Keep Super Sticky Dough from Binding to Your Hands With a Little Oil

…during the holiday season, no matter how vigilant you are about following these commandments, sometimes you still need a little help, some extra assurance, a few aces up your sleeve.

So we gathered 52 of our smartest tips—the tricks and techniques picked up from years of experience and experiments but that don’t necessarily fall under the Great Baking Laws—and put them in one place.

Source: Our 52 Favorite Tips for Smarter Holiday Baking

I had a similar problem with a recipe not too long ago, incredibly sticky. Instead of wasting a ton of dough into the kitchen sink I thought I’d try nitrile gloves, clean hands to do clean stuff and doughy hands to do doughy stuff. Turns out… the dough won’t stick to nitrile gloves!

You Can Measure Your Body Fat, but No Method Is Truly Accurate

If you say you want to lose weight, you’ll probably measure progress by stepping on a scale. But in truth, what you’re trying to lose is fat, and the number on the scale may not reflect that. There are many ways to measure your body fat percentage, but they all come with different levels of (in)accuracy.

Source: You Can Measure Your Body Fat, but No Method Is Truly Accurate

Stay away from impedance measurement – the reliability is simply too low to be valuable at any level (but specifically for the more inexpensive models found in gyms). There’s a reason we still teach skinfold measurement in university classes: while it’s not perfect, it’s accurate enough for non-elite athletes and the average person.

Must-Have Tools for Any Kitchen

It’s easy to get seriously excited about expanding your kitchen repertoire.  And in debt buying for that kitchen. Here are kitchen-related things you really need and how to use them efficiently.

Knives

You need two knives, minimum:

  • Chef’s knife
  • Pairing knife

The third option is a bread knife, if you see yourself cutting bread.  There are other types – here’s a run down.

Knives require maintenance, which means knowing the difference between sharpening and honing.  So a sharpener and a honing steel should be included.  And a cutting board – plastic or wood, the debate continues.

Pots and Pans

You want at least two pots, and a pan.  The choice is yours about whether the pan should be non-stick Teflon or cast iron.  It can be really nice to have both.  Cast iron will last a long time, if you maintain it.

Scale and Thermometer

Depending on what you’re doing, you can get away without these until actually needed.

Kitchen Scale: Ensure Accuracy with Pocket Change

You could just weigh a 4-ounce stick of butter (or a pound or a kilo) to see if the scale is in the ballpark. If it’s close enough, you may be satisfied — after all you’re a baker, not a rocket scientist, right? On the other hand, if you weigh small quantities, like salt and leavenings, or if you just believe that a tool should do what it’s supposed to do, read on.

You could use calibration weights (purchased online) to check your scale’s accuracy, or you can use ordinary pocket change.

Source: How to Check the Accuracy of Your Kitchen Scale

Before testing your scale, you should check the year of your US pennies. These instructions work for the zinc pennies made after 1982. Before 1982, pennies were mostly copper and weighed about 3.1 grams. Pennies made in 1982 could be either type.  Here’s a link to the US Mint page on coin specifications.

Canadian coins are lighter. A Canadian 5-cent coin weighs 3.95 grams since 2000. A Canadian 1-cent coin weights 2.35 grams since 2000. Before 2000, coin weights changed several times due to changes in metal content.

If you live in another country, check out your government mint web site or coin collectors web sites for gram weights of your local coins.