Hello foodies and bakers,
On the more professional side of baking, bakers and pastry chefs use different methodologies when baking recipes. Why? Ingredients are picked, methodology is picked, and baked good is created. Once you master the methodology, you can recognize it in recipes, and bake it to success.
The creaming method is one of the most popular and classic baking methods to date. It is most popular for cookies, quick breads, and cakes. There is a good chance you have already baked something delicious using the creaming method.
Remember, mastering classic baking methodologies takes time and patience.
How to successfully master the creaming method:
Step 1: Soften the fat. This can be done by simply cutting the butter into small cubes, putting the butter in a microwave safe dish and heating it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. You should be able to put your finger in the butter and create an indentation.
Step 2: Fit the paddle attachment, on a standing kitchen mixer. First, add the soften butter and mix, on low speed, for 2-3 minutes. Add the sugars. Now, mix on low speed for 3-4 minutes, then raise the speed to medium mix for 7-10 more minutes. The sugar and butter will look blended, pale, and super light.
This will not only help the sugar-butter become uniform, it will add volume and lightness to the finished baked good.
Step 3: Slowly add the liquids. Most common, liquids will be in the form of eggs, vanilla extracts, and liquid sugars (think: honey, maple syrup, and corn syrup).
Step 4: Add the dry ingredients. Most common, dry ingredients will be in the form of flour, baking powder/soda, salt, spices, and oats.
Most common mistakes when using the creaming method:
Mistake 1: Not creaming the butter and sugar long enough. Or, not using soft enough butter. This will cause the sugar not to be blended into the butter. When you add the liquid ingredients, it will look 'scrambled eggs' and 'broken.'
How to fix it: Add 1-2 tablespoons of your dry ingredients to the butter-sugar, mix for 30 seconds. Then, add the remaining liquid ingredients.
Mistake 2: Adding the liquid too fast and quickly. Even if you cream the butter and sugar long enough, if you add the liquid all at once, it will 'break' the butter-sugar mixture.
How to fix it: Super slowly add the liquids! Add it in 1/3 at a time. The liquids work best at room temp. To do this, measure and whisk all liquid ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 10 seconds. The goal is take the initial 'chill' off.
Mistake 3: Over mixing the dry ingredients. Once the liquid ingredients are added and the dry ingredients are mixed in, it is very easy to over mix the dry ingredients. You can add and mix the dry ingredients either by hand with a spatula or in the standing kitchen mixer for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
How to fix it: If you over mix our batter, rest it (in the fridge) for 1 hour to overnight. The goal is to rest the over worked gluten strands in the all purpose flour.
The creaming is very popular in baking. Once you master it, you can master multiple desserts and baked goods.
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