If you have glanced at the calendar you might realize that we are counting down to Christmas and time is moving like Dasher and Dancer move on Christmas Eve.
There’s no time to waste and I will reveal 9 simple holiday baking secrets to help save you oodles of time in your kitchen before and after baking!
9 Baking Secrets That Save You Time
Stop pulling your hair, screaming, or drinking too much wine because none of that will help.
Well, maybe the wine will but, you might want to keep some on reserve for the big day, lol!
Consider what you are doing to bake and prepare for the big day and then rethink how you are baking and preparing for Christmas.
You’ve got to be time conscious and realize you also have a life outside of the kitchen.
In fact, your house, and presents, and family all are counting on you for everything in between plus baking.
Oh, the pressure of the holiday is hardly as glorious as the most wonderful time of the year, but you’ve got this because I am going to help you.
Really, you can successfully execute a full cookie triage over a few weeks better than you might expect.
Don’t let the holidays send you packing to the North Pole seeking out Santa and Mrs. Claus to share your anxiety. with them,
Nope, let’s work on batch baking and batch preparing using my 9 secrets of baking in batches.
9 Secrets of Baking In Batches
One way to handle your holiday baking is to bake in batches, then freeze and store for the big day.
You can do this successfully over a couple of weeks with batch baking and batch preparing.
The biggest thing to remember is to only try a few different types of things in one day, or focus on just one type of baked good in one day.
For example, you might want to bake all your quick bread in one day.
Another day you can prepare all your cookie dough.
Yet another time, you can bake all your fruit pies and so forth.
This process makes the most of the time you have, the space you have, and your skill level.
Try My French Baguettes they are amazing and easy!
Find a Basic Starter Recipe 1 of 9 Secrets of Baking In Batches
Every type of baked good has a basic starter ingredient mix.
You could start with one basic cookie dough or a basic quick bread recipe.
These are mixes that you can add a few extra ingredients to in order to make them into new recipes.
For example, a basic bread mix can become several different types of bread and a basic cookie recipe can become several types of cookies.
On another note, pies.
Did you know that you can make one type of pie crust, and freeze them as they are?
Or, did you know that you can fill the pie crusts with different fruit mixtures for fruit pies?
Endless choices abound and that part is up to you how to do this.
Consider, apple, cherry, berry, apricot, fig pie, etc.
Get Prepared No. 2 Secrets of Baking In Batches
Don’t try batch baking without a plan of action.
Be sure to write down your plans in advance so that you are sure you have enough time to do everything that you’ve planned.
To figure out a basic timeline, calculate the overall recipe.
Here’s what you need to add up: prep time, and the baking time for each oven batch you will be preparing.
Now, multiply that by 1.5 to account for little extra issues happening.
After doing these calculations you can be sure that you have enough time.
No. 3 Secrets Of Baking In Batches: Get Everything Ready to Go
The key to a good beginning AND ending is keeping your kitchen spotless before you start!
Next, check that every ingredient you need.
Following that, pull out appliances and other prep items you need.
For example, if your batches require 10 pounds of flour, consider using a large bowl to hold the flour.
You might be thinking why?
Simply put, this is so you can easily spoon the flour into the measuring cup, and then flatten off over the bowl.
Therefore you won’t have to use the bag or chance spillage.
No. 4 ~ Clean as You Go
One of the worst mistakes you can make is keeping the mess and letting it build up as you go.
We’ve all been there and digging your way out at the end of a day of backing sucks raw eggs (IMO!)
First, fill your sink immediately with hot soapy water so you can clean as you go.
Doing this allows you to wash your mixing dishes and other utensils for use again during the baking process!
Batch baking does not require the utter destruction of your kitchen.
Just set out a draining board, fill the sink with hot soapy water, and wash as you go.
That said, consider all the opportunities during baking to wash a couple of dishes.
As a consequence, you will keep batch baking more organized.
No. 5 All Day Batch Baking ~ What Are Weekends For?
You can set aside a day for batch baking such as a Saturday or a Sunday.
Plan one of those days arou0nd all day baking, which usually entails 8 to 10 hours of work.
