Sweet Kitchen Tips 29

I’m going to give you some safety kitchen tips this time around.  Your kitchen is a dangerous place if you are not careful and keep a watchfull eye.  I mean we deal with ingredients that are flamable, and any combination of things can set up a chemical reation that can then create the most common (and devastating) kitchen hazard – Fire.

The best way to deal with fire is to prevent them

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Sweet Kitchen Tips 28

Here are a couple of tips that I learned while making the pot-pie on the last post.  Some also work well when top-crust-only fruit pies.

Who wants soggy dough? Safe to say - no one.  And since we know that steam makes pot pie crusts soggy, then it’s time to cheat a little and try this trick which may be a bit unconditional, but you get your bottom dollar you are going to get a nice crispy top crust.  Heat the filling separately in the baking dish.  Cut a pastry round a bit larger than the dish, to allow for shrinkage, and then bake it, alone until cooked.  Set the pastry on top of the filling.  This works great if you do individual pot pies.

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Sweet Kitchen Tips 27

As we leave winter months behind and enter spring, most cooks will start to make lighter dishes.  Techniques like steaming, blanching, poaching and even boiling will take center stage our kitchen stoves.  Let’s  talk about some of these, we can start with boiling and simmering.

First let’s identify what simmering versus boiling is.  When small bubbles rise to the surface and barely break, the water is simmering.  Shivering is a step below simmering, the water barely ripples.  A simmer is the first phase of a full boil, when big bubbles pop to the surface and small bubbles cling to the sides of the pan and  if you keep that stove dial on high, then you are headed to a rolling boil

A couple of things to think about…

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Sweet Kitchen Tips 26

As you may have notice, yeast has been making more and more of an appearance in the blog. I’m baking more breads and cakes that have this ingredient that can be a tad temperamental.  Here are a couple of tips that I learned along the way.  All of my tips are for active dry yeast.  I’m not so ready to venture into the other scary unknown called “fresh yeast” just yet.

Storing – once opened always store in a cool, dry place, preferably the refrigerator (a must for fresh yeast), but bring to room temperature before using.

Yeast needs both a warm environment and food to grow. The process is often called “proofing the yeast.” Yeast should be dissolved in warm water (100-110 degrees F), but not hot water or it will die. Sugar is usually added to “feed” and grow the yeast. You should see activity within 5 minutes, bubbling and expansion during yeast activation. If you see no activity, your yeast is too old, the water was too warm or too cold. Game over, and you need to start over.

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