Every aspiring baker has to start somewhere. Many beginners can be intimidated by the prospect though. After all, there is a science behind baking and unlike how cooks can whip things up via intuition, baking requires proper respect for the measurements, ratios and techniques that a specific recipe calls for.
That being said, it shouldn’t be reason enough for you to shy away from the activity. Sure, there may be a need for you to learn the basics first to lay down the groundworks, but once you get the hand g of it, you’ll find that not only is it an incredibly fun hobby, it is highly therapeutic too. Pretty soon you’ll be busting whisks, mixers, and spatulas and whipping out delicious cake after delicious cake.
If baking is still a relatively new frontier for you or if you’ve had one too many burned cookies or cakes, here are some hacks and tips you’d want to learn before getting your oven heated up.
Invest in good basic supplies
You don’t need the fanciest baking tool to become the most accomplished baker. However, investing in some handy basic supplies will make your baking experience incredibly easier. For instance, you’d want to have some good quality mixing bowls, spatulas, whisks, set of measuring cups for wet and dry ingredients, and baking pans. A hand mixer can be a little costly but it is a handy investment. You can also go the extra mile and go for a stand mixer too.
Read and follow the recipe
Read the recipe and make sure you understand the steps. It doesn’t hurt if you look for recipes with actual video tutorials to give you a visual presentation of how things are supposed to look like for every step of the baking process. You’ll have an easier time following it step by step when you have truly familiarized the process.
Always preheat your oven
A very common mistake many beginner bakers make is not preheating their oven before chucking in their batter. There is a reason why every recipe always put it at the very first step. This is to make sure that your oven has a nice, even warm temperature so you get an evenly-baked output.
Get all your tools and ingredients laid out before you start
The last thing you want is realizing you are missing an ingredient or two. Measure everything. Sift whatever is needed to get sifted. You’ll find it easier to work through the different processes of the recipe when you have everything laid out and ready on your worktop.
Always use fresh ingredients
The ingredients you use can make all the difference to how your baked goods will turn out and most importantly, how they’ll taste like. This is especially true for eggs and leavening ingredients including baking soda, baking powder, and yeast.
Use room-temperature ingredients
With a few exceptions, most baking recipes will require you to bring your ingredients to room temperature before using them— eggs, for instance. Recipes that require egg whites to be beaten separately always calls for them to be at room temperature. Otherwise, they might not be able to achieve stiff peaks. Unless you’re making some puff pastry dough, most recipes will also require you to get your butter to room temperature so it will be soft enough to whisk and blend in with the rest of the ingredients.
Don’t be scared of mistakes
Whether you like it or not, missteps will happen and you will make mistakes when baking. In fact, expect to make lots of them. However, rather than be intimidated by them, use these baking fails as learning experiences so you will know what things to do or not do next time. Considering how you ended up with something scorched, flat, burnt, or gooey from such a mistake, it makes the lesson you learned even more unforgettable. It is how you’ll become a better and more accomplished baker.