Kitchen Hints and Tips
- When baking in a glass or dark pan, reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees F.
- Breads and pies bake best and will have the best crust when baked in
a dark colored pan that absorbs heat well. Cookies, biscuits and cakes
do better in a shiny pan that reflects the heat for a more delicate
browning of the crust.
- When a recipe calls for a "greased" pan, be sure to grease
the pan with solid shortening or an oil unless otherwise specified.
- Line baking pans such as cookie sheets, loaf pans and layer cake pans,
with parchment paper to prevent sticking and simplify cleanup.
- When a bread or dessert recipe calls for raisins as one of the
ingredients, soak the raisins in a cup of very hot water for
15 minutes. It will make them plumper and juicier in the finished product.
- If you're afraid it's "dead," test by putting 1 teaspoon
into a cup of hot water. If it fizzes actively, use it. If not, buy
a new box.
- Biscuits will be crisp on the outside and flaky in the center if you
roll the dough thin and fold it over once before cutting out biscuits.
They'll also split open easily when you're ready to butter them.
- There's no law that says biscuits have to be round. Roll the dough
into a rectangle and cut out square shapes so you don't have to
keep re-rolling it.
- The sharp open ends of clean cans make great cutters for biscuits, scones
- To re-freshen and heat biscuits, put them in a well-dampened paper bag,
twist it closed and put in a 300 degree F oven for several minutes or
- If you want soft-sided biscuits, bake them in a pan with sides and put
the biscuits close together.
- If you want crusty biscuits, bake them on a cookie sheet and place them
apart from each other.
Breads and Rolls
- Keep bread fresh longer by placing a rib of celery in the bread bag.
- For quick and easy garlic breadsticks, split a hot dog bun down the
middle and cut each half lengthwise. Butter each strip; sprinkle with
garlic salt or garlic powder. Place on a cookie sheet and bake or broil
- To butter many slices of bread quickly and evenly, heat the butter until
soft, then "paint" it on with a flat pastry brush.
- To thaw frozen bread and rolls, place in a brown paper bag and put into
a 325 degree F oven for 5 minutes to thaw completely.
- For a shiny bread crust, brush the top with a mixture of 1 beaten egg
and 1 tablespoon of milk before baking.
- Place aluminum foil under the napkin in your roll basket and the rolls
will stay hot longer.
- To glaze the tops of rolls, brush with a mixture of 1 tablespoon sugar
and 1/4 cup milk before baking.
- For a soft, well-browned but not shiny crust, before baking brush the
loaf with a tablespoon of melted butter.
- For a crisp, shiny crust, bake the bread for 20 minutes, then remove
from the oven and brush with an egg white that has been beaten with
a tablespoon of water. Return the bread to the oven to finish baking.
- Yeast will last longer than the specified date printed on the packet
if kept in the refrigerator, or even longer in the freezer, for up to
a year. If you bake a lot, it is wise to purchase larger amounts and
freeze. Place in a tightly sealed plastic or glass container and mark
the date of purchase. Bring to room temperature before using.
- Use nonstick cooking spray to grease the inside of the bowl you'll
be using to raise yeast dough, then spritz the top of the dough itself.
This is a much neater method than spreading with oil.
- If you're interrupted in the midst of bread-rising, set the dough
in the refrigerator. A long, cool rise develops texture and flavor.
- For a slightly browner and crisper crust, brush bread after 20 minutes
of baking with a whole egg beaten with a tablespoon of milk.
- When making cornbread, substitute a can of cream style corn if you're
out of milk. Not only does it work in a pinch, it also tastes delicious.
- Yeast breads are more moist when made with potato water (water in which
you have boiled potatoes) than when made with other liquids. The potato
water keeps the bread fresh longer and gives it a slightly greater volume,
but coarser texture.
- To keep holes and tunnels out of your cake, run a knife through the
batter after you have finished mixing it. This removes air holes.
- Tastier Cakes: When cake mix calls for water use buttermilk instead.
It will make the lightest and best cakes. Plus it will give it that
- To keep loaf cakes fresher longer, cut slices from the middle rather
than from the end. When you're finished slicing, firmly push the
two leftover sections together to reform a loaf. This way, you eliminate
leaving an exposed, quick-to-dry-out "end" slice.
- To plump dried fruit for fruitcake, place fruit in a shallow baking
dish, sprinkle generously with water, then cover. Place dish in oven
while oven is heating for baking cake. In 10 to 15 minutes the fruit
will be soft and plump. Cool slightly and add to cake batter.
