The Chef Within
Preassembling ingredients for later baking
I look forward to breakfast every day. I’m always hungry for it and even the night before, as I’m getting ready for bed I’m thinking about what I need to use from the fridge for breakfast. Menu options for breakfast are vast but because we are working under constraints of time some of those options are only available on weekends or days when we are less pressured to run, run, run…
Last week I was really craving coffee cake with my breakfast but I was reluctant to even consider it because it seems that most mornings I’m doing well just to get myself ready and out the door on time. No way would I be able to throw together a “cake” recipe, bake it and eat it in one quick morning. And I wasn’t willing to wake up early to do that. But I had an idea. What if, the night before I were to throw together the ingredients and get it all set up to bake? Would it bake and rise properly the next morning? I was willing to give it a try.
The night before I assembled all the ingredients in the pan. BTW – I typically dimple the top with my fingers just to give it a rough look rather than a smooth surface (I like it when the streusel sinks into the holes, and gets in the middle and bottom). I covered it with film and set it in the fridge overnight.
The next morning as I rolled out of bed I turned on the oven. Once it was preheated I put the pan with the ready batter and streusel inside, set the timer, went about my other preparations and 20 minutes later was enjoying the smell and taste of freshly baked cake. It was great. Nothing was compromised. In fact, since then I have begun using other breakfast baking recipes and once again, doing a preassemble the night before with little finishing touches the next morning.
If you know that is an option available to you, it might help diversify your breakfast menus. It’s also a great option when you have company and want something special but can’t afford the time. Another thing to remember is that baked products usually freeze beautifully. Simply double wrap individual pieces, toss them in the freezer and enjoy them later. Just an afterthought…and I will try this…Why not take this a step further and do what manufacturers do and preassemble the batter in a pan, cover, FREEZE and then thaw the night before baking and see what happens! That way you can make it days ahead, when you have more time. I’ll bet it will work.