Is it just us or has the nation gone baking mad? That's baking, not barking (although to be fair, we're nearly there too with this lockdown). Banana bread, sourdough, cookies and cupcakes – this is the reason the flour shelves are bare in supermarkets. Most of us amateur cooks welcome tips on improving our bakes, and we have some great ones for you below from FAB Flour's Easy Peasy Baking campaign, which is designed to inspire more people across the nation to put their aprons on.
7 tips to improve your baking…
1. "Test your baking powder by putting a small amount of it into warm water – it should go frothy." Wow, we did not know this. So helpful for next time you're wondering if that slightly old tub of baking powder still works (always check the use-by date).
2. "Wet your hands before working with something gooey like gingerbread or flapjacks to stop the mixture sticking to your hands." Another amazing tip. Why has this simple-yet-obvious idea never occurred to us?
3. "If you don't have softened butter ready, grate cold butter instead. Wash your hands in cold water first, and if the butter starts to melt, just dip it in flour." Er, that's the last time we soften butter in the microwave.
4. "If you drop eggshell into your mixture, simply use an empty half-shell to remove it." Yep, tried this before and we can confirm it works well. One less teaspoon to wash up.
5. "Insert toothpicks horizontally and halfway up your large sponge as a guide to cut into two layers." Genius and so simple.
6. "When cutting brownies, flapjacks or other sticky foods or when you're spreading icing – heat your knife in hot water first." Water solves everything, doesn't it?
7. "Microwave citrus fruits for 5-10 seconds to make them easier to juice." So doing this. We've had it with trying to juice hard lemons and those pesky pips shooting out all over the place.