Today's tips are from All About Home Baking, which was published in 1933. I love this cookbook, and actually ended up with two copies, one of which belonged to Grandma Dorothy, my husband's grandma who passed away this fall. Thumbing through it always reminds me of her:) The baking tips are almost better than the recipes.
Measuring Baking Powder
Don't heap the teaspoon, for a heaping teaspoon may be 3 or 4 level teaspoons. Don't level off the spoon against the side of the can (I'm guilty of this one! -B.) ; the rounded edge gives you a rounding, and not a level teaspoon. Don't fill the spoon "about right" and shake off the excess; use your spatula to level off. Don't guess at fractions; use the small sizes of your measuring spoons to measure 1/4 or 1/2 amounts.
Penalties of Improper Baking Soda Amounts
Too much: batter running over edge of the pan; cake falling in the center; crackle, gummy, tough crust; coarse, crumbly texture.
Too little: undersized products; peaked, dull crust; heaviness; leathery streaks
Measuring Other Ingredients
Melted shortening or margarine: Melt shortening over hot water (Microwave can be used -B.). Then measure by level tablespoons.
Granulated Sugar: fill the cup and level off with a spatula or straight edge of knife. Never heap the cup or "scant" even a little bit.
Brown Sugar: pack into the cups firmly so it will keep the shape of the cup when turned out.
Thick, Sticky Liquids: pour into spoon from the container or another spoon. Don't dip the spoon into sticky liquids to measure. Too much will end up clinging to the underside of the spoon.
2 cups sifted cake flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
4 tbsp. butter or shortening
2/3 cup milk
1 cup grated American cheese
Sift flour once, measure, add baking powder and salt, sift again. Cut in shortening; add milk all at once and stir carefully until all flour is dampened. Then stir vigorously until mixture forms a soft dough and follows spoon around bowl. Turn out on slightly floured board and knead for 30 seconds. Roll into oblong sheet, 1/8 inch thick. Brush with melted butter. Spread cheese evenly over dough. Sprinkle with salt and paprika. Cut into strips, 6x1/2 inches, roll each strip, and place in greased muffin tins. Bake at 425 F. 15 minutes. Makes 24.
Aladdin Chocolate Cake
1 1/3 cups sifted cake flour
1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
4 tbsp. softened butter or shortening
2 eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
Sift flour once, measure, add baking powder, salt and sugar, and sift together three times. Add butter. Combine eggs, milk, and vanilla and add to flour mixture, stirring until all flour is dampened. Add chocolate and blend. Then beat vigorously 1 minute. Bake in a greased pan, 8x8x2 inches, in moderate oven (325 F.) for 1 hour. Spread with frosting when cool, over the top and sides.
On OFL we have recipes for old fashioned tea breads: