While this one doesn’t necessarily ensure your cheesecake bakes properly, I do think the added tangy flavor and creamy texture helps to give you that perfect cheesecake. If you absolutely must substitute it, greek yogurt is fine but the flavor is definitely a little different.
I am a believer that a little flour makes a difference in a cheesecake. The starch prevents the egg proteins from over-coagulating, giving you a creamier texture and helping you prevent any cracks. If you are looking for a gluten free alternative, cornstarch will work too. Use half as much cornstarch as you would flour.
This one is really all about making sure that your cheesecake isn’t lumpy and that the ingredients combine smoothly. Cream cheese that is too firm won’t mix well and will leave you with a lumpy mess, so it needs to be room temperature. In a pinch, take the cream cheese out of the foil wrapping, cut into smaller sections and heat for about 15 seconds at a time until softened. Also, as far as cream cheese goes, the full fat regular stuff is going to give you the best cheesecake. More fat means more creamy, plus you don’t have any fillers or anything that is made to replace fat. For your cheesecake texture to be on point, you don’t want anything funky going on. Just real, good cream cheese.
There are lots of varieties of pizza and using the wrong ingredients, oven, or techniques can make you wonder why you aren’t getting the right results. Research what style you are going after and then stick to the recipe. For example, a Neapolitan pizza will use soft “00” flour, wet mozzarella, lots of tomato sauce and all cooked in a wood fired oven. This makes a soft crust pizza, with a wet middle that needs a knife and fork to eat. If you are trying to make New York style, then use stronger bread flour, dry mozzarella, and cook it in a lower heat oven. This will make a crisp yet chewy pizza which you can pick up by the slice.
The easiest and cheapest option for getting a wood fired oven in your backyard is getting a portable one. The most popular is the Ooni oven which you can buy for a fraction of the price of a brick oven. It can reach 930ºF (500ºC) in just 10 minutes, and can cook a 13″ pizza in 60-90 seconds. So you get that intense heat and speed of a pizza oven but without the price tag. You can also collapse it down and pack it away or store it. It burns wood pellets for convenience, so you don’t need to find logs. Another option is the Roccbox. It is more expensive but is a bit more insulated so holds heat for longer. This one can attach a gas burner to the back so you don’t even need logs.
Everyone who makes pizza wants their own pizza oven outside. You can build your own wood fired oven for as little as $200-$300. You no longer need to buy expensive fire bricks – you can buy one large bag of vermiculite (insulating volcanic rock), mix with cement and make a dome over a gym ball as a mold. See How To Build A Vermiculite Pizza Oven With A Gym Ball You can build your own brick oven, or pay a masonry worker to do it for you. Or you can buy a pre-made kit which just needs some assembling in your back yard. See 8 Ways To Build A Pizza Oven (With Videos) and How Much Does A Wood Fired Pizza Oven Cost?
If you buy anything which is mass produced, then you risk the natural fluctuation in quality which may occur from satisfying such high demand. Why is mass produced wine so bad? Because they take grapes from so many areas so they can still produce many bottles. The same goes for flour – it is best to try and find a smaller producer so that you can guarantee quality every time. Independent millers will often produce specific flours which have qualities for different purposes. Check the gluten content and how fine it is milled, and you can add some variety to your pizza making. In the UK I use Shipton Mill which have a great range of organic flours. You can give your area a quick Google search, and most small brands stock online now too.
When baking with gluten-free flours, try beating the batter longer as this should add structure to the dough.
I haven't used this tip much, but perhaps I should. A reader shared that GF baked goods tend to brown more easily so lowering the oven temperature by 25 degrees is a good idea.
There is a use for botched kitchen experiments. You can use savory baked good mistakes for breadcrumbs (just put in a food processor, run it for a bit and store the crumbs in the freezer), and sweet baked mistakes can be crumble toppings. Both can be used for cereals. Just top with milk or Homemade Coconut Milk or Homemade Almond Milk and enjoy!