15 Tips from a Professional Baker

A year ago, I started a job that I’ve enjoyed more than any job I’ve had before. I became a professional baker! Working alongside my long-term boyfriend Ryan and his lovely mom at their bakery, I get to spend my days making delicious treats like cupcakes, cheesecakes, pies, cookies, quiches, chicken pot pies, scones, brownies, and more. I love to put the ingredients together and watch as they create something delicious before my eyes. I also love to bake at home for myself, Ryan, and our friends and family. I’d love to share some of the key baking tips I’ve learned from my year in a professional bakery with you, and maybe it will help you at home, too! 

My Baking Tips:

1. The measurements are not a suggestion. With cooking, there is room for interpretation and improvising. With baking, it’s chemistry. Measure your ingredients exactly. 

2. An egg-wash on pie crust will give it a nice glaze and a crispy texture. An egg wash is an egg, beaten well, with a tablespoon of milk or water mixed in. It gets “painted” to the tops of pie crusts. 

3. Use a small ice cream scoop to measure cookie dough, so each one is the exact same size. 

4. Crack the eggs into a separate small bowl before adding them to batter. This way, any eggshells will be easy to see and remove.

5. When making a graham cracker crust, combine melted butter and fine-crushed graham crackers until the consistency is like wet sand – it sticks together when squeezed in your hand, but still has some crumble to it.  

6. Stack the apples HIGH in an apple pie. They reduce in size a lot. baking and serving double crust apple pie

7. Room temperature butter makes things fluffy. This is used for things like cakes, soft cookies, brownies, bread, and buttercream. Cold butter makes things flaky, like scones, pie crusts, biscuits, and crispy cookies. 

8. When making scones, keep them in the freezer until they go into the oven. You don’t want them to flatten out and lose their wonderful flaky texture. 

9. The full-fat version of ingredients always tastes better. 

10. Try not to open the oven to check on what you’re baking. The oven loses a lot of heat that way, and it can make your food underbaked. 

11. Your cheesecake should wobble a little when you take it out of the oven. This is a better way to check a cheesecake for doneness than a toothpick in the middle. It shouldn’t be liquid, but it should have some wiggle to it. It will solidify as it cools. Allow to fully cool, then run a knife around the edges of the pan before you remove it. 

12. “Fold” the ingredients together, don’t stir them. This method uses a spatula to gently turn the ingredients over, and into each other. This makes batters light and airy.Tip: Fold ingredients in bowl with spatula

13. Don’t overmix when combining wet and dry ingredients because it can affect the texture. Mix until it combines, then stop. 

14. Use a sifter for flour and baking soda, and break up any lumps. 

15. Better tools make for easier baking and better results. The heat retention of cast iron cake and muffin pans allow for more flavor, and crispier outsides. Cast iron and more high quality baking tools used for generations can be found in the Baking Supplies section of Lehman’s

Everything I know about baking was taught to me by my boss and mentor, as well as a part of my family, Jenni Snyder. She has been baking for decades and is truly an expert. If you’re near Stow, Ohio, check us out on Facebook at Jenni’s Desserts LLC! 

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Christine Lackey
Christine Lackey
30 days ago

Thanks for the tips – found a few I didn’t know!

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