Want to bake some sweet treats? Daniel Fiteni from Which? Local-recommended bakery Breads Etcetera shares tips for baking cakes, muffins and scones at home.
Baking tips for muffins and other cakes
- Weigh all your ingredients out at the start, before combining them. It might add to your washing up but really helps make the process smoother, says Dan.
- First put dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar and so on) together and wet ingredients (eggs, butter, oil and so on) together separately. Then combine the wet and the dry.
- Baking powder is more concentrated than self-raising flour. Use baking powder with plain flour for muffins.
Baking tips for scones
- Rub butter and flour together till they resemble fine breadcrumbs. For the best texture, never leave it with clumps of butter still in the mix.
- Use butter at room temperature to get this breadcrumb texture without having to over-work it.
- First mix in the bowl until you can't mix anymore with a spoon. It separates and is harder to get together if you try to mix it on a work surface to begin with.
- As soon as the dough is off your hands it's ready to roll out and cut. Overworking leads to less rise in the oven. If you knead it like bread you'll get a dense scone.
- Fridge-time for the dough makes for perkier scones. Once you've shaped your scones, put the dough in the fridge for an hour before cooking so the sides firm up and scones will keep their shape without flattening out in the oven.
- Brush egg wash (salt, egg and cold water) across the top of scones before baking for a glossy sheen.
- If using fruit, use less sugar in the dough mix than for unfruited sweet scones. Natural fruit sugar in dried fruit is intense, so adding less sugar makes for a more even scone. Dan uses 150g of sugar to 280g of raisins. Salted butter in a fruit scone dough also adds balance to the flavour.
About out expert trader
Our expert: Daniel Fiteni
Baker Daniel Fiteni works at Which? Local-recommended bakery Breads Etcetera in London.
Reviewers have praised the customer service at Breads Etcetera, as well as their delicious muffins, sourdough bread and coffee.
Read reviews of Breads Etcetera