves an unattractive white coating on the side of the cake. Change the recipe a little and use dry cake mix instead of flour. The unattractive white residue from the side of the cake will disappear.
You can save a lot of money by buying potatoes for your favorite dishes in larger quantities. Make sure you store them in a cool dark place (preferably in a root cellar). Place them in a crate loosely and keep the storage temperature between 45 and 50 degrees F. Avoid storing them in the refrigerator as they become sweet.
You don’t need to go out and buy an expensive gravy for your dish. Instead, save the juices that your meat creates at the bottom of your pan, and use that as the base for a nice gravy. It’s a lot cheaper and can taste great. There are many different recipes available that use this juice to make gravy.
Save time and money by freezing leftover sauce in ice cube trays in the freezer. Then, at a later date, it is a simple process to reheat the cubes on your stove top in a pan. Not to worry, it freezes well and is perfectly edible when stored this way.
When you are cooking clarified butter, first slowly melt butter that is unsalted over very low heat. Do not stir the butter, and do not let it comes to a boil. This process will separate the milk solids from the liquid butter into three layers when finished. The clarified butter will be in the middle layer.
On a Sunday, try to make a meal whose leftovers you can eat during the week. For instance, save any left over roasted beef and make it into a sandwich on a week night. Not only does this help you save time by not having to cook, but it is a good way to not waste food.
Measure the oil you use when cooking! The reason to do this is simple: You want to measure instead of just dumping the oil in the pan in order to keep track of how much you’re using. This lets you keep an eye on just how much oil you use.
To maintain the freshness and flavor of herbs and spices store in a cool dry place away from direct light. Storing herbs and spices in a warm location will cause them to lose their flavor.
If you find yourself with part of a loaf of stale bread, don’t throw it away or feed it to the birds. Instead, turn it into croutons for a soup or salad by tossing cubes of bread with oil and seasonings and baking them until crispy. You can also turn stale bread into breadcrumbs for many recipes.
Although there are many intricacies to baking, using these tips should allow you to become an excellent baker. There is no doubt that baking is a difficult cooking skill to master. So take your time, and do not be discouraged by minor setbacks. Practice these tips, and eventually you will get it perfect.