Pastry Chef Tip #5 ~ Mise En Place ~ (Everything in its place)
Cooking or baking ~ the benefits of organizing your ingredients in ADVANCE are the same.
Mise en place (pronunciation: [mi zɑ̃ ˈplas]) is a French term meaning "putting in place" or "everything in its place." Think of it as preheating, washing, arranging, measuring, dicing, chopping, everything that should be done BEFORE executing the recipe begins.
Why? Do any of these strike a familiar chord in the middle of your recipe???
- "Ugh, I didn't know I was out...!"
- "Well, I almost have enough baking soda. Ah, that's close enough." (Remember baking is about precision not almost.)
- "The recipe says eggs at room temperature, but I'll just toss them in straight from the refrigerator!"
- "This butter is soft, but I don't have any that's chilled. I'm sure it'll be fine!"
- Timing is often crucial in baking. Did something fail, because extra time was taken to prep mid-recipe?
- The batter deflated while waiting for the oven to preheat.
- The oven temperature dropped, because the racks weren't adjusted until time to bake. (Oven door left open much longer than needed = lower oven temperature.)
- A plethora of misfires can occur if you don't ensure you have the correct equipment, tools, or pans BEFORE you begin.
The French aren't wrong ~ mise en place....embrace it!