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.
To make it easier to peel boiled eggs, run them under cold water immediately after removing from them the stove. Once they are cool enough to touch, tap them lightly to crack and roll on a counter. Once you begin peeling and have an opening in the shell, run this under cold water and you will find the rest of the shell will peel off with the greatest of ease!
To successfully cook a meal you should always follow the recipe. This will assure you use the correct amount of each ingredient. Cooking is a science and each ingredient has its job. Leaving out an ingredient, putting too much of something, or cooking for too long can turn your dish into a disaster.
Make soup stock in large quantities. Soup stock can be used in many different recipes. If you make a large portion of it once, it is easy to store for later use. Just put it in baggies that can be sealed. Put it in the freezer and thaw it out when you need to use it.
Use a heavy duty, zip-lock plastic bag to separate pan drippings. After roasting meat, pour the pan drippings into a zip-lock plastic bag. Let the fat rise to the top. Carefully snip off one of the bottom corners on the bag, and pour out the fat-free broth. The fat will stay in the plastic bag, and you will have a tasty broth as a base for gravy or a sauce.
Add a small pinch of sea salt to your ground coffee immediately before brewing. This will add a great punch of flavor to every cup. This process works well in either a traditional coffee maker or a french press. Don’t add the salt before brewing time though, or your coffee flavor will be compromised.
If you plan to let your chicken sit in the oven for a while after it is baked, then subtract a few minutes from its baking time. Since chicken continues to bake even after it is taken away from a heat source, it can dry out quickly in an oven that is still hot.
Cooked turkey freezes beautifully, as does stuffing. When making a big holiday meal, be sure and make plenty so you not only have enough for turkey sandwiches, but to enjoy another turkey dinner in a month or two, without all of the work. Use a spare 9″ X 13″ pan that you line and divide with aluminum foil into two or three compartments. Cut some turkey for one compartment, add some stuffing in another and if you would like, leftover mashed potatoes can be put in the third compartment. Drizzle some gravy over everything you desire, cover with aluminum foil and freeze. When ready to enjoy turkey again, or perhaps when pressed for time and out of ideas for dinner, grab the pan from the freezer and place in the oven at 350 degrees. Remove the foil from the top of the pan after 45 minutes, bake uncovered for another 15 to 20 minutes and enjoy!
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.