Hope you all had a great weekend. Today, I’m very glad to post baking tips for beginners as a part of the new category and a new series- Baking nitty gritty. Here I will tell about various basic baking tips that can help you become a good baker- no a star baker….!!! This category will include cake frosting tips, cookie baking tips, preparing natural extracts in your home and many more stuffs you will see when they visit you.
As I told in “About me” tab, various basic baking lessons were given by my mother in law. She helped me to fix some commonly made mistakes in cakes. When you start baking, with much excitement you prepared a cake or any baked goodie – sometimes you may get an output which are par better than your expectation. At times, you might encounter with the biggest flop. But the failures should not stop you from baking.
It is said that “cooking is an art and baking is science”. But I believe that baking is also an art where you can play with its science if you are comfortable with its science. I could never imagine myself making Mickey mouse club house theme cake or Tinker bell cake or Barbie doll cake when I started baking. Thank God..! still can’t believe I made them. Though I’m still not a baking expert, I can give you some pointers which I learned in my baking journey which can help you in many ways. So come on guys…!!!
#1 Invest in an oven and good baking supplies
If I start from scratch about baking, the first and foremost thing you must have is an oven. Buy a good brand with great reviews. This is a life time investment. Buy it as per your requirement. If you are starting as a home baker, domestic oven will be enough. But when you have learned a lot and wish to make it a business, then you have to upgrade your oven and every other stuffs to fit for an industrial purpose. Buy some good baking supplies like measuring cups (for dry and liquid) and spoons, spatulas, mixing bowls, baking pans, baking sheet, parchment/ butter paper, a cake mixer (either stand mixer or hand mixer). It saves a lot of your time. Buy a weighing machine.
#2 Read the entire recipe before starting the procedure
This is vital. Knowing your steps properly will help you to avoid any wrong turns, miss any steps and save you from big disasters in baking
#3 Use fresh ingredients
Baking powder, baking soda or yeast sitting too long in your shelf may not perform the exact chemistry that they are expected to do. Ingredients used in your baked items may affect its taste. Organic all purpose flour and organic eggs delivers a little more quality to your finished product.
#4 Get all the ingredients ready in your kitchen counter
When you get all the ingredients ready in your kitchen counter, the chance of making mistakes in your recipe is less. This avoids running for things when each step is done.
#5 Room temperature is important
Room temperature of the ingredients is vital. Mostly this is applicable for butter, eggs and dairy products like milk. Take out butter from refrigerator at least one hour before baking. This will give tenderness and uniformity for your finished product.
#6 Measure your ingredients properly
If the recipe calls for 1 cup of flour, then take a heap of 1 cup of flour and level it with a knife.
#7 Sifting of ingredients
Sift the dry ingredients whenever recipe calls for it. This ensures to avoid any lumps in your finished cake or cookie products
#8 Mixing of ingredients
Mixing is the key factor which determines the texture of your cake. If you over mix the batter, the more fat distribution and protein weakening will occur, this may result in too soft and weak cake. Over mixed cakes also reduces expansion of air pocket resulting in a short cake. An under mixed batter will result in the non uniform distribution of ingredients which result in hard and non uniform taste in your cake. Do not over knead while you bake biscuits and breads.
#9 Bake at correct temperature
Preheat your oven to the temperature specified in the recipe. Buying an oven thermometer is good idea. Do not open your oven door while baking. If you open its door frequently, the temperature distribution will be different and it affects the rising time. It is really tempting to open the door and watch the process going inside… but please don’t do it (If you are much curious to see, switch on the oven light and watch). If you want to check its doneness, quickly take the baked goodie out of the oven, close the door – check whether it’s done if not, suddenly put it back to the oven.
#10 Positioning of pans inside the oven
Always position the prepared pan at the center of the oven unless otherwise mentioned. This will let the air circulate well.
#11 Cooling is crucial
Whenever the baked good is done, take it out of the oven and let it cool on a wire rack. Take the cake out of the pan only when it is completely cooled. Otherwise you will face cracks in your cake.
#12 Sometimes altitude matters
I heard that for some people who are staying in high altitude areas continuously face the difficulty to get a fully baked cake. If you are in a similar situation, then you may need to correct the recipe.
Learn a lot from mistakes. Sometimes mistakes can lead you to a new recipe. Are you ready to bake….? Start it right now. Believe me; you will feel an extreme enthusiasm when your cake comes perfectly out of the oven. Stay connected for more basics of baking from Remyas baking under the category- baking nitty gritty. If you feel these baking tips useful, please share and it will motivate me for sure 🙂