If you are a beginner baker and don’t use piping bags regularly, handling them isn’t always the most intuitive process. You’re just putting stuff inside, but doing so without creating a huge mess can take a little practice—or at least a bit of explanation.
YOU WILL NEED:
Pastry bags (disposable or reusable)
A plastic coupler and ring
For this tutorial, a disposable pastry bag will be used for demonstration, but the same rules apply for reusable piping bags as well. Disposable pastry bags are so easy to use-no messy cleanup, no lingering odors, no mystery stains.
Whether you’re a fan of disposables or classic canvas, if you’re using a small piping tip, step one is to drop a coupler into the bag. If your piping tip happens to clog up, being able to detach it from the bag way faster and mess-free.
If you’re using a tip with no coupler (use this method when using a larger tip for frosting cupcakes), just push the tip into the bag and trim the piping bag so that about half of the tip sticks out.
Push the coupler down to the end of the bag, and snip a small hole so that it can slide about halfway out. With either a disposable or a canvas bag, you’ll want to cut the bag as little as possible to ensure a snug fit. Once the coupler or piping tip is secure, hold it steady in one hand and give the bag a twist.
Next, tuck the twisted portion into the coupler with your thumb.
This creates a secure but removable barrier between the bag and the coupler/piping tip, so you never have to worry about your filling escaping before you’re ready-a particularly handy feature when it comes to runny royal icing.
Next, drop the piping bag into a tall drinking glass, and fold the opening of the bag down around the glass.
With this setup, the bag will hold itself open, meaning you can use both hands to hold and scrape a bowlful of frosting/batter/ganache or whatever the case may be. If you don’t want to use a cup, hold the bag with your non-dominant hand and fold down the top to make a cuff.
Rolling the bag down will also prevent any wayward splashes of frosting/batter/ganache from dirtying the opening and/or exterior of the bag, making the whole proposition less messy.
Unroll the folded portion of the bag, then gather up the excess canvas or plastic and twist until the bag meets the filling. Some like to seal the bag with a rubber band, chip clip, or piece of tape. Now your piping bag is filled and secure, with zero risks of leaking.
If you’re not ready to pipe, the bag can be left where it is; since it’s twisted shut at either end, you won’t have to worry about the filling drying out. When you’re ready to start piping, hold the bag from the top and gently tug on the coupler/pastry tip to release the clog.
Gently squeeze from the top until the filling reaches the tip, and you’re ready to pipe. Be sure to keep twisting the bag as it empties, which will help you maintain steady pressure as you pipe.