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Baking is a science, and just being in the ballpark with temperature won’t cut it. My oven isn’t exactly precise, so after burning one too many pastry crusts, I finally went to the supermarket, bought an oven thermometer, and confirmed that my oven runs hotter than its gauge says it does. Now, whenever I bake, I hang my thermometer from one of my oven racks, peek at the temperature through the window, and adjust my dial accordingly. —Lydia Daniel, Costa Mesa, California