Six Tips for Quicker Baking (very useful for nap-time projects)
It has long been a joke among my friends and family that I bake for an army whenever anyone comes over to my house. I really did not want having littles to change this too much, so I had to adapt and be much quicker in the kitchen. Nap-time baking can go horribly wrong, but I've only had a few ruined projects. So far, I've still managed to provide the expected amount (too much) of baked goods for most special occasions by being strategic about a few things while I bake. Here are a few tips!
- Counter Strike! Before you pick up a bowl or measuring spoon try to ensure you have a tidy counter, clean sink, and an empty(ish) dishwasher. Of course, this makes cleaning up as you go along much more doable, but I also find it so much easier to focus on my recipe if the space is free from clutter.
- Set-up and Prep-up! Preheat oven and assemble all ingredients and equipment together before starting the recipe. I try to do a ton of my prep work before starting. This way, if I'm interrupted by a crying baby I can stop and then start again when I'm able.
- Rag-time! Keep a damp towel close to wipe up spills as they happen. I end up with waaay less mess at the end if I make sure any spills are addressed immediately.
- Spoons, spoons, everywhere! Get dollar store measuring spoons and cups, so you have a few in each size! (Many recipes require lots of 1 tsp ingredients, so it slows you down to have to clean spoons and cups in between additions)
- Made to measure! Keep most-used measuring cups/spoons inside your basic ingredient containers--use containers that are easy to measure-from. I keep both one whole cup and one half cup in my flour and white sugar containers and a 1/2 cup in my brown sugar.
- Super soaker! Whenever you are done with the first bowl or liquid measuring cup, fill it with warm soapy water and toss in used spoons/beaters/whisks as you finish with them. Usually then you can just rinse and toss them in the dishwasher at the end.