Have you ever watched The Great British Bake Off or its American counterpart, The Great American Baking Show, and been totally intimidated? The things that these people can do with a bunch of flour, sugar, and butter!
Sometimes, though, even the best bakers need a helping hand in the dessert department. We consulted a few baking pros that we really admire (including two winners of TGABS!) to see what shortcuts they allow themselves to take, if any.
Here are their deep, dark, confessions. These are the things they never bother making from scratch.
1. Phyllo Dough
"The thought of trying to get the layers of phyllo dough paper thin stresses me out, and that's not the kind of energy I want to put into my baking! Thankfully, skipping the making of phyllo doesn't keep me from treats like baklava and ruffled milk pie. You can find good-quality frozen sheets at most grocery stores and fresh phyllo at some specialty markets." — Amanda Faber, winner of The Great American Baking Show, Season 2, and co-host of the Flour Hour podcast
"I never make fondant from scratch! Well, I have made traditional fondant once but it might surprise you to know that some of the ingredients are more likely to be found in a lab than a home kitchen. Pre-made fondant is wonderful. If I can buy the color I need — even better! I use fondant for its decorative qualities, not its taste. It's all about the texture and store-bought fondant nails that." — Vallery Lomas, winner of The Great American Baking Show, Season 3, and the blogger behind Foodie in New York
3. Nut Butters
"I love the richness of store-bought peanut butter and the classic taste of Nutella, so I'll never make them from scratch. I find that when you make your own nut butters, the natural oils from the nuts separate in the mixture and make it a bit liquid-y. When working on a baking project, you can bet that my nut butters are going to come straight out of the jar." — Jennifer Jacobs, owner and pastry chef at Wandering Whisk Bakeshop in St. Petersburg, FL
In case you want to: How To Make Creamy Nut Butter
What about you? What baking items would you rather just buy?