Baking Success

Baking Success

Check Baking Progress:
• At the minimum time suggested in the recipe.
• Do not rely on time or brownness as the only indicators; test with fingertip, toothpick. etc.
• Do not peek. Opening the oven door during baking allows heat to escape and affects baking results.
Cookies:
• Use shiny, flat, heavy cookie sheets without sides. Cookies baked in pans with short sides may have uneven top browning.
• Do not use a cookie sheet so large that it touches the walls or the door of the oven.
Cakes:
• Use a shiny pan and the pan size recommended in the recipe. Measure the INSIDE width of the pan, if not marked.
• A cake baked in a larger pan than recommended will be thin and dry. One baked in a smaller pan may be undercooked and may overflow.
• Use precise oven temperatures. Oven temperatures affect the texture and shape of a cake.
Pies:
• Frozen pies in foil pans should be placed on an aluminum cookie sheet to help retain heat and improve browning.
• Bake pies in dark or dull pans. A shiny pan reflects heat away from the pie resulting in a soggy bottom crust. A dark or glass pan absorbs the heat nad improves bottom browning.
Aluminum Foil Usage:
• Do not cover an entire oven rack or oven bottom with aluminum foil. This will reduce heat circulation, result in poor baking and may damage the oven bottom.
• A small piece of foil may be used to catch spillovers. Place in on a lower rack several inches below the food. Make it no larger than the pie pan.

Common Baking Problems and Causes
Cakes are uneven:
• Pans touching each other or oven walls.
• Batter uneven in pans
• Uneven heat distribution in oven. Oven not level.
Cakes high in middle or cracked:
• Temperature too high.
• Overmixing.
• Too much flour.
• Dark or dull pan.
Cakes fall:
• Too much shortening or sugar.
• Too much or too little liquid.
• Temperature too low.
• Too much baking powder or soda.
• Pan too small
• Oven door opened frequently.
• Baking time too short.
Cakes not done center:
• Temperature too high.
• Pan too small.
• Baking time too shrot.
• Pan not centered in oven.
Cakes, cookies, biscuits too brown on bottom or top:
• Oven not preheated.
• Pans touching each other or oven walls.
• Using glass, darkened, warped or dull-finish metal pans.
• Rack position too high or low.
• Incorrect use of aluminum foil.
• Oven temperature too high.
Excessive shrinkage:
• Too little leavening.
• Overmixing.
• Pan too large.
• Oven temperature too high.
• Baking time too long.
Pies don’t brown.
• Incorrect rack position.
• Using shiny metal pans.
• Temperature set too low.

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