For those of you who live in high-altitude climates, it helps to follow the instructions for this elevation when baking, specifically if you live in Colorado.
ROLLS AND BISCUITS if you want a crisp crust, brush their tops with milk, cream, egg yolks mixed with a little water or egg whites. You can also brush pastry shell with eggs whites to prevent shell from soaking in filling.
FRESH BREAD slices better if placed over a hot flame on the stove or over an electric burner for a few minutes. Be careful, knife will be hot!
REHEATING LEFTOVER ROLLS: place inside a water-moistened paper bag. Turn the top to close and place in hot oven (300 degrees) for about 10 minutes.
YEAST: a pinch of sugar in warm water will begin its proof.
CAKE MIXES for a moister cake, add about a ¼ cup (no more than this) to cake mix.
SPRINKLE CAKE ever so lightly with powdered sugar. This helps to keep filling from soaking into cake.
KEEP ALL BAKING INGREDIENTS at room temperature.
COOL CAKE ON RACK for at least 10-12 minutes before removing from cake pan (any longer will make the cake very soggy). Cool pies on cooling racks to prevent them from becoming soggy.
COOL CAKE completely before icing.
TESTING TO SEE IF CAKE IS DONE: Angel and sponge cakes will make a singing sound while baking if they are not done. Once a cake is done, it will start to pull from the side of the pan. Also, it will spring back when lightly touched with a clean finger. In addition, if a straw or uncooked spaghetti comes out clean when inserted, this means the cake is done.
ADD A PINCH OF SALT to uncooked icing to prevent it from becoming grainy.
CUT A SQUARE FROM CENTER OF LAYER CAKE before slicing. This will keep it from crumbling.
TO CUT CAKE WITH FRUIT FILLING: Dip knife into hot water before cutting each slice. Work quickly
OLD FASHION WAY TO KEEP CAKE FROM STICKING TO PAN; Grease pan then place waxed paper in bottom and grease it with vegetable shortening. Dust with flour pertaining to recipe directions.
WHEN MIXING A CAKE: To increase creaming, mix butter and sugar and add ½ cup of the required flour and 1 of the eggs.
When your recipe calls for scalding milk, it’s best to put just a little water in pan of choice to cover bottom. Bring to a boil before adding milk. This little step will prevent sticking.
Roll out cookies on powdered sugar instead of flour.
Use an air cookie sheet. This helps to ensure they are baked evenly.
Arrange cookies on parchment paper and place in the oven. Bake as recipe recommends. When finished slide cookies off to cooling rack then pull parchment paper from underneath cookies. Have another batch ready. Be sure to close oven door when opened to make sure that the oven remains at the same temperature for additional cookies.
For softer cookies: I like to place into a food safe clay pot while slightly warm and cover tightly.
When toasted oatmeal is added to cookie dough, it gives a nutty and smoky flavor.
Sources: Bell’s Best and My own experiences from trial and errors.