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Visual Guide to Judging Bread Doneness

Published November 1, 2018.

When baking bread, trust your eyes first and foremost.

How to Substitute Vanilla Extract

Published November 1, 2018.

Here's a sneaky ingredient to use in a pinch.

Almond Flour vs. Almond Meal

Published November 1, 2018.

Guess what? There's no legal distinction—but here's what to generally expect.

How to Make the Best Whole-Wheat Pie Dough

Published September 1, 2018.

Can you make pie crust that's just as flaky and tender using whole-wheat flour or rye flour? You bet. 

Why Use Ice Water in Bread Dough Recipes?

Published September 1, 2018.

Here's why colder water makes better dough for yeasted bread and pizza.

Why Peach Pie is Juicier Than Apple Pie

Published July 10, 2018.

Hint: It's not because peaches contain more water than apples.

Don't Toss Expired Cocoa Powder

Published July 1, 2018.

We ran a couple of kitchen tests to see if really old cocoa powder was still fine to use.

Melting Wafers: The Key to Easier Tempering?

Published March 1, 2018.

They simplify the tempering process—but how do they taste?

What To Do With Beans After Using Them as Pie Weights

Published March 1, 2018.

Dried beans are a great alternative to pie weights when blind-baking a pie crust. Can you cook and eat them after using them to blind bake a pie?

How to Prevent Cracks in Pie Crust

Published January 1, 2018.

Use these two tips to ensure your pie dough edges are entirely fray-free.

How to Achieve a Glossy Chocolate Coating

Published November 1, 2017.

Avoid the thick and clunky chocolate coating with this guide to chocolate dipping.

Chocolate Callets versus Chocolate Chips

Published September 5, 2017.

What happens when you use melting chocolate in chocolate chip cookies?

How to Divvy Up the Frosting for Layer Cakes

Published September 1, 2017.

Here's the best way to divide up your frosting between layers.

Why You Should Weigh Confectioners' Sugar

Published September 1, 2017.

If your goal is an icing with a graceful drizzling consistency, we strongly recommend that you weigh your confectioners’ sugar.

Baking with Raw Sugars

Published September 1, 2017.

We baked muffins, sugar cookies, layer cakes, and shortbread with granulated sugar and Demerara and turbinado sugars and compared the texture, flavor, and appearance of each.

White Chocolate versus White Baking Chips

Published July 1, 2017.

While developing the filling for our Fresh Fruit Tart, we found that fillings made with bars of white chocolate were too loose to slice neatly and couldn’t hold the fruit in place.

Why You Should Fully Preheat Before Baking

Published January 1, 2017.

We know it’s important to wait for the oven to fully preheat before we start baking, but sometimes we're guilty of jumping the gun and sliding food in early. We wondered: How much of a difference does it really make?

How to Dispose of Extra Sourdough Starter

Published January 1, 2017.

What's the best way to dispose of sourdough starter?

The Ultimate Pizza Setup: Baking Stone Plus Baking Steel

Published January 1, 2017.

We’re big fans of baking stones and steels for cooking pizza and bread, but this combo technique takes it to the next level.

Why a Square Baking Stone Beats a Round One

Published November 1, 2016.

While a round stone might seem practical since one of a baking stone’s most popular uses is baking pizzas, there are good reasons to opt for a rectangular model instead.

Sourdough Starter Rescue Remedy

Published November 1, 2016.

Fortunately, a little love is all it usually takes to revive an ailing starter.

Keeping Cookies Ship-Shape

Published November 1, 2016.

To find out how to ship cookies and bars so that they arrive in perfect condition, we made nine varieties and boxed them up in various combinations using different packing materials.

From Dinner Rolls to Top-loading Buns

Published July 1, 2016.

Top-loading buns, which are good for lobster rolls and hot dogs can be hard to find outside New England. Here's how to make them.

Cake That Holds Up—and Cake That Doesn't

Published May 1, 2016.

The structure of a genoise cake comes from abundant egg proteins that unwind and link with each other when the eggs are whipped and form a strong mesh once baked. When this mesh encounters liquid, it isn’t affected—the water just fills in any gaps in the network. The upshot? The cake holds its shape.

A Tidy Way to Portion Sticky Buns

Published May 1, 2016.

When making our Cook's Illustrated Sticky Buns, cutting the rolled dough cylinder into buns can be tricky. Here’s how we make a tidier, easier job of it.

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