Enjoy Batch Baking During The Winter Season


When the weather is cold and blustery and snowy outside baking can be so much more enjoyable than baking during the hot summer months. The heat from the oven and the tantalizing aroma of th
e baking treats fills the home with comfort and warmth. The winter months are a great time to bake in batches. The baked goods make great gifts or they can be frozen for use at home during hectic times when you are too busy to cook.

Here are some tips for baking large batches of food:

How to double cake, muffin and quick bread recipes: If you bake more of these types of treats you will have extras on hand to pass out to your neighbors, take to your next pot luck dinner or simply have on hand when you crave something sweet. Doubling these recipes is not just a matter of doubling everything. If you do this your finished product will not come out just right.

You need to calculate baking soda and baking powder based on how much flour you are using. The rule of thumb is to use 1-1 ¼ tsp of baking powder for every one cup of flour and/or ¼ tsp. of baking soda for every one cup of flour. Be careful though. If you have another acidic ingredient such as buttermilk or yogurt you will need to add an additional ¼-1/2 tsp of baking soda per cup of buttermilk, yogurt or other acidic ingredient.

How to double cookies and bars: All the ingredients for cookies and bars can be doubled normally. However, keep in mind the baking soda and baking powder ratios if you want a more cake like cookie. Putting the dough in the refrigerator between batches will make a thicker cookie since the dough will not spread as much when the cookie is baking.

How to double breads and rolls: The yeast used in breads and rolls makes these recipes much easier to double. It will work fine if you simply double the ingredients. If you want to go beyond a double recipe to a triple or quadruple recipe it will work better if you weigh the ingredients instead of measuring by volume. This will help keep the ratios consistent.

Remember when you are doubling your baked recipes you do not want to change the cooking time. Do not double the time and do not change the cooking temperature. Use your eye to test the doneness of your baked goods. You can use two separate pans to cook in smaller batches.

If you are not going to give away your extra baked goods and want to freeze them, here is the method to use to freeze cakes, muffins and quick beads: Place unfrosted cake in the freezer in a tightly sealed freezer bag. When you are ready to use the cake remove it from the freezer and let it stand at room temperature for 1-2 hours and then frost the cake.

Place a frosted cake on parchment paper and let the frosting harden for about an hour. Then put the frosted cake into a freezer bag or wrap it in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil. When you are ready to use the frozen cake, remove it from freezer and defrost at room temperature.

How to freeze cookies and bars: Cook the cookies completely, wrap individual cookies in plastic wrap and place the wrapped cookies in a plastic freezer bag and seal tightly. When you are ready to use the cookies defrost them at room temperature. You can also wrap the cookie in a paper towel and defrost for a few seconds in the microwave.