Monday, July 27, 2009

Conversions & Substitutions--Baking

A long, long time ago, when I was a new cook, I used to stick to recipes like glue. I followed them to a "T" without changing one little iota of the recipe. Soon after getting married, I realized that I couldn't always follow a recipe exactly as written. I'd either forget to buy an ingredient, or thought I had it already but had run out, or I simply didn't like an ingredient. More often than not, I would end up changing something in the recipe to suit our needs.

That has certainly become quite a habit, which you may have noticed in many of the recipes I've posted lately. I've learned that I don't always have to follow the recipe exactly as stated. I've learned that there are substitutions out there! If I don't like something, or I don't have it on hand, I can use something else that I do have, or leave it out altogether. This is a really convenient method for reducing your grocery expenses (i.e. why use fresh ginger when there's a perfectly good version of ground ginger in the pantry?).

Over the next few weeks, I'll post a variety of my favorite substitutions for you, listed by various categories. Please note that sometimes best results are achieved using the ingredients that are called for in the recipe. Your recipe results may vary slightly, but my experience has een that I usually enjoy the altered version as much as if not better than the original recipe.

Without further rambling, here's the first in the series:

Baking Substitutions

Ingredient ~ Substitution
1 tsp baking powder ~ 1/2 tsp baking soda + 1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1 cup honey ~ 1 1/4 cups sugar + 1/4 cup water OR 1 cup molasses

1 cup corn syrup ~ 1 cup sugar + 1/4 cup water

1 cup cake flour ~ 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour minus 2 Tbsp

All-purpose flour ~ an equal amount of whole wheat flour can be substituted in some breads, cookies & bars; texture will be coarser

1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs ~ 1/4 cp cracker crumbs or 1 slice bread, cubed or 2/3 cup quick-cooking oats

1 whole egg ~ for custards and puddings, 2 egg yolks; for cookies & bars, 2 egg yolks + 1 Tbsp water; liquid egg substitutes may sometimes be used

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