Pie

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You Underbake Pie
Although rolling out the dough to form a pie crust is often the thing that home bakers are most nervous about, the actual problem Emily Elsen, of the Brooklyn pie shop Four & Twenty Blackbirds, sees bakers make more often is underbaking fruit pies. The top tends to darken before the bottom's done, so you pull the pie out of the oven—but it's too early, and then you're stuck with a soggy pie. Elsen, co-author of The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book: Uncommon Recipes from the Celebrated Pie Shop, says you can avoid this by using a glass dish so you can actually see the pie’s bottom and by beginning the baking in the hotter part of your oven (it's often the lower rack, but every oven is different—if you bake often, you'll notice where cookies tend to brown more quickly). After 15 minutes, move the pie to a cooler area (say, the middle or upper rack) and let it finish baking there. Finally, know that it's better to have an apple pie that's a little toasty on top versus one that looks pale. (And you can always buy crust shields or make your own out of tin foil if the top is burning but the bottom still needs more time to bake.)
Flour and baking supplies

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You Use Unbleached Flour to Make Cakes
The array of flours in the supermarket's baking aisle can be confounding. Sure, slapping the name "all-purpose" on the bag does help, but should you be baking with bleached or unbleached—and does it matter? It absolutely does, says baker and acclaimed cookbook author Rose Levy Beranbaum. It's great to use unbleached flour in bread, she says, but if you use it in cake, everything will look fine—until about 10 minutes after you remove the cake from the oven, when the center will start to sink. Unbleached flour doesn't emulsify—or bind to the other ingredients—in the same way that bleached flour does. However, Beranbaum says, if unbleached flour is all you have, bake the cake in a tube or Bundt pan—the center won't collapse.
Banana

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You Bake Banana Bread Before the Bananas Are Ready
A few spots and light browning on a banana isn't enough to sweeten a loaf properly, says Beranbaum. The fruit should be heavily speckled, completely brown or even starting to turn black, with a thin peel. If you want to bake with bananas that aren't quite ready, place them in a brown paper bag with an apple, pear or tomato; the other fruit gives off ethylene gas that'll speed up the banana's ripening process. When your entire kitchen (and perhaps even the nearby rooms) smells like bananas, you're ready to bake.
Cookies

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You're Impatient with Cookies
Letting cookie dough rest for a day and a half before baking has a wondrous effect on the finished treats; as BakeWise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking with Over 200 Magnificent Recipes author Shirley O. Corriher told The New York Times, it lets the dough and other ingredients "fully soak up the liquid—in this case, the eggs—in order to get a drier and firmer dough, which bakes to a better consistency." Thirty-six hours in the fridge yields cookies with rich, toffee-like taste you have to bite into to believe.
Brownies

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You Keep Screwing Up Brownie Baking Times
Unlike fruit pies, brownies should never be overbaked, or they'll taste dry and crumbly, instead of rich and moist. Yet it can be difficult to know when to pull them out of the oven. (Baking teacher Alice Medrich says there isn't a one-size-fits-all test for doneness, since some brownies are cakey, while others are chewy.) That's why we love this piece of advice from Annie Bell's Baking Bible: Over 200 triple-tested recipes that you'll want to make again and again: British food writer Bell says if you've pulled your brownies from the oven to keep them from overcooking but find they actually seem a little undercooked, place the entire pan in the fridge. They'll turn fudgy in the cool air.

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