Getting Started with Krusteaz® Mixes
Although trying something new can seem daunting, we’re here to make sure it’s nothing short of exciting! Once you step into that kitchen, you’re that much closer to unleashing your inner Maker.
Everyone has the ability to create something wonderfully unique, and we’re going to give you the tools for success.
It’s how you use these tools that you’ll discover, create and evolve your own routines in the kitchen for years to come.
However you make it, make it yours.
How to win in the kitchen with Krusteaz® – every time.
Think of your Krusteaz® mix as one player on an undefeated team. Can the mix single-handedly take responsibility for winning each game? No. It relies on its teammates to ultimately taste the sweet victory.
The kitchen is your playing field.
Set yourself up for success with the perfect setup. Remember, there is ample room to roam in the kitchen. Mistakes can be made, but the ultimate goal is having fun. Each time you step into that kitchen, be ready to give your all to achieve that big baking win.
The ingredients are your teammates.
Let’s meet the starting players.
Eggs: The majority of Krusteaz® baking mixes were developed to be made with large-sized eggs. Eggs that are 2 ounces each and room temperature will yield the tastiest (and best-looking) results!
Butter: Whether it be salted or unsalted, butter is an essential binding force that the final texture of the recipe depends on – so, don’t leave this little guy out. It’s recommended that butter be softened by microwaving it in increments of 10 seconds.
Water: When we said “just add water,” we weren’t kidding. However, temperature plays a huge role here. If your goal is to achieve light and fluffy pancakes or fudge-like brownies, then cold water is best. If your recipe requires you to dissolve yeast, warm water is best. This quick list will help ensure that you don’t shock a recipe with water that’s too warm:
- Lukewarm Water = Room Temp = 75˚ to 80˚F
- Warm Water = 100˚ to 110˚F (this temperature should be used to dissolve yeast)
- Very Warm Water = 120˚ to 130˚F.
- Yeast is killed at 140˚F.
The recipe is your gameplan.
Before you start, do a roll call of all of your star ingredients. All of them need to be accounted for and in position before the game starts!
When it comes to measurements, cheating is encouraged.
We’ve put together a handy little table to help you do so.
|3 teaspoons||1 tablespoon|
|2 tablespoons||1/8 cup|
|4 tablespoons||1/4 cup|
|5-1/3 tablespoons||1/3 cup|
|8 tablespoons||1/2 cup|
|12 tablespoons||3/4 cup|
|16 tablespoons||1 cup|
|2 cups||1 pint|
|4 cups||1 quart|
|4 quarts||1 gallon|
|1 pound||16 ounces*|
|1 cup||8 fluid ounces*|
|1 package (12 oz.) chocolate chips||2 cups|
|1 envelope active dry yeast||2 1/4 teaspoons|
The cooking tools are the equipment.
Let’s check and make sure everything is in tip-top shape.
Pans: We recommend using sturdy aluminum pans and cookie sheets. If you’re using a glass pan, lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees and bake for the time called for in the recipe. Dark-colored pans may cause the bottoms and edges to over-brown. We don’t recommend using insulated cookie sheets.
Q: My recipe calls for an 8×8 inch pan, but I don’t have one. What can I do?
A: You can make a double batch in a 9×13 inch pan, using the same oven temperature and bake time.
Q: How do I properly grease my pans?
A: Coat pans, baking sheets and griddles lightly with nonstick spray. Check to see if you’ve used too much spray by tilting the pan. If the oil pools, use a paper towel to gently dab out the excess.
Ovens: For best performance, griddles and ovens should be preheated for approximately 20-30 minutes. Use an oven thermometer to ensure that your oven temperature is accurate. Moving the thermometer to different places (front, back, center) can help determine where your ideal “hot spots” are.
Q: Is there a certain rack I should be using?
A: Standard ovens only radiate heat from the bottom, so pans should be placed on the center rack. For the most even bake, only use one rack at a time when baking, otherwise be sure to rotate pans halfway through cooking time.
Q: What if I’m using a convection oven?
A: Set the temperature 25 degrees lower than what the recipe calls for and reduce the baking time by about 25%.
Now that you understand the equipment you’re using, you’re that much closer to securing that win!
Practice makes perfect.
We don’t expect you to be an expert just yet, but we have some tips to get you there.
Measuring: Measuring dry ingredients is different from measuring liquids.
For dry ingredients: Spoon mix into a dry measuring cup, tap gently across the surface with the back of a knife and level off. Pancakes and waffles require dry mix measuring.
For wet ingredients: Measure liquids by placing a clear liquid measuring cup on a level surface at eye level.
Mixing: Stir together wet ingredients with a fork before adding mix in order to make sure things like eggs are well-blended. Be sure to not overmix. This can cause batters to become tough – especially muffins, biscuits and pancakes. Use scoops to measure out batter or dough when baking to yield nicely rounded shapes.
Testing for Doneness: Oven lights aren’t always accurate, so it’s essential that you always remove product from the oven to check for doneness, especially for products where color is important.
The toothpick method: For muffins, quick breads, cornbread and cakes, insert a round toothpick into the center of the pan. If it comes out clean, the product is done. Do not use this test on brownies or citrus bars, as they are designed to be fudgy or gooey and will always cling to the toothpick.
The shaking method: For citrus bars, remove the pan from the oven and gently shake it back and forth. If the top all moves as one, the bars are done. If there is a quarter-size or larger area in the center that still moves independently, bake the bars for a few more minutes.
The thermometer method: For brownies, doneness is achieved by accurate bake time and oven temperature. Use an oven thermometer to ensure desired temperature. Freshly baked brownies may appear slightly undercooked, but will finish setting as they cool down.
The spatula method: For cookies, open the oven door and insert the edge of a spatula under the edge of one cookie. Lift gently. If the cookie stays flat across the bottom, and doesn’t bend or break in the middle, it’s ready to come out of the oven. Bar cookies will pull away from the edge of the pan while drop cookies will be golden brown around the edges.
Take a timeout.
Before jumping back in, let’s give those recipes a quick breather.
Cooling: It’s essential to let baked products cool completely before you wrap them for storage. Otherwise, they may “sweat” and become wet on top or throughout. Use a cooling rack when cooling products; it allows for good airflow, especially around the bottom of the pan.
Muffins, quick breads and pound cakes: These guys will need to sit 5-10 minutes before removing from the pan. If you remove them immediately, they will be too tender and fall apart. If you wait until they are completely cool, they may not release from the pan. Gluten-free muffins are a little different; let these sit two minutes before removing.
Loaves: Loaves must be completely cooled before glazing and cutting. Warm loaves will make glazes run more and the loaves will be crumbly and crack if cut too soon. Storing: The best way to keep your baked goods from drying out is to wrap them tightly with nonstick foil or place in an airtight container.
More Tips & Tricks
Find helpful baking advice and inspiration.