- To decorate a cake directly on its serving plate, slip strips of wax
paper under the edge of the cake, allowing them to hang over the rim
of the plate. Frost cake, then, with a quick motion, pull out the paper.
This leaves the serving plate nice and clean without a trace of frosting.
- To prevent a freshly-baked cake from sticking to the serving platter,
dust the platter with confectioners sugar.
- An angel food cake will slice neatly without crumbling if you freeze
it first, then thaw it.
- To cool a cake quickly for frosting, pop it into the freezer while you
make the frosting. By the time frosting is ready, the cake will be cool
and ready to slip out of the pan.
- To prevent cake filling from soaking into the cake, sprinkle layers
lightly with confectioners sugar before spreading filling.
- Cake will be less like to stick to the pan if you put it on a wet towel
to cool as soon as you take it from the oven.
- For a fast topping, place a paper doily on top of the cake. Sift confectioners
sugar over it. Lift the doily off gently.
- For perfect shaped cakes or jelly rolls, first grease the pan, then
line it with greased wax paper. After baking, invert pan and peel off
the wax paper. No more broken corners or edges!
- When frosting cakes, always anchor the bottom cake layer to the serving
plate or lazy Susan with a dab of frosting. That way, the cake won't
slide around as you frost. This also helps keep a cake from sliding
on its plate during transit. The frosting will hold the cake in place
deliciously and your dessert will arrive in perfect shape.
- To prevent icing from running off your cake, try dusting the surface
lightly with cornstarch before icing.
- When filling and frosting a cake, place first layers with bottom side
up; place last layer with the top side up.
- For best results in cake baking, let eggs, butter and milk reach room
temperature before mixing.
- A handy substitute for cake flour: 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons of all-purpose
flour equals 1 cup cake flour.
- To prevent nuts and fruits from sinking to the bottom of a cake during
baking, warm them a bit in the oven and toss them with flour. Shake
off excess flour before mixing them into the batter.
- If cake flour is hard to find, you can make your own with all-purpose
flour: for every cup of cake flour called for in a, substitute a cup
of all-purpose flour but replace 2 tablespoons of the flour with cornstarch.
- To keep cake moist, put half an apple in the cake box.
- If you sift dry cake mix before you stir in the other ingredients, it
won't be lumpy.
- Use paper coffee filters to line 8-inch cake pans. Just flatten one
into a large circle and lay it on the bottom of the pan.
- When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of
the dry cake mix instead, no flour mess on the outside of the cake.
- Use cold coffee instead of water when making a chocolate cake from a
box. It gives the cake a rich, mocha flavor.
- When baking a chocolate cake, don't use flour to "dust"
the pan. Use cocoa instead. This way, the white flour "dust"
won't cling to the sides of the cake.
- To cut a fresh cake, use a wet knife.
- A little flour mixed into the remains of melted chocolate in the pan
will get the last bit of chocolate out of the pan and into the cake
- To keep a cake from sticking to the pan, grease the pan with one part
shortening and two parts flour mixed until it has a sandy consistency.
- Heat fruits and raisins in the oven before adding them to cake batter.
They'll be plumper and juicier.
- When testing a large cake to see if it is done, use a strand of uncooked
spaghetti. It reaches where a wooden pick won't.
- Roll fruits, raisins and nuts in flour before adding to cake batter.
The will be less likely to sink to the bottom of the cake.
- If you don't have a ring mold for baking a cake, cover an empty,
appropriately-sized can with aluminum foil, weight it, and place it
in the center of a round, deep casserole dish.
- If the cake sticks to the pan and threatens to split, hold the pan over
a low flame for about 5 to 8 seconds and the cake will come out nice
- Make a cake decorator by rolling up a piece of wax paper into a cone
shape so that one end has a smaller opening than the other. Snip the
small end with scissors to make a good point. Put icing in and squeeze
it out through the pointed end.
- For a fast topping for cakes, place a paper doily with a large design
on top of the cake, then dust with confectioners sugar. Gently lift
doily off the cake.
- To split a cake into layers, loop a length of waxed dental floss around
the outside of the cake at the point you want the cut, then cross the
ends and pull gently but firmly. The floss will cut right through the
- An easy way to split layers evenly: Measure halfway up side of each
layer and insert wooden picks into the cake all around, about 1 to 1
1/2 inches apart. Rest a long serrated knife on wooden picks, using
them as a guide on where to slice. Discard wooden picks before proceeding
with the icing.
