How to Reduce Amounts in Recipes

Reducing Amounts in Recipes

Most recipes can be halved easily. Keep in mind that less food will cook in less time. You may need to reduce the total cooking time to avoid overcooking the smaller amount of food. For a saute, there are fewer ingredients absorbing heat from the pan. Pull the food from the pan sooner, or cook it at a lower temperature or in a smaller pan to avoid overcooking. For cookies, make sure that the pan has no significant vacancies, or it may overheat and burn the cookie bottoms. For muffins or cupcakes, if you aren't filling all of the cups in the muffin pan, add 1" or so of water to each empty cup to prevent the pan from overheating.

Baking by the Book : Altering baking related recipes is decidedly more risky than altering any other recipe. Whenever possible, follow a baking recipe to the letter. Amounts of leavener, flour, sugar, liquid and other ingredients are specifically calculated for balanced results in the crucible of the oven. Change the amounts, and the results can be drastically different. Cakes, for instance, are very temperamental. If you want to double the yield of a cake recipe, make 1 cake, then follow the recipe again to make another cake while the first one bakes in the oven. Or look for a cake recipe that is specifically written for a large cake. Likewise, with pie crusts for a 2-crust pie, it's best to make 1 crust according to the recipe, then make another one as the first curst chills to avoid overworking a large amount of pie dough (which results in tough, chewy pastry). Cookies, on the other hand, are generally more amendable to increasing or decreasing yields. That's yet another reason why cookies are so popular and versatile.

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