Also, you should be lucky enough (if you have kids) to enlist their help as runners and toppers (running for what you need and sprinkling cookies that need to be sprinkled)!
Rember to make certain to use the day before for chore-doing.
All in all, that includes, shopping, and the kitchen cleaning prior to baking day.
Finally, it is also important to organize your recipes with some logic behind them.
An Example of How To Frame All Day Batch Baking ~ Organizing
Consider what you are making.
For example, if you need are making recipes that call for the dough to rise, start that first.
To that end, the dough can be rising while you are preparing other things such as cookie dough or pie crusts.
Afterward, both (cookie dough and pie crusts) can be put in the refrigerator or freezer after preparation while you bake the bread.
In any event, preview and read each recipe that you plan to use and pay close attention to certain clues.
Whatever requires a COLD kitchen, start that first to avoid flopped dough, crust, etc.
Accordingly, when a recipe calls for something that takes an hour to bake like banana bread, you can use that hour to mix other batches.
In other words, whip up your other batters, dough, crust, filling, and so forth that you can store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake them.
No. 6~ Kitchen Organization – Work Stations Matter
By extension of recipe preview, you will also want to create a station for each type of baked good.
It’s a lot easier to lay out four pie crusts in pie tins, ready for fillings, than to do one at a time.
Lay it out with as many as you can do prep for in ONE run.
So here too, don’t forget if you are making bread, craft a bread-making station.
By contrast to other stations, this needs to be a place you can freely flour the counter space, and then easily clean up.
BONUS TIP: The Cautious & Planned Batch Baker’s Big Secret Revealed
Remember, to be careful about combining batches in one recipe.
For instance, if you have a cookie recipe that uses measures instead of weights, it’s better not to do them in more than one batch at a time.
That said, make the lightest type of batch first.
What do I mean?
In effect, make sugar cookie dough before you make chocolate chip cookies which would be before you make peanut butter cookies.
You don’t want to impart flavor on other cookies that SHOULD NOT be in them so that you can wash as little as possible.
Ready? Set? Bake!
The important thing about all-day batch cooking is that you can choose to make only one type of baked good.
All the more reason that you can make a number of different baked goods depending on how many people you need to feed.
Don’t try to stuff your oven too full.
At most, you’ll want to cook two pies, four loaves of bread, and one large sheet of cookies at a time in one oven.
Did you know that putting too many things in one oven can drastically change the temperature settings?
By extension, putting a dry item with a moist item in the oven at the same time can change the temperature needs.
Read directions, plan ahead, and you’ll be fine.
No. 7 ~ After Dinner Small Batch Cooking
Another great way to do batch cooking is each evening after dinner or even while you are preparing dinner.
Anytime you make something in your oven is a good time to throw in a few loaves of bread.
For example, if you wanted to make one loaf of bread for dinner tonight, why not make four and save three.
No. 8 ~ Feed the Freezer Baking
It can be done with any type of baking, not just desserts and bread.
When you make an oven meal, such as lasagna, prepare two pans of lasagna and freeze the second.
Do you know that there are so many different meals you can do this with?
Additionally, you could just set a night aside and prepare batches of cookie dough, bread dough, or pie crusts for freezing.
However, you would wait until the next night to bake whatever you wanted out of the batches and do this a few nights, freezing whatever you make.
No. 9 ~ Use the time available
What’s important is that you use the time you have available the best that you can.
Always be honest with yourself about the time you have to get things done.
Maybe all you have are a few nights, use them, don’t feel the pressure.
Of course, nothing smells better or more relaxing than freshly baked bread, cookies, and pies.
Consider those hours of baking therapy, lol (sometimes I prefer retail therapy ha!)
Don’t overwhelm yourself, instead downsize.
No need to run a marathon of baking, instead, small batches are amazing.
Overall, baking in batches is a great way to increase your production amount, as well as to save time.
Remember the spirit of the holidays, it’s not all work and not play.
Rather, the holidays are so that you can enjoy your family and guests.
Don’t forget to maybe coordinate a cookie party where you TRADE a few dozen, it makes the season easier.