- If the top of your cake is browning too quickly, place a pan of warm
water on the rack above the cake while it is baking in the oven.
- To prevent cakes from cracking while they cool, add one envelope of
unflavored gelatine to the dry ingredients of any cake batter. This
will prevent cracking, and will also make the cake fuller. The gelatin
does not change the flavor or moistness of the cake.
- Use unflavored dental floss to slice evenly and cleanly through a cake
or torte. Simply stretch a length of the floss taut and press down through
- An apple cut in half and placed in the cake box will keep the cake fresh
several days longer.
- To frost a cake quickly without having it crumble, freeze the layers
in the cake pans for about one hour, then remove them from the pans
and frost them. This also prevents the layers from splitting in the
- If tiers of a multi-layer cake slip as you are applying frosting, insert
strands of uncooked spaghetti through the cake for support. Carefully
pull out spaghetti when the frosting has set.
- Fill cake pans about two-thirds full and spread batter well into corners
and to the sides, leaving a slight hollow in the center.
- The cake is done when it shrinks slightly from the sides of the pan
or if it springs back when touched lightly with the finger.
- When using a cookie crust recipe in the springform pan, bake the bottom
crust first, then add the side crust and filling and bake the whole
cake. An easy way to pat the dough up the sides of the pan is to remove
the bottom of the pan.
- After removing a cheesecake from the oven, keep it away from drafts
and cold places while it cools. Too sudden a temperature change can
cause the top of the cheesecake to crack.
- Before cutting cookie dough into shapes, dip cutters into flour. Lift
cutouts with a long, thin spatula. There's less chance of distortion.
- To give a fruit flavor to your brownies, use flavored soda pop instead
of water in the mix.
- When mailing cookies, pack in unbuttered and unsalted popcorn to help
keep them from crumbling.
- Foil-line pans for baking bars. Once bars have cooled, you can lift
the foil right out and cut the bars cleanly. The pans will need only
a quick rinse and dry.
- If you run out of cookie sheets while baking, spoon the remaining cookie
dough on large sheets of lightly greased aluminum foil. When a cookie
sheet becomes free, rinse it with cold water to cool, shake off excess
water and lay the foil with the cookie dough right on the sheet.
- Always bake bars on the middle rack in the oven and cookies on the top
rack. If baking more than one pan at a time, place them at different
angles on different racks to allow maximum circulation of heat. Alternate
their placement on the racks halfway through the baking time.
- Always cool cookie sheets between batches to keep unbaked cookies from
melting and thinning at the edges before they can be set by the heat
of the oven.
- Don't have enough cookie sheets? Spoon cookie dough onto large sheets
of greased aluminum foil. When a cookie sheet becomes free, allow to
cool, then lay the foil with the cookie dough right on the sheet.
- Put dough for refrigerator cookies into clean, empty frozen juice cans,
then chill. When you are ready to bake, cut the bottom off the can and
use it as a pusher to move the dough out as you slice the cookies. This
makes perfect round slices every time.
- To keep cookie dough from sticking to cookie cutters, chill the dough
thoroughly before you roll it out. Dip each cookie cutter in oil before
pressing into the dough and the cookies will cut cleanly. This treatment
is wonderful when using cutters with intricate designs or cutters made
of plastic. You can also spray the cutters with oil spray.
- Bake a batch of gingerbread cookies in assorted shapes. Decorate with
each guest's name and use as table place markers.
- Cookies will spread if your dough is too pliable by allowing butter
to get too soft. If your cookies are spreading too much, try refrigerating
the dough for a couple of hours before baking.
- Cookie dough can be frozen up to three months in an airtight container
or refrigerated three to four days.
- Check cookies at minimum baking time.
- Let cookies cool completely before storing. Store different types of
cookies in separate containers so they'll keep their original flavor
- For a quick glaze for sugar cookies, beat an egg white until just frothy
and brush over the unbaked cookies. Sprinkle with sugar and bake. This
will give your cookies a shiny, sweet crust.
- When cookie dough is soft and difficult to handle, place it between
pieces of wax paper that have been floured. Roll to desired thickness,
remove the top paper, and cut cookies.
- Natural cereals ground in the blender or food processor can be substituted
for all or part of the flour in most cookie recipes. Or use very fine
unseasoned bread crumbs.
