Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Listed below are a few tips and tricks that helped me and continue to help me.. I will update this as and when I come across something helpful.

Testing Baking Powder:
We buy baking powder and sometimes do not use it very often. Even if we bake often it takes a while to empty the baking powder tin. To test if baking powder is still good take a small bowl and add some warm water to it. To this add a teaspoon of baking powder. If there is a fizzing sound and after sometime the baking powder begins to fizz turning the water cloudy with tiny bubbles then the baking powder is still good. The more fizz the better the baking powder. 

Testing Baking Soda:
To test baking soda in a bowl add 2 Tablespoons of white vinegar. To this add a teaspoon of baking soda. If it bubbles up vigorously then the baking soda is still good. It will start foaming. The more the foam and bubbles the better the baking soda. If there are very few bubbles or no reaction at all then the baking soda is not good.

Turn All Purpose Flour to Self Rising Flour:
Add 1 1/2 Teaspoon of Baking powder and a pinch of salt to 1 cup of regular All Purpose Flour to turn it into Self Rising Flour.

Turn All Purpose Flour to Cake Flour:
Measure one cup of All purpose flour and from it measure out 2 Tablespoons of flour and replace it with 2 Tablespoons of Corn Flour. Mix it well and pass this through a sieve or mesh several times to mix well and aerate it. This is Cake Flour.

Whipping Cream:
To whip cream make sure that the whipping cream is chilled in the refrigerator. Place the bowl (preferably stainless steel) and the whip in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes for it to cool down for easier whipping. Once you achieve stiff peaks be very careful not to over whip as you will end up churning butter. Use the whipped cream immediately or refrigerate it as it will begin to melt and separate within 30 minutes.

Proofing Yeast Dough:
If you face difficulty with proofing your yeast dough and if it does not rise or double even after several hours then follow this simple trick. After kneading the dough apply olive oil lightly on its surface and cover the bowl with a damp cloth or cling wrap. In a microwave safe bowl add water and heat it in the microwave for about 3-4 minutes on high. You can even heat for 2X2 minute intervals. Switch off the microwave and place the covered dough inside the microwave and close the door. This creates a warm spot as yeast needs warmth to start working. In 45 minutes - 1 hour the dough most certainly will double. Always remember to knead dough only in warm water. Neither hot nor cold. Hot water kills the yeast and cold water does not make it grow.

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