Author Topic: Secrets from a Baker  (Read 29363 times)

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PastryGoddess

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Secrets from a Baker
« on: April 12, 2012, 09:03:20 PM »
Thread created to transfer knowledge of baking practices, tips, and tricks. Please feel free to post your questions

EmmaJ.

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2012, 09:09:27 PM »
I love apple pie.  My apple pie middle is delicious, and the top crust crisp and flaky.  But the bottom crust - yuk!  Never tastes cooked, most times it's gummy. 

What can I do?  Change my pie crust recipe (2 cups flour, 2/3 cup shortening, 1 teaspoon salt, and 6 tablespoons ice water)?  I've thought about pre-baking the bottom crust prior to filling - do you think that would work?

PastryGoddess

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2012, 10:19:45 PM »
I would definitely recommend pre baking for about 7-10 min. 


Also make sure that the bottom crust is not too thick .  It needs to be able to hold all of that yummy filling, but you don't want it so thick that it doesn't bake at all.


Good luck

Foureyesonemouth

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2012, 10:50:16 PM »
I am so excited you started this thread!  ;D

Do you have any tips on getting a cheesecake not to crack?

hyzenthlay

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2012, 10:55:45 PM »
I am so excited you started this thread!  ;D

Do you have any tips on getting a cheesecake not to crack?

Yes, but I have to admit the mine do still have small cracks.

1.) Add your eggs to your batter last, and mix minimally after they are added. Beaten eggs create lots of air pockets and can lead to cracking.
2.) If your aren't, spray your cheesecake pan with non-stick coating. Adhering to the sides can lead to, or make cracks worse.
3.) Humidify the oven. If you have a roasting pan or some other metal pan you can leave in you can fill it with water when you first put your cheesecake in.

4.) I have never tried this, but I understand some people retain some of the batter and fill the cracks and bake a little longer. The cracks I get are so small I've never felt any need to do this.

Foureyesonemouth

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2012, 11:10:23 PM »
I am so excited you started this thread!  ;D

Do you have any tips on getting a cheesecake not to crack?

Yes, but I have to admit the mine do still have small cracks.

1.) Add your eggs to your batter last, and mix minimally after they are added. Beaten eggs create lots of air pockets and can lead to cracking.
2.) If your aren't, spray your cheesecake pan with non-stick coating. Adhering to the sides can lead to, or make cracks worse.
3.) Humidify the oven. If you have a roasting pan or some other metal pan you can leave in you can fill it with water when you first put your cheesecake in.

4.) I have never tried this, but I understand some people retain some of the batter and fill the cracks and bake a little longer. The cracks I get are so small I've never felt any need to do this.

Oh wow I didn't know that about the eggs. That definitely explains the last one.

So when humidifying the oven, do you put the roasting pan on the shelf below or do you put the cake in the pan?

hyzenthlay

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2012, 08:42:05 AM »
So when humidifying the oven, do you put the roasting pan on the shelf below or do you put the cake in the pan?

I've seen that some people do put the cheescake in a water bath. I don't trust my cheescake pan that much  :D  I just put a steampan of water on the floor of my oven.

alkira6

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2012, 08:49:40 AM »
So when humidifying the oven, do you put the roasting pan on the shelf below or do you put the cake in the pan?

I've seen that some people do put the cheescake in a water bath. I don't trust my cheescake pan that much  :D  I just put a steampan of water on the floor of my oven.

I put a small pan of water on the bottom as I'm preheating the oven and right before I put the pan in with the cheesecake I spray the oven itself lightly with water. Seems to keep the cracks away(mostly).

Zilla

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2012, 09:01:41 AM »
Custard pies.


I can make flan perfectly.


But custard pies eludes me.  It comes out almost scrambled and not creamy like custard should.


Any ideas why?

alkira6

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2012, 09:04:01 AM »
Custard pies.


I can make flan perfectly.


But custard pies eludes me.  It comes out almost scrambled and not creamy like custard should.


Any ideas why?

How do you mix in your eggs and sugar? Give me a step by step of how you make your pies - scrambled sounds like a problem with mixing and heat.

audrey1962

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2012, 10:02:58 AM »
I want to make my own donuts. Is it better to buy a donut iron (similar to a waffle iron) or to buy a donut pan so I can bake them in the oven?

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2012, 11:25:07 AM »
Tip for making meringue:  Use old eggs.  They whip up so much better.  I made a lemon pie on the weekend for Easter (my Dad's favourite and bright yellow is an easter colour, right?) and my three egg whites from eggs bought at the beginning of March made a huge, thick meringue for the pie.  It was fabulous.

PastryGoddess, if I prebake the bottom shell for a few minutes, how do I crimp the top shell to the now partially baked bottom shell?
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LB

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2012, 11:30:10 AM »
I have heard that using vegetable shortening instead of butter can make chocolate chip cookies come out nice and soft. It is a straight across trade? One cup of shortening for one cup of butter?


Outdoor Girl

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2012, 11:35:33 AM »
I have heard that using vegetable shortening instead of butter can make chocolate chip cookies come out nice and soft. It is a straight across trade? One cup of shortening for one cup of butter?

Yes.  My recipe calls for shortening.  They are fantastic.  Won the red ribbon in my small home town's Fall Fair baking contest three years running.   (It's not a huge achievement - there are usually only half a dozen or so entries.)   :)

If you still want the buttery taste, a friend uses the butter flavoured Crisco.
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Zilla

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2012, 11:44:21 AM »
Custard pies.


I can make flan perfectly.


But custard pies eludes me.  It comes out almost scrambled and not creamy like custard should.


Any ideas why?

How do you mix in your eggs and sugar? Give me a step by step of how you make your pies - scrambled sounds like a problem with mixing and heat.


I cream butter with the sugar first, eggs, then blend the milk, vanilla/salt etc.


I pour into pie shell (prebaked and cooled)


Bake in oven as directed. I have tried lowering temp, adding a water bath on bottom rack and removing it a few minutes before.


It's either curdled/greasy or scrambly.  I have done both recipes where it calls for scalded milk and let it cool completely or with regular milk.


I am quite baffled.