- When you re-roll dough scraps, dust the pastry cloth with a mixture
of half flour and half confectioners sugar. This makes the cookies more
tender than if they were rolled on a surface dusted with flour only.
- To keep homemade cookies just-baked fresh, put a slice of white bread
in the jar or container.
- If you flour a cookie sheet after greasing it, cookies made from thin
batters will be less likely to spread during baking.
- Pack cookie dough in clean empty frozen juice cans and store in the
refrigerator or freezer. Remove one end to insert dough and tightly
cover the can with foil. When ready to use, remove the other end and
push the dough out. Slice and bake! Use a coffee can for jumbo cookies!
- Before making oatmeal cookies, toast the oatmeal by spreading it on
a cookie and baking it in a preheated 300 degree F oven for 8 to 10
minutes until it has colored lightly. Cool oatmeal before folding it
into the other ingredients.
- When rolling out cookie dough to cut, use a thin dusting of confectioners'
sugar instead of flour on the board. The flour tends to make the dough
thicker and heavier, while the dusting of sugar will help the cookie
to brown evenly.
- For a just-baked taste for store-bought cookies, wrap two to four cookies
in a paper towel. Microwave on HIGH for 30 to 45 seconds. Cookies come
- If you are in a hurry, instead of chilling, simply drop dough from a
spoon and bake as you would drop cookies.
- If dough is soft and difficult to work with, put bowl in refrigerator
or freezer until firm enough to shape.
- For square cookies, take an empty wax paper or plastic wrap carton,
line with foil and pack dough in firmly. Then chill.
- For an extra touch, roll chilled dough in colored or cinnamon sugar,
ground nuts or flaked coconut before slicing and baking.
- When slicing, use your sharpest knife. Give dough a quarter turn occasionally
so the bottom doesn't flatten.
Cream Puffs and Eclairs
- Bake cream puffs in muffin cups to prevent them from spreading. You'll
get beautiful, airy cream puffs every time.
- To fill, use a pastry bag of whipped cream or pastry cream.
Cupcakes and Muffins
- To divide batter evenly when making cupcakes or muffins, use an ice
cream scoop to transfer batter from mixing bowl to baking pan.
- When baking muffins, fill unused cups half full of water to prevent
warping the pan.
- When having trouble removing muffins from the pan because the bottoms
stick, place the hot pan on a cold wet towel for about 30 seconds, then
remove the muffins.
- To prevent muffins from burning around the edges, fill one section with
water instead of batter.
- Make heart-shaped cupcakes by lining a muffin pan with paper baking
cups, then placing a small ball of boil between the paper liner and
the pan, pressing in toward center so paper is indented into the shape
of a heart.
- If muffins brown around the edges before the centers are cooked, partly
fill one section of each muffin pan with water. The extra steam will
keep the edges from overcooking.
- In the South, flour from soft wheat is often used for biscuits and other
baked goods. This soft, southern wheat flour has a gluten content of
about 8 percent. However, all-purpose flour is an acceptable substitute.
- Bread flour, milled especially for baking bread, is higher in gluten
(a protein) than all-purpose flours. To determine gluten content of
flour, look at the panel on the side of the bag labeled "Nutritional
Information." For bread baking you should use a flour with 14 percent
gluten. The higher this protein percentage, the greater volume in your
- When a recipe calls for one cup sifted flour, it means you should sift
it first. When it calls for one cup flour, sifted, it means you should
measure the flour before you sift it.
- Keep a new powder puff in your flour canister. When a recipe says to "dust"
a pan with flour, use the powder puff!
- When making butter cream frosting for spice and carrot cakes, use one-half
cup maple syrup instead of milk and vanilla extract.
- When making frosting consisting of milk or cream and sugar, add 1 teaspoon
white corn syrup for each cup of sugar used. Boil in the usual way.
Your finished product will be much smoother and not so apt to become
- Press cookie cutter shapes lightly into cake icing, then fill in the
outline with tinted icing in desired colors.
- Add 1 teaspoon cornstarch to fudge frosting for the smoothest frosting
- Canned frosting makes a quick, easy glaze for Bundt cakes and cream
puffs. Just put it in a small glass or plastic bowl and microwave it
for about 15 to 30 seconds on HIGH. You can pour it over the top of
your baked treat with no trouble.
- Try making confectioners' sugar frosting with peanut butter instead
of regular butter. It is healthy, flavorful and colorful.
- To make a smooth-looking frosting, first frost cake with a thin layer
of icing. When this "base" coat sets, apply a second final
coat. It goes on easily and looks superb.
