"A person cooking is a person giving: Even the simplest food is a gift."

Laurie Colwin

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Essential Ingredient: Baker's Secret

Every cook has his or her peeves.  Mine are peeling potatoes (but I justify not doing it by telling everyone we all need the extra fibre in the mash) and greasing-and-flouring (which I don’t justify at all but accompany with much swearing).

Oh, man.  I LOATHE greasing-and-flouring.  And it’s not like I’m using complicated pans most of the time, either, just your standard square, round, and rectangular.  But greasing-and-flouring is enough to make me think twice about baking something, and it is also the reason why I buy silicon baking paper in commercial kitchen sized rolls.

But sometimes baking paper won’t do, and you need to grease and flour.  Nonstick spray is tempting for the greasing part, but it actually wrecks your pans.  No matter how good it is, it leaves behind a residue that turns gummy on baking, and is then almost impossible to clean off without damaging the coating on your pans.  Whatever you don’t clean off is there forever.

The solution is Baker’s Secret, which is no secret, and has been around for many a year.  We’re not talking a commercial product here, no fancy non-stick compounds in an aerosol pack, but something you put together with three common ingredients in about 30 seconds.  Simply brush it inside your pans instead of greasing-and-flouring and your baked goods will slip out (and off) like magic, with a gorgeous golden crust to boot.  No gungy residue, no mess, no Vibey swearing like a trooper over SPENDING FIVE MINUTES GREASING AND FLOURING THE BLOODY THING AND STILL MISSING A BIT THERE WHERE THE FINGERTIP OF MY PINKIE WAS RESTING.


Plain flour
Butter or shortening, softened

Simply combine equal quantities of all ingredients until smooth.  Store in a covered jar or plastic container in the ‘fridge.  Baker’s Secret will keep for about two months.

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