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Baking is a fun way to get creative in the kitchen and make some delectable desserts. You may have heard people say they are great at baking, but not so good at cooking – and vice versa. This is because baking requires a different skillset and certain attention to detail that general cooking doesn’t.
However, this doesn’t mean baking is difficult! With these 5 baking tips for beginners, you can start your journey to creating delicious delicacies – with ease! Try implementing these techniques the next time you head to the kitchen, and see how exciting baking truly can be!
5 Baking Tips For Beginners
Baking doesn’t have to be intimidating. By following these 5 baking tips, you can go from beginner to boss in no time!
1. Utilize The Proper Tools
As any expert tradesperson will tell you, you are only as good as your equipment. So, if you are serious about baking, you need to invest in proper, good-quality equipment.
For example, dark aluminum pans are the most conductive material, so they tend to heat cake layers the most evenly. On the other hand, glass and aluminum pie plates heat the butter more quickly than ceramic, releasing more steam, providing the flakiest crust! Do some research before investing in any baking equipment to make sure it receives good reviews.
The same goes for your ingredients too. Try not to substitute for slightly different varieties (ie. self-rising flour vs. all-purpose flour), especially when just starting out, as you may end up with a different and unexpected result. And, remember: higher-quality ingredients DO make a difference in the taste of the final product!
2. Accurate Measuring Ensures Success
Sometimes in a recipe, the rules are meant to be used flexibly. More hot sauce? Sure! Extra chocolate chips? Why not!? However, when it comes to baking, you need to know how to properly measure the exact quantities of dry and wet ingredients.
Baking is a science. So, to ensure you get the right mix for a perfectly finished product, it is necessary to measure exactly. Most bakers agree that the most accurate method of measuring is by use of a scale. This is the one I use!
If you aren’t ready to purchase a scale, carefully spoon dry ingredients into a measuring cup, scraping the excess off with a knife. Whatever you do, don’t just scoop out the flour and shake off the extra! If your measurements are off – even just slightly – you run the risk of a dry, flat, under-risen, or tasteless bake.
3. Follow Recipes Carefully & Learn From Them
When you are just starting your baking journey, it is advisable to stick to tried and tested recipes until you become more comfortable with your new skill. As mentioned above, baking is a very specific science, so, until you’re very familiar with how each ingredient functions in baked goods, it’s best not to take liberties with recipes.
For example, if a recipe advises flouring your work surface, do it! After all, applying a generous dusting of flour when rolling out dough is vital to help you avoid any sticking. It is messy, but a great technique and will give you a better surface to work from. However, if a recipe cautions your use of extra flour, and recommends utilizing a Silpat mat instead, your bake will turn out better by doing so.
Practice with simpler recipes first to become familiar with baking basics, recipe terminology, and your oven’s own quirks. Every step in a recipe contributes a valuable lesson, and, as you practice, you’ll become more confident.
Once you have your baking basics down pat, you can then look to expand your repertoire a little bit more with advanced treats, loaves of bread, or even this danish pastry recipe. The key is knowing how to perfect what you do know first, before moving on to new, more elaborate bakes.
4. Mise en Place – Always
Before beginning to bake, prepare and measure your ingredients in advance. Avoid simply starting a bake without having everything you need at hand.
When a recipe indicates you need to let something come to room temperature, for example, you need to follow this admonition carefully. Something as simple as the temperature of milk can make – or break (literally) – your batter.
Then, while baking, recheck the recipe you’re following and look for instructions such as needing to chill in a refrigerator overnight, preheating the oven, or letting something rest for a specific time period. Not to sound like a broken record, but – say it with me – baking is a science! Preparation is key to ensuring that your bake goes smoothly.
5. Don’t Rush & Don’t Forget To Have Fun
Try to avoid baking when you are in a rush. When short on time, you could end up skipping steps, missing ingredients, or even running out of time!
Take your time, turn on some light music, and really experience each step of the process. Hone your skills with every bake and each recipe you try out. Before you know it, you’ll be a baking pro! After all, practice really does make perfect.
I hope you enjoyed these 5 baking tips for beginners. Feel free to comment below or reach out if you have further questions – I’m happy to help!
Don’t forget to find me on Instagram so we can keep in touch, and be sure to tag me in any photos you post of your baked goods! I love to see your works of culinary art.
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Take care guys! Until next time…