- To color and flavor confectioners' sugar frosting, add a bit of
unsweetened powdered drink mix. Orange and lemon are especially tasty.
Mix in until you get the desired color and flavor. The results are delicious!
- When using a white frosting, different flavors of gelatin powder may
be sprinkled on top to produce different and unusual flavors and designs.
- Use a new watercolor brush to write a message on plain confectioners'
sugar icing. Dip the brush in food coloring and write the message.
- For a nice decoration on white frosting, shave colored gumdrops very
thin and stick on. They will curl like little roses.
- A good topping for gingerbread, coffeecake, etc. can be made by using
the syrup from canned fruit and adding 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon
lemon juice to 2 cups fruit syrup. Heat until bubbly, then thicken with
2 tablespoons flour.
- Use coffee instead of water in the batter.
General Tips for Adapting Sea Level Pastry Recipes to Altitudes Above
* Reduce the sugar in your recipe 1 to 3 tablespoons per each cup of
* Increase the liquid by 1 to 4 tablespoons.
* Reduce each teaspoon of baking powder by 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon.
* Increase oven temperature by about 25 degrees F.
- To prevent it from weeping, add 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch to each tablespoon
of sugar before adding to egg whites.
- Meringue will not shrink if you spread it on the pie so that it touches
the crust on each side and bake it in a moderate oven. Turn off the
oven and open the door a crack when the meringue has finished browning
and let the pie cool slowly in the oven. This will keep the meringue
from cracking and "weeping."
- For the highest meringue, add a pinch of baking powder to room-temperature
egg whites before beating.
- To prevent "weepy" meringues, add 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
to each tablespoon of sugar before adding to egg whites.
- To remove meringue shells from the baking paper, lightly moisten the
underside of the paper with cool water. Slide a spatula carefully under
the meringue and it should lift off easily and in one piece.
Oven Temperature and Baking Times
- Cooking and baking times specified in most recipes are merely guidelines.
Since oven temperatures can vary from oven to oven, it's best to
check your dish a few minutes before recommended. For instance, if a
recipe instructs you to bake a batch of cookies 10 to 15 minutes check
it 7 or 8 minutes into baking. But don't belabor it and keep the
door open for a long period of time or you'll lose a great deal
- A plastic sandwich bag makes a good pastry bag. Spoon frosting into
the bag, then snip off one corner of the bag to create the size opening
needed. Poke a tiny hole in one corner for an extra thin writing tip.
- For the ideal disposable pastry bag, use heavy-duty, quart-size self-sealing
plastic bags fitted with a cake decorating coupler and tip. The filling
can't work its way out of these bags because they're sealed
- Working with phyllo dough can be tricky. For ideal results keep the
box refrigerated until you are ready to use it. If you buy it frozen,
thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to use, unroll the
pastry onto a work surface and keep it covered with a slightly damp
towel (moistened with a mister rather than drenched under the faucet.)
If it gets too wet, the moisture will cause the sheets to stick together.
- If you don't have a pie bird, insert tubular macaroni into cuts
in the top layer of pastry on fruit pies to prevent the filling from
overflowing. This also works for lattice tops.
- For topping winter pies, such as pumpkin or apple, try using rum flavor
for the whipped cream instead of vanilla extract.
- Put a layer of miniature marshmallows in the bottom of a pumpkin pie,
then add the filling. The marshmallows will rise to the top, and you
will have a nice topping.
- Before freezing fruit for pies, store it in a sealed, airtight plastic
bag and place the bag in a pie tin. The fruit will freeze in the shape
of the tin, so that when you're ready to add it to your crust, it
will fit perfectly without gaps.
- Prevent soggy crust when making a custard-style pie, such as pumpkin,
by carefully breaking one of the eggs for the pie filling into the unbaked
pastry shell, swirling it around so the egg white covers the entire
surface and then pouring the egg into the filling mixture. Brush beaten
egg white over pie crust before baking to yield a beautiful, glossy
- Baking a pie on a pizza stone absorbs excess moisture and makes the
bottom crust crisper, especially if you use a pie tin with a hole in
- For a two-crust pie, brush a little water around the edge of the bottom
crust before placing the top crust. This creates a good seal once the
two are crimped together.
- For a decorative top pie crust, us a thimble to cut holes, then replace
the cut-outs back in their holes. The holes will get bigger as the pie
bakes, making an interesting pattern.
