A New Baker’s Guide to Choosing the Right Kind of Flour

Flour is one of those seemingly simple ingredients that, upon closer inspection, can be downright mystifying. This harmless looking powder has much more going on that you would think, and even though it’s in almost every recipe, it can be hard to know which variety to buy for the best pastries, breads, and cakes. Let’s examine this veritable bouquet, starting with the basics.

Source: A New Baker’s Guide to Choosing the Right Kind of Flour

Things absolutely worth noting to new bakers as well:

  • Make sure your oven is level
  • Get a probe thermometer in there for accurate temperatures. 328 isn’t the same as 325.
  • Get some good pans, and stock up on parchment paper. Nice light pans = nice, light cookies. Crisped up on the bottom, they’ll actually look golden instead of… cajun?
  • Anything will continue to cook in the pan that it’s in when you take it out of the oven.
  • Don’t leave it on the stove top after you take it out. Some ranges have the heat from the oven blowing out there. Put it on a cooling rack in a different room if you can.
  • Wilton and Michael’s are your best friends. Regular 40% off single item coupons. First thing I bought? Icing spatula. Changed my life and made smoothing chocolate for peppermint bark so much simpler.
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Freeze Cranberry Sauce and Gravy for The Best Thanksgiving Croissants Possible

Making Thanksgiving croissants is a three-day process. I started making the compound butter two days ago. I paddled together butter and Thanksgiving spices: dried sage, dried thyme, granulated onion, onion powder, salt, sugar, pepper, and a little turmeric for color. We developed the recipe from looking at the ingredient list for Stovetop stuffing.

Source: How to Make Thanksgiving Croissants

Lots assume that there will be a lot of leftover gravy. In my experience, gravy always runs out long before the turkey does, and I often have to cobble together substitutes for that first yummy batch with the meat dripping and carving juices.  So if you run out:

Roast and then simmer the giblets with veggies to get some flavorful broth to add to the pan drippings. Start with a (I know, it’s horrible) store-bought stock, dissolve flour or cornstarch in water, add it to the boiling stock, then add the giblet stock and pan drippings. If you use decent quality store stock, you won’t notice the difference and you can make half a gallon of gravy.  Or buy a couple of turkey thighs or legs and roast them a few days ahead and store the deglazed pan drippings in the freezer until the big day.