November 05, 2013

Pull up a to evenly bake in your oven!

If you've taken a minute to "Meet Euna Mae" (here) then you know that I learned a lot from her by pulling up a stool and watching her cook, asking questions, observing, and gaining an understanding of kitchen basics. So I invite you to pull up a stool...and let's talk about baking things evenly in your oven.

Do you have cake layers that come out higher on one side than the other?
Do you have sheets of cookies where some of them are baked correctly and the other half aren't quite finished?
Do you have breads, pizzas, casseroles and other dishes that seem to get brown on one end and not the other end?
Do you have sloped, uneven pound cakes like this one? (yes, that's mine!)

Well, here's another great baking tip to help you bake evenly in your oven! 

First, be sure that your oven rack is positioned so that the pan that you're baking in is sitting in the middle of the oven. Often times, if you position your rack in the center rung, it results in your bundt pan or casserole dish sitting up too high in the oven. So when in doubt, position your rack in the middle position or the next rung just below center. (That's actually a bonus tip. Carrying on...)

Second, set the timer for a little more than half of the suggested baking time. So if the baking time for this bundt is 50 minutes, then set the timer for 30 minutes (a little more than half.) Gently open the oven door and rotate the pan so that the left side is now on the right and the right side is now on the left. Rotate very carefully so you do no disturb the rise or air that your baked goods have already achieved. Set your timer for the remaining amount of time and continue to bake as directed.

Ovens are not always balanced and they do not always heat equally on all sides. So rotating your pan a little more than halfway through the baking time should solve the problem of uneven baking and pound cakes that look like land slides! 

Three cheers for becoming better bakers!