I spent a wonderful hour with some delightful women at today’s Baking Demo where I discussed baking tips and halal ingredient options and substitutions while making a Chocolate-Banana Cake. The questions were great and the discussion lively. For those who attended, I promised to post the tips mentioned during the class and for those who were not able to attend, this is a summary of what was covered. Happy baking, everyone!
The recipe sampled at the demo, Cranberry & White Chocolate Mini Muffin, is now available. Just click on the recipe title.
15 Baking Tips from the first My Halal Kitchen Baking Demo
- Read recipe thoroughly before beginning to bake.
- Assemble all of your ingredients before you start the recipe.
- Select fresh, high quality ingredients to include in your recipe.
- Keep separate bowls for dry and wet ingredients.
- Have your oven calibrated or get an oven thermometer to make sure your oven temperature is working as indicated.
- Bring all ingredients to room temperature before working with them.
- Preheat oven once you start the recipe.
- You don’t always have to sift dry ingredients unless the recipe calls for it. Sifting helps make the end result lighter and fluffier.
- Use flavorless oils in baking unless you want the flavor of olive oil, for example, to overpower the rest of the ingredients.
- Baking is more of an exact science than cooking. If a recipe calls for a specific pan size, be sure to use it. If you don’t, you’ll have to adjust baking temperatures and cooking time on your own, which can be tricky.
- If you’re using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment to mix and the whisk attachment for whisking.
- If a recipe calls for ‘folding’, use a spoon to carefully mix in things like blueberries and chocolate morsels.
- Use ice cream scoop or 2 Tb. scoop to drop cookies or mini muffins, regular muffins.
- Rinse the surface of eggs to clean off any unseen traces of contamination (salmonella is commonly found on the surface of eggs)
- Store items like flour and semi-sweet chocolate morsels in the freezer to preserve freshness.
- Flavored oils
- Flavored yogurts
- Dried fruits
- Frozen fruits
- Yogurt for sour cream and vice versa
- Applesauce for sugar and vice versa
- Vanilla beans for vanilla extract (non-alcohol) and vice versa
Basic Baking Tools
- Wooden spoons
- Measuring spoons
- Measuring cups
- Bowls (stainless steel or glass)
- Baking pans
- Loaf pans
- Cookie sheets
- Parchment paper
- Comfortable shoes or a comfortable mat like Silpat to provide support while standing. Baking often means your in the kitchen for a while!
Pantry Items to Keep on Hand
- Agave nectar
- Baking powder (aluminum-free)
- Baking soda (aluminum-free)
- Chocolate, Dark
- Coffee, ground
- Creme fraiche
- No-alcohol extracts (vanilla, almond)
- Flour (unbleached all-purpose, cake flour, whole wheat flour)
- Nuts (almond, walnut, cashew, pecan, etc.)
- Salt (aluminum-free)
- Oils (olive oil, grape seed)
- Sour Cream
- Sugar- raw cane and brown; powdered sugar
- Vanilla beans, Whole
Refrigerated/Frozen Items to keep on Hand for Baking:
- Chocolate morsels (semi-sweet)
- Crème Fraiche
- Mascarpone cheese
- Sour Cream
For more halal pantry items, click here.