This is a list of little tipps and tricks that you may find helpful when baking and cooking. I will continue to update this as I grow the blog further. Let me know if there are things you feel are missing here! Simply comment below or contact me on Twitter or Instagram.
Read the Recipe Beforehand
Before you start cooking or baking, read the entire recipe at least once or twice! It will help you to understand what the process will be. By reading the recipe beforehand, you can also ensure that you have all the ingredients and equipment you need, and whether you know how to do all the steps involved.
How to Check Whether Your Baked Goods Are Done
Take a toothpick and stick it into the dough. If dough sticks to the toothpick, leave your goodies in the oven a little longer. This technique works for any baked goods, really.
If you want to check whether a loaf of bread is done you can either use the toothpick trick or take the bread out of the oven and knock on the bottom side. If it sounds hollow, then the bread is done. Make sure to wear oven mitts, though.
Additional Tips for Baking Bread
If you want to check whether the dough has risen enough, poke a hole with your finger into it. If the hole closes up (at least ¾), then the dough has risen enough.
You should keep the finished bread in a dry and airy place. Do not put it in the fridge! Fresh bread and bread rolls made from wheat flour lasts only a day or two, bread made from flour mixes (wheat, rye, spelt, …) up to 10 days, and bread made purely from rye over 10 days. The more rye a bread contains, the longer it remains fresh.
Bread that has dried out a bit can be “refreshed” by spraying it with a bit of water and crisping it up in the oven.
A Note on Resting Times
Generally speaking, for loaves of bread made with sourdough, the longer the resting periods, the better! This means you have to plan a bit when you bake with sourdough and allow the dough enough time to rise, easily 5-6 hours in total. As with most cooking and baking, it is impossible to give definite time periods here, so you will have to try a bit on your own to get a feel for it. It is important, though, that the dough can rest in a warm spot so that the sourdough can work its magic comfortably. You should also use a bowl (or proofing basket) that is big enough so that the dough can expand unhindered. While this may sound tedious, the time is worth the wait because you will get a richly flavored loaf of bread in the end!