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10 Baking Tips for Success

Hey Sweeties,

Today, I’m going to share 10 tips for baking success. Even the best of us think we know what we’re doing since we’ve been baking for a long time. Then we try something new and mess it up. We’ve all been there. But this isn’t for our more experienced bakers. We know better, but we have our moments. When going through the list of tips, I will put myself on blast with some of the mistakes I’ve made from a beginning baker, all the way up until now. Here are the 10 tips for baking success.

  1. Read the recipe
    • This is the one mistake everyone will make no matter what. I am super guilty of this. Where I tend to mess up is when I’m trying something new. Every time I try something new, I skim the recipe, make my list and go to the store. I can’t tell you how many times I went to the store to come back and find that I didn’t complete my list. Another thing I tend to do is buy something extra that I don’t need.
      • Double-check the recipe, better yet, take a picture of it. This will save you time and money. Don’t be like me and pick up extra stuff.
  2. Gather the ingredients
    • Along with reading the recipe, get all the ingredients out. Make sure you have all of them out. The ingredient I tend to forget the most is the baking powder. I can’t tell you how many times I forgot the baking powder. So disappointing. I don’t want to think about it.
      • Double-check everything like it’s a headcount on a school field trip. Or how I get when my 12-year-old son can’t be seen at a glance. My poor baