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How to Make Your Own Buttermilk and Other 5-Minute Baking Hacks

Jana is a baking enthusiast. She loves sharing tips and recipes with fellow flour-sprinkled souls.

Make your own buttermilk—plus learn other easy baking hacks.

Make your own buttermilk—plus learn other easy baking hacks.

Professionals Use Baking Hacks

Most of us have been taught to follow a recipe’s steps almost religiously. This is mostly logical. After all, if you miss one step or use the wrong quantities, the whole thing could fall flat. In the case of baking, that happens in a literal sense. At first, using shortcuts might seem ridiculous, but this is how professional bakers and chefs manage their busy schedules—by using effective and quick hacks. Ready? Let’s begin.

1. How to Make Buttermilk

Buttermilk is slightly “off,” or sour, milk. This liquid is a mainstay ingredient in baking, especially for people who love making their own rusks or buttermilk-flavored pancakes. If your local store sells buttermilk for a king’s ransom or you’re fresh out, you can make your own in a flash. Here’s the good news. Everything you need is likely already in the pantry, and if not, they’re not that expensive to buy.

  1. Gather a cup, tablespoon, lemon juice or vinegar, and plain milk.
  2. Use the tablespoon to add either lemon juice or vinegar to your cup.
  3. Fill the rest of the cup with milk.
  4. Allow the mix to mature for 5 minutes.

2. How to Make a Frosting Piping Bag

Unless you really want a store-bought piping bag, these things can be pricey. The cheap ones usually muck up the job, and messed-up frosting is a nightmare. Do you want to make your own single-use piper or need one in a pinch? Just follow these easy steps.

  1. Gather a thick Ziplock bag, a tall glass, and sharp scissors.
  2. Place the bag inside the glass, and add your frosting to the bag.
  3. Remove and gently squeeze the top of the bag to make sure that the frosting reaches the corner you want to use.
  4. Snip off the corner and start decorating.

Alternatively, you can also use a syringe.

Have fun with your frosting. Add sprinkles, colorants and even sweets.

Have fun with your frosting. Add sprinkles, colorants and even sweets.

3. How to Make Icing Sugar

This delicious dust makes any baking product sweeter. Some people even sprinkle it on their popcorn. Here’s how you can make your own fresh batch in a jiffy.

  1. Gather a blender, cup, teaspoon, white sugar, and cornflour.
  2. Add a cup of sugar to the blender.
  3. Add a teaspoon of cornflour to the blender.
  4. Mix until you reach a powdery texture.

4. How to Avoid Soggy Fruit Pies and Cakes

There’s nothing better than pies and cakes bursting with fruit. However, many recipes call for using frozen fruit, but the melting water often makes the dish turn out soggy. Follow this simple hack to get perfect fruit treats every time. It also prevents the fruit from dropping to the bottom of the dish during baking.

  1. Gather your fruit, a mixing bowl, and flour.
  2. Add a good amount of flour to the bowl.
  3. Roll the fruit in the bowl to coat them with flour, which prevents that dreaded sogginess.

5. How to Make Self-Rising Flour

This is a great tip for anyone who must bake a batch of treats but then realizes there’s no self-raising flour anywhere in the house. Luckily, making your own is very simple, and you probably already have everything you need. You'll be able to make your own within seconds.

  1. Gather a teaspoon, cup, baking powder, salt, and all-purpose flour.
  2. Scoop 1 cup of all-purpose flour.
  3. Add a 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
  4. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder.
  5. Mix and use.

6. How to Properly Measure Flour

Most bakers make this simple mistake. When the recipe demands a hearty amount of flour, we tend to use the measuring cup to scoop the ingredient straight from the bag. Correct, yes? Unfortunately not. Flour compresses in the bag and also when handled in this manner. This means that you’re using too much, and your baking turns out too dense. The right way to measure flour is very simple!

  1. Gather your flour, measuring cup, and a teaspoon.
  2. Use the spoon to place flour in the cup until you have enough.
This way takes longer but gives the most accurate measurement for flour.

This way takes longer but gives the most accurate measurement for flour.

Keep a Hack Notebook

There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of baking hacks. If you liked what you just read here, why not write down your favorite tips and collect more? At the end of the day, you could save a baking project from disaster, use vegan replacements and even whip up a quality cake in a ridiculously short time just by using your hack notebook.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Jana Louise Smit