Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tips and Tricks: Quick Baking Substitutions

I am really a baker at heart. I love to cook dinner most every night, and breakfast when time and occasion permit, but my heart belongs to cakes and breads and (to a lesser extent) cookies. {Oh my!}

Still, there is no more frustrating facet of baking than finding out halfway through whipping up a recipe that you don't have the fancier ingredients on hand. I cannot tell you how many times this has happened to me. Or how about this: I don't have the pantry space to store 5 different kinds of flour, nor am I interested in buying a whole bag of self-rising flour for just one recipe I rarely make, no matter how spectacular. I'm just not that dedicated, I guess...

Below I've listed a few handy substitutions you can use in a pinch using ingredients pretty much everyone always has in the cupboard:

  • 1 c. cake flour = 3/4 c. all-purpose flour + 2 Tbsp. corn starch

  • 1 c. self-rising flour = 1 cup all-purpose flour + 1/4 teaspoon salt + 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 2 c. pastry flour = 1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour + 2/3 c. cake flour (see above)

  • superfine/casters sugar = granulated white sugar put through a food processor until very fine (superfine, if you will)

  • 1 c. buttermilk = 1 Tbsp. lemon juice or white vinegar + enough milk to make 1 c. of liquid

  • 1 c. whole milk = 1/2 c. evaporated milk + 1/2 c. water (might taste a tiny bit off, but once it's baked into your cake you won't know the difference)

Do you have any handy tips for substitutions in baking? Leave a comment and tell us about it!

1 comment :

  1. Oh Kristyn! Thanks for those suggestions, especially on the flours. I always know when I'm trying a new recipe that I should have the right flour, but I've never cared to make the half hour drive, plus shopping time, it takes me to go to the store! I've been so bad and just been using plain old AP flour for everything. I'm sure this will help me out!


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