A piping bag can be used to provide a delightful final flourish to your baked goods. Unfortunately, using a piping bag is a process that many cooks dread. It’s not hard to see why; after all, it’s relatively easy to get the piping wrong, and that turns your final touch into a mistake rather than the cherry on top.
Luckily enough, it’s easy to develop strong piping skills. All you need is the right know-how.
Buy a Good Bag
They say a bad workman always blames his tools. Maybe, but sometimes the tools really are at fault, and you can’t expect to do good piping without a good piping bag. You don’t need to spend big, but you should invest in a quality piping bag that can be easily filled and reused.
Fill It Right
Now you have your bag, you need to work out how to fill it. Start by placing the piping tip in the bottom of the bag; if you’re using a new bag, you’ll need to cut off the tip. As you fill, hold the bag in the middle and keep folding the top half down to open it up. Putting in too much is going to make the bag unwieldy, so only fill your piping bag to around the 2/3 to ¾ mark. When you’re done, twist the top once and then push to drive out any air bubbles.
Use the Right Tip
There are many types of piping tip. If you’re conducting more detailed work, pick a smaller tip. If you’re using your piping bag more for filling or frosting, larger tips are advantageous. You can also pick up a tip coupler. This is a two-part device that lets you swap one piping tip for another without changing the bag.
Pipe It Right
You’re finally ready to get started. Apply pressure evenly throughout, taking a couple of practice squirts if you have enough mix. Use your dominant hand at the top of the bag to apply pressure, and hold the piping tip just above the surface you need to cover; position it to close and the filling won’t have anywhere to go.