• When making pastry, start with cold ingredients; when making cakes and cookies, the ingredients should be room temperature. If you stick with this rule, you’ll have lovely, flaky pastry and warm, fluffy cake!
• “Keep rolls or breads warm at the table with this OLD trick: Line your bread basket with foil, shiny side out. Drape a towel over that, and snug the bread inside.” — G.R. in Wisconsin
• Want to know the secret to great biscuits? Handle the dough gently. The more you mess with it, the tougher the biscuits. If you use a cutter, dip it in water for each press, and DON’T twist: You’ll create a seal on the edges that will hinder the biscuit from rising, making it denser.
• “Got a dome on your cake? Measure your ingredients well. Use a pan that is big enough. And if all else fails, use a thermometer to gauge whether your oven is too hot. These things more than any others will make a cake pop up in the center.” — E.A. in Mississippi
• Here’s a fun way to spend a weekend morning: Making pancakes or waffles! Make a double (or triple, or more) batch, and make several varieties — blueberries, chocolate chips, bananas, walnuts, strawberry, even pumpkin! Lay them out in layers and let cool. Stack separated with freezer paper in the freezer. They can be microwaved or toasted in minutes for an easy weekday breakfast.
• Self-rising flour or allpurpose? There’s actually a pretty easy way to tell which is which. Self-rising flour has baking soda added to it, which tastes salty. If you’re facing a canister of flour and the recipe calls for allpurpose, give it a taste. If it’s self-rising, omit any baking soda added to your recipe.
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