Thursday, April 10, 2008

Overbaking...

Rolls baked on silicone treated parchment liners
Rolls removed when golden brown to butter tops


Many people think that they have to bake items until they are brown, hard, and overdone. It makes me crazy!! First of all, I always bake my cakes at 325 degrees instead of the 350 degrees that it says on the package. This makes for a moister cake. Yes, you have to bake it a few minutes longer, but your cake is done when you insert a toothpick and it just barely comes out clean, and when you can touch it in the center and it will just barely bounce back. Chocolate cakes usually take a few minutes longer than other flavors. DO NOT bake cakes so long that they become dry and hard around the edges. They should be soft and moist. Also, why do some people think they have to bake cookies until they are hard as a rock, and almost burned on the bottom? Cookies should be gently crisp on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. Mrs. Fields recommends baking most of her cookies at 300 degrees, instead of 350 or 375. Also, you should almost always remove the cookies from the oven after the MINIMUM amount of time listed. If necessary, you can leave them on the pan for a couple of minutes to finished baking, but usually you can just remove them from the pan and put on a cooling rack or directly on a clean counter to cool. The cookies may look barely set when you remove them from the oven. Do not let your cookies get too brown. They should just barely be golden on the bottom. Same with rolls or cinnamon rolls. I usually bake my dinner rolls for 25 minutes instead of the recommended 30 minutes--they should be a nice even golden brown on top and barely brown on the bottom, not dark brown. They will be softer and moister. Also, remember that everyone's oven may be a little different. Before you start using your oven, you should test the temperature so you know how hot it is, and then adjust your baking temperature accordingly. Using silicone treated parchment paper also helps to bake your items more evenly.
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