Baking Tips and Ideas for Better Baking
8 Secrets to Fail-Proof Baking
It’s often been said that baking is a science, while cooking is an art. When it comes to baking, careful attention to detail can make a big difference in your end results. However, even the most novice bakers can be successful if you follow these 8 easy baking tips and secrets:
Start by reading the recipe
It’s common to want to just jump into a recipe, but if you take a few minutes to read it over first, you’ll be more prepared for each step.
Organize in advance
Measuring spoons and cups, pans and all ingredients should be set out on the counter before you start the recipe. This comes in handy during parts of the recipe where your hands are full or busy with other tasks.
Using exact measurements is the most important of these 8 baking tips and secrets. Measure liquid ingredients using a clear measuring cup placed flat on the countertop. Measure dry ingredients by heaping them into the measuring cup using a spoon, then leveling off the cup with a knife. Always use actual measuring spoons and cups—not eating utensils—and don’t eyeball measurements (even if you’ve successfully done so when cooking!).
Don’t skip steps
If the recipe calls for ingredients at a certain temperature, pay attention to that detail. Similarly, if you’re not seeing the results that you should be seeing, don’t just move on to the next step; troubleshoot until you solve the problem.
Mix as instructed
Your recipe might give particular mixing instructions, such as mixing dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately, or using an electric mixer or simply mixing by hand. Instead of just throwing everything in a bowl and hoping for the best, follow the mixing instructions.
Spread batter evenly
Use a spoon to spread batter around in a pan. Avoid knocking or tapping the pan in order to get batter to even out, or you’ll get lumpy, uneven results.
The perfect temperature
Preheating the oven and waiting until it has fully heated is important. In addition, you may want to test your oven’s accuracy using an oven thermometer. If it’s inaccurate, you can either adjust accordingly in the future, or simply go by your thermometer.
Use the downtime
While your dish is baking, perform other tasks. If you’re making frosting or another dish, you can use the baking time to do so. If not, use this time to clean up. Cleaning as you go can make messes manageable and help you finish the task quickly.
These 8 tips and secrets are the basics of successfully baking any dish, from simple cupcakes to complex recipes.
What baking ideas, suggestions or shortcuts do you have?