Ask Karen Your Baking Questions

Taste of Home attendees

Taste of Home attendees While on the road as an instructor for the Taste of Home Cooking Schools, I often receive questions from our attendees. I look forward to the questions, because they let me know what’s on your mind, and they are great teaching opportunities. Today I thought I’d share answers for some recent questions.

Vinegar

When a recipe just calls for vinegar, what type of vinegar does this mean? 

Several summers ago while recipe testing for a cookbook project in the Better Homes and Gardens Test Kitchen, I asked that same question. I noticed the kitchenette where I was testing had a standard set of baking ingredients — including things like baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract, flour, sugar, salt, and so on.

In with the supplies I spotted a bottle of apple cider vinegar. This prompted me to ask, “Do you use apple cider or white vinegar when a recipe calls for ‘vinegar’”? I learned that apple cider vinegar was used as the default vinegar when a specific type was not designated in a recipe.

Apple cider vinegar (made from fermented apple cider) has a slightly fruity flavor and is milder than a distilled white vinegar. So, if your recipe doesn’t specify a particular type of vinegar, using apple cider vinegar is a great choice.

Butter versus Shortening

Can you substitute butter equally for shortening in a recipe for baked goods? 

In general, yes. These are both fats and serve the same function in most recipes for baked goods.Continue reading

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