5 Reasons why your Grandmother’s baked goods taste better (and how you can perfect them while you’re home).
1. Practice makes perfect.
I guarantee if you make it once, the first time it won’t be great. It might be good, but not great. Try making it three times and I guarantee you’ll find little nuances that make a big difference. Especially when deciphering the details of an old family recipe, on the third time you’ll have a better understanding of how much a dash actually is. If that means you get three chocolate cakes out of the deal, it’s the perfect time to drop food on a friend or neighbors porch.
2. The details make all the difference.
Using a specific ingredient can truly make the recipe. If you don’t have almond extract and substitute vanilla – or use all purpose flour when it calls for cake flour – it just won’t be the same. Also using quality ingredients (ie: upgrade your butter, use farm fresh eggs, etc) or using the specific brand that she used is so important. Like using White Lily Flour makes – it makes everything more tender and melt-in-your-mouth, this is not just something people say, there is a reason why! And using a certain kitchen tool or method are the details that really matter. Like using a metal vs glass bowls, those little tin measuring spoons, and even an oven that cools hotter than another. Pay attention tp these small things for a greater end result.
3. Take the time to do things the hard way.
Technique, especially in baking, can make be the biggest difference in a good vs a great recipe. A successful vs a failed recipe. If the recipe calls for sifted flour, sift it. Pay attention to scoop and sweep method, etc. Taking the time and accepting the patience it takes to actually chill the dough for 3 hours, bring something to room temperature or let the yeast rise actually does make all the difference.
4. Take note.
Continual education is always helpful beyond the hands. Thanks to the internet and Pinterest, we have the world at our fingertips so watching videos on specific techniques can be a huge benefit. You’ll notice scribbles in pencil and “XXX” out typewriter marks on old recipe cards from your grandmother’s collection where she went back after making a recipe and made a specific note to remember next time to try to do something a tiny bit differently. A few I always come across are “Don’t bake it quite so long, add a tiny bit more of a single ingredient, etc.” so take the time to brief and debrief.
5. Always have your pantry stocked.
Back in the day, your Grandma didn’t have the luxury of running to the store at any given moment or getting an Instacart to deliver a few missing ingredients. Having your pantry stocked with some baking essentials will help to ensure you’re not Googling recipe substitutions and ensure that you have all the ingredients needed for your favorite recipe at a given moment.
Speciality foods or things that go bad more quickly should be bought more frequently, but storing such dry goods as flour, sugar, chocolate chips, and other essentials and properly storing them is a must to ensuring your ingredients live up to the wonderful recipes you’re creating.
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