• How is it possible to check the quality of flour?

    To check the quality of flour at home is rather difficult. You can make a baking test on small quantity, so that to see quality parameters. However, it is possible to check the flour at the moment of purchase as follows: first, chafe some flour in your hand and make sure the flour is soft and contains no grains or granules. Color should be white with slight tints of cream, with no granules or other inclusions. Humidity could be checked by pressing some flour in your hand – if you opened your palm, and the flour cloded, it is too humid. Flour must be like dust even after compressing. However, flour with high quality gluten is usually more humid, and ready product would not lose its shape while baking.

  • What to do if pies always get a little burnt at the bottom, but the top remains not very toasted, and the dough is half-baked?

    In order to prevent your pastry from burning at the bottom, place a metallic bow inside the oven (on the lowest shelf), for instance a frying pan without plastic elements would do. For brownish top it is recommended to place the sheet with pastry on the upper shelf in the oven. Small cookies should be put to the oven at higher temperature (230-250˚С), larger pies should be baked at the temperature of 180-200˚С, but for longer time.

  • What kind of jam is the best for pies?

    Good jam should be dense and homogeneous; no syrup should come out of it, the jam must not spread like liquid. In case jam is coming out of the pie while baking, add some starch to the jam.