I am soooo excited to introduce you to someone I admire, and love! We met back in December during a Chef2Chef twitter chat. We have since decided we must be sisters somehow, we have so much in common. The one thing that we truly have in common, we both adore food…..I mean LOVE food, especially bread!
Nelly is a pastry chef, and has an amazing culinary background. She attended CIA in NY, what a dream opportunity! So it is such a wonderful honor to have the opportunity to go to her for baking tips. We have done so many Facebook chats, Twitter chats, and Skype dates helping me learn and grow with baking.
So with out further adieu, here is the lovely Nelly! She shares her twitter page, and blog page at the end, be sure to follow this beautiful foodie!
Hello Café Terra readers! Today I’m happy to be guest posting for my darling friend Terra and we thought it’d be a good idea for me to share some general baking tips on this post. These are in no way a definite way to do things, but instead they are my experiences and have worked for me. I learned some of them at culinary school, and others were trial and error. Like when I added 2 pounds of baking SODA instead of baking POWDER to a huge batch of biscuits. They baked to be bright orange and tasted awful; now, I will never forget it!
- Add half the sugar to your simmering milk. This will allow for easier incorporation and the sugar dissolves with the heat.
- When whisking your eggs/cornstarch or whatever thickening agent you’re using, make sure there aren’t any lumps. Straining it will result in a silky pastry cream.
- Some people add butter to their hot milk, but adding butter AFTER the cream is cooked all the way through gives it a silkier mouth feel and nicer shine.
- Use: fill cakes and cupcakes; cover cakes and sprinkle with nuts; add to whipped cream or Italian meringue; eat as pudding!
- Make sure your milk comes to a full boil before you add your flour. Add your flour and stir ON the heat until a film forms at the bottom of the pan. Turn your heat to low and add flour, keep cooking it. This removes that “floury” flavor and gelatinizes your starch.
- When I hear people putting their batter in the mixer to “cool off” before adding the eggs, I want to scream. The only thing you are doing is developing that gluten and making your batter tougher. Add your eggs, they won’t cook. Trust me on this.
- If you need one more egg, add a yolk. It adds color and a little more fat, making it a nicer dough to work with.
- Can be used to make eclairs, profiteroles, and if sugar isn’t added to the batter, you can make great little appetizers filled with pate, cream cheese or veggies!
|Gorgeous Eclairs by Terra on QC Exclusive here|
- Have a pan with water in your oven to create steam in it. This develops a crustier loaf!
- Don’t add all the water/liquid the recipe asks for. Flours vary from place to place, as well as the temperature and humidity in your kitchen. Add water as needed.
- Not only does salt add flavor, but it controls your yeast from going crazy. Again, trust me. Once witnessed an entire batch of bread go in the oven without salt. Loaves the size of your head!
- Clean equipment and no yolk residues in the whites. Fat will prevent your whites from rising.
- I’ve made meringue with cold and room temperature whites. They both work perfectly.
- Start whipping slow, you’ll get more volume this way.
- Sift your flours and dry ingredients! This incorporates them, aerates the flour and removes anything that could have been hiding in there.
- Creaming your sugar and butter: soften butter and cream until the mixture is airy and is pale yellow. If adding eggs, use room temperature eggs as to not break the emulsion.
- Add flour in one or two steps, as to not over develop the gluten.
|Piece of Cake!|
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