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The Ultimate Pizza Setup: Baking Stone Plus Baking Steel

Published January 1, 2017.

We’re big fans of baking stones for cooking not just pizza and bread but also our Easier Roast Turkey and Gravy.

How to Dispose of Extra Sourdough Starter

Published January 1, 2017.

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

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?

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.

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.

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.

Whipping Whites and Sugar: Timing Matters

Published May 1, 2016.

Meringue cookies depend on whipped egg whites for both leavening and structure. The sugar that’s added to the whites contributes not only sweetness but also stability. But does it matter when you add the sugar?

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.

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 Avoid Skin on Custards

Published March 1, 2016.

A thin, dry “skin” forms on the surface of puddings because as the mixture is heated. Can this be avoided?

Lighten Up (Your Cake Pans)

Published March 1, 2016.

Do you have to buy a set of light pans just for cakes? Not necessarily.

For Identical Loaves and Layers, Use a Scale

Published January 1, 2016.

It’s easy and efficient to mix up a double or triple batch of quick bread in a big bowl, but it’s important to distribute the batter evenly among the pans, or a smaller loaf may overbake while the others are still cooking through.

Homemade Pie Shield

Published November 1, 2015.

Here's our test kitchen tips for protecting the edges of your pie crust during baking.

A Better Way to Keep Dough from Sticking

Published September 1, 2015.

We discovered a better way to keep dough from sticking when rolling it out.

Low-Fat versus Nonfat Buttermilk

Published September 1, 2015.

Are low-fat and nonfat buttermilk interchangeable in recipes?

Frosting Cakes with Flair

Published September 1, 2015.

Here are three easy techniques for finishing layer cakes with a polished look.

Clarified Butter: A Substitute for Shortening?

Published July 1, 2015.

We wondered whether clarified butter or ghee, a type of clarified butter popular in Indian cooking, might make a worthy substitute in pie dough.

How to Make Ghee

Published July 1, 2015.

Here's our preferred method for making Ghee.

Cracks in Your Pie Crust? Patch without Scraps

Published July 1, 2015.

If cracks or holes form in your pie crust during prebaking, what's the best way to fix them?

How to Make Clarified Butter

Published July 1, 2015.

Here's our preferred method for making clarified butter.

How to Fake Couverture (Dipping) Chocolate

Published March 1, 2015.

Couverture chocolate produces a thinner, shinier, and snappier layer than regular chocolate when set—but this specialty ingredient is expensive. Could we find a cheaper way to get the same professional-looking results?

Cold Fermentation and Flavor in Yeasted Breads

Published March 1, 2015.

In yeasted dough recipes, fermentation is a key step in building flavor. Here's how it works.

Topping Tips for Sicilian Pizza

Published March 1, 2015.

Try these toppings on our Thick-Crust Sicilian-Style Pizza.

Converting Muffins Into Loaves of Quick Bread

Published March 1, 2015.

We wanted to figure out if a simple formula could convert a variety of muffin recipes to loaf recipes.

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