- Two sure-fire ways to keep meringue toppings from shrinking. First,
spread on the pie while the filling is hot. Second, make sure the meringue
touches the crust all around.
- Cut out rounds of leftover pie dough. Turn a muffin pan upside down.
Press dough rounds onto bottoms of muffin cups. Bake at 425 degrees
F (220 degrees C) for 7 to 8 minutes or until lightly brown. Invert
pan onto a wire rack. Use tart shells for pudding and other desserts
or fill with creamed sauces.
- Always chill pastry dough before rolling and cutting, and always chill
it again afterwards, before baking, to further relax the gluten.
- Before you refrigerate cream- or meringue-topped pie, insert four wooden
picks around pie's edge; cover with plastic wrap. Wooden picks stop
wrap from marring the pie's surface.
- To prevent the bottom crust from becoming soggy, sprinkle it with unseasoned
dry bread crumbs before adding the filling.
- Never put hot or even warm filling into a raw piecrust. Bake the shell
for 5 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. This is a bakery trick.
- Brush frozen pies with melted butter before baking. The butter eliminates
the dryness that freezing causes.
- Use wax paper to measure pie dough. The standard pie pan is 9 inches
in diameter so you'll need a 12-inch circle of dough. Since wax
paper comes in a 12-inch width, simply tear off a piece 12 inches long,
then roll your circle of dough so it touches the center of all four
sides of the square.
- For a flakier piecrust, use cake flour — 7/8 cup of cake flour instead
of one cup of regular.
- Brushing the top of your pie crust with white vinegar a few minutes
before it is done baking will give your pastry a nice sheen.
- Piecrust edge won't burn if you cut the center out of a foil pie
plate and turn it upside down over the pie as it bakes. Remove during
the last 5 minutes of baking.
- Fold the top crust over the lower crust before crimping to keep the
juices in the pie while baking.
- Brush the unbaked bottom crust of a fruit pie with well-beaten egg white
before filling. This prevents soggy pie bottoms.
- Brush the bottom crust with lightly beaten egg white. The coating will
help prevent the absorption of liquids from the pie.
- When baking fruit pies, put a thin layer of fine cookie crumbs over
the bottom crust. This will prevent a soggy crust. Try using crumbs
from ginger cookies with making an apple pie.
- To prevent a soggy crust, sprinkle the bottom crust with a combination
of equal parts of sugar and flour before adding the filling.
- To prevent a soggy crust when making cream pies, spread a layer of finely
ground nuts on the bottom.
- For a richer pastry, substitute light cream or sour cream for the water
called for on a package of pie crust mix.
- If juice from your pie runs over in the oven, shake some salt on it,
which causes the juice to burn to a crisp so it can be removed.
- When baking custard-type pies, bake at a high temperature for about
10 minutes to prevent a soggy crust, then finish baking at a low temperature.
- Give your pies a unique look by using pinking shears to cut the dough.
Make a pinked lattice crust.
- To keep the top crust attached to the shell of a two-crust pie, moisten
the edge of the shell with beaten egg yolk or milk before pressing the
- For extremely flaky pie pastry, measure the flour and fat into the bowl
and chill at least an hour before you begin mixing.
- Brush frozen pies with melted butter before baking. This eliminates
the dryness that freezing causes.
- When making cream pies, keep them firm for cutting by mixing in one-half
package unflavored gelatin.
- When working with piecrust dough, spray the counter with nonstick vegetable
spray and then flour it. The dough will come right off.
- To thicken juices of fresh fruit fillings, use one tablespoon of quick-cooking
tapioca for each tablespoon of all-purpose flour the recipe calls for.
Juices will be clear, and it adds a great texture to the pie.
- When a recipe calls for sifting, it works just as well to put all dry
ingredients in the mixing bowl and stir with a whisk.
- Cream the vanilla extract with the shortening or butter portion of the
ingredients. The fat encapsulates the vanilla extract, preventing it
from volatilizing in the baking process.
- To get yeast dough to rise faster, turn the dishwasher dial to "dry"
for a minute to warm the inside, then put the dough inside the dishwasher.
- When kneading, keep a couple small plastic bags within reach. Then if
the phone rings or someone is at the door, slip your hands into the
- If dough won't rise, place bowl on rack over a bowl of hot water
OR set on a heating pad covered with a clean towel OR place in an oven
that has a pilot light.
- When yeast dough has risen sufficiently, an indentation will remain
when you press two fingertips about 1/2 inch into the dough.