Baking Information to Keep You Company

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

This is a hard time for many of us.  A naturally gregarious people have been sequestered and cut off from each other.  It’s hard.  But it needn’t be depressing.

Almost everyone I know seems to be cleaning in these early days.  I’m not sure what that says about my friends but be that as it may, it’s not a bad idea.  I’m doing some of that too.  I have two pieces of furniture I have been trying to treat with Liquid Gold forever and this just might be my chance.

The last day at the restaurant was Tuesday.  No one knows how long we will be closed but I suspect it will be months not weeks.  While I’m okay with that I worry about my coworkers who I know will be struggling.  It’s a strange time.

I was thinking about what to post.  I thought this might be a good time to remind you of some of the posts in my Baking Information tab for when you’re done cleaning and looking for something to keep you connected to baking and pastry.

While there is a lot of information there, here is some baking information to help you understand some facets of it better.

Please stay safe and remember to stay in touch with those you love however you can.  It was great to face time with my family who is in another state.  I email friends and of course, there is always the phone.

I will continue to post although the schedule may be a bit erratic.

All Salt is Not Created Equal talks about the differences between salts.  There was a time when we had one salt available to us.  That is no longer true and the differences can be substantial.

Baking Equipment and Utensils is a virtual compendium of descriptions and photos of the most used items when baking.  If I’ve forgotten something just let me know.

Baking Powder vs. Baking Soda and Where and When to use Which gets the prize for the longest title.  If you’ve ever been confused about these two this should help

Cake Pan Prep or How to Get a Flat Cake Layer is one everyone should read.  I discovered this when I had the bakery.  We used it for all of our cakes and it works like magic.

Cocoa Fundamentals Natural vs. Dutched is a discussion of the differences between the two including which leavening agent to use with which.

Double Panning – Preventing Over Browning in the Oven shows you how to keep items heavy in brown sugar, honey, molasses, etc. from over-browning when baking.

Pan Size Conversions tells you how to convert the amount of batter to a different size pan.

Ten Ways to Become a Better Baker is self-explanatory.

The Secret of the 9 Inch Cake Pan shares the method we used at the bakery to increase the size of the cake layers based on a 9-inch cake pan.

Thickeners As Used in Baking and Pastry talks about not only the thickeners but where to use them.

Top Ingredient Substitutions for Baking gives you options when you don’t have something available.

Understanding Gelatin is a discussion of the different types of gelatin and how to use them.

Vanilla talks about the different kinds of this most used flavoring and where to use them.

These are only some of the topics covered related to baking information but they should keep you busy for a while.

And, if you get the chance, let me know in comments which helped you the most.  As always I appreciate you.

Pastry has not only been my profession, but my passion. If there is anything in particular you would like to see or any questions about baking or pastry, please let me know. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss a post!
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29 thoughts on “Baking Information to Keep You Company

    1. Diane

      I continue to be grateful and amazed at the wealth of information you share. I have sent your link to all my baking friends. Thank you.

    2. Sharan Weir

      Hello! I’m a Director of Food Service in Healthcare so I’m still showing up every day. Thank you for all of the information you share. I love to bake and have learned so much from you. Stay safe and hopefully there will be some sunshinr on the horizon!

      1. hfletcher Post author

        Hi Sharan, Please take care of yourself. This is a scary time for so many. Baking is a great way to relieve stress and just to have that feeling of accomplishment and I’m happy to have been able to help.

  1. Lynette Pruett

    Hi, Helen. Thanks for taking the time to remind us of the wealth of information on your site. I think your post about the different kinds of salt was one of the most interesting to me.
    I’ve done some cleaning, too, but the thing that is keeping my spirits up is baking. I’ve started sending emails to a few friends and family members with photos of my baked goods. My subject line is BAKING BEATS BOREDOM!
    Meantime, you and Mike take care. I’m afraid you’re right that months is more realistic than weeks for many of these restrictions to lift, but let’s all remember to continue to encourage each other. Thanks again for your posts and recipes.

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hy Lynette, so happy to hear from you. I love your tagline and may borrow it in the future with your permission. I agree the salt post was interesting. I remember when Morton’s salt with the girl and the umbrella was the only one. Now there is a wealth of them. Take care and be well.

      1. Lynette Pruett

        Helen, I would be honored if you use my tagline! I hope it helps you spread more knowledge and joy, things we all need more of right now!
        Be safe…

  2. Elle

    Thanks, Helen. Such valuable information. I’ll never grease the sides of a cake pan ever again! Anyway, I hope you and yours stay safe and well through this. A question, given that I now have more time: if I make a batch of the Swedish Cardamom Rolls, can I freeze them? If yes, at what stage would you recommend for the best outcome? Thanks.

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Elle, Oh, you picked a great recipe to bake. These are simple but so tasty. To freeze, I would bake them as called for, cool them and then wrap and freeze. Thaw at room temperature. Wrap in foil, leaving an opening on top and refresh in a 350°F oven for about 10 minutes or until warmed through. Take care of yourself.

  3. Marilyn

    Hi Helen,
    Thank you so much for such a good post, there is always more to learn. It is really appreciated. Baking calms me, some normal in not so normal times.
    Take care, Marilyn

  4. Teri Weaver

    Thank you, Helen ! I’m considered high risk & was put on leave yesterday. Being a Hospice RN on an inpatient unit , I’m struggling with not being there with my coworkers & second family in the trenches as we all get through this pandemic.
    Baking & Biking is part of my coping plan. I love your post and will enjoy reading through blogs while home the next few months.
    Take care & stay healthy.
    Teri

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Teri – I am not in health care, but can definitely relate to missing coworkers. I’m wondering what lessons we will learn from social distancing after this is over. Take care of yourself and thank you for taking care of us.

  5. May

    What a thoughtful and useful post, Helen – thank you! I hope you and your lovely photographer husband are staying safe and healthy. May xx

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi May – so far, so good. I stocked us up for a couple of months and we are in for the duration. My biggest challenge was finding chicken. I had to laugh last night when someone on TV here was lamenting the same problem. Lots of beef, some pork but no chicken. Stay well.

  6. Astrid Lobo

    Thank you Helen for putting together for us all this very valuable information now in one place.. Astrid

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Astrid, I hope you find helpful information in the articles. I believe the more we understand how baking works, the easier and better it will be for us. Be well and take care of yourself.

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Cheryl, I had a wholesale bakery for 23 years and have been the pastry chef at Tony’s here in St. Louis going on 10 years. It is one of the most esteemed restaurants in St.Louis. All of the restaurants in St. Louis are closed to sit down traffic as they are everywhere. Take care of yourself.

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Well Hi There, So happy to hear from you again. Hope you find something new in all of the articles. Take care of you and your husband.

  7. nikkipalssbcglobalnet

    You must be a mind reader.
    I have said that Laminated Dough is on my “bucket list” and if there is ever a time to do bucket list items this is it. And what is on the top of your fine message..Kouign Aman! Well if this is not a coincidence I don’t know what is.
    Thank you for your posts, your information and your passion for baking.
    Be well.

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Nikki, I hope you get a chance to try the Kouign Aman. I can’t make it anymore because I will happily eat all of it. This is one of my very most favorite recipes. Take care of yourself.

  8. geraldine

    Thanks Helen. Here in Barcelona we are under lockdown. There will not be much baking going on as it is against the rules for me to leave the house for purchase of ingredients. I am fine for food, amazon is delivering some essentials for me.

    You all take care of yourselves. Be Brave.

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Geraldine, Thanks for reaching out. I hope you will be able to get out and start baking again shortly. Here in the States we are at the beginning of this crisis. Please take care of yourself

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