1. Is your dough sticking to your hands and making it hard to knead? If you feel you are using too much flour on your hands and the kneading surface you can always wet your hands with cold water to keep them from sticking and reduce clean up. Just keep a bowl handy with a couple of ice cubes in the bottom to keep from having to touch your sink and to keep your water source cool.

Parchment Paper for Babka

2. Parchment paper will be your best friend. Cut some extra pieces and use it to help pull bread out of sticky pans or just protect your bakeware from fruit or other additives. You can also add a little aluminum foil to the top of your baked goodies if they are getting too dark towards the end of the baking cycle.

3. When your bread is finished baking, make sure to let it cool completely (or almost!) to allow it to bake through. Even when the outside edges have cooled down to ‘warm’ the middle is still baking and solidifying. If you cut it too early the middle won’t be done and you’ll wish you had waited.

 

 4. Let’s talk egg yolks. They are really useful in baking to help with the structure of your scones and cakes as well as the whites to create a warm golden crust without burning. Separating the egg yolk from the white can be a challenge though. Many people use the egg shells to pour the yolk back and forth between until its separate. That definitely works, but if you aren’t hand-eye coordinated there is another way! Just crack your egg into a bowl or shallow cup (a measuring cup will do) but make sure it is the container that your egg white will remain in. Then put your fingers together and cup your hand to make a scoop. You can literally reach in and pull out the yolk and the white will fall back into the container. Just make sure you keep your fingers together and be gentle with the yolk until it reaches its final resting place to avoid a mess.