Importance of Temperature when Baking & Tips
Baking can be tricky and making mistakes is part of it - learning from those mistakes will help you grow and get better. Did you ever notice that many baking recipes specify that the ingredients have to be at room temperature or softened?
Ingredients like eggs, yogurt, cream cheese, butter, and/or milk for example…
Is this an annoying, just for fun “recommendation”, or is there really a good reason why some ingredients have to be at room temperature?
Yes, there is really a legitimate reason behind the importance of temperature.
If a recipe calls for room temperature ingredients, use room temperature ingredients. When at room temperature, eggs, butter, and other dairy ingredients form an emulsion which traps air. While baking in the oven, that trapped air expands and produces a fluffy baked good. Not only this, room temperature ingredients bond together very easily since they’re warmer, creating a seamless and evenly textured batter.
A smooth batter = a uniformly textured baked good
Cold ingredients do not incorporate together as easily. Or even at all! This results in clumpy frosting, chunky cheesecake, dense cookies, flat breads and muffins, etc.
In other words, your recipe won’t live up to its potential. And it most certainly won’t taste the way it should.
- If your recipe calls for butter or eggs at room temperature, there's a reason. Room temperature butter is creamier and easier to mix with other ingredients — and room temperature eggs are easier to beat. And your microwave will only melt the butter. Instead, place eggs and butter on the counter 30 minutes before baking
- Temperature is also important with yeast dough. Yeasts only work at a good room temperature
- But the milk or water shouldn't be too warm, because then the dough won't work either
- Butter should always be slightly warmer at room temperature. Then it's good to process
- With buttercream, it works best if you use cold-stirred pudding. In other words, it's called bakeproof pudding. And both is room temperature
- If it is too warm in the kitchen in summer, it will be problematic to whip it with cream. The cream should be in the freezer half an hour beforehand. Otherwise there is butter
- Eggs are also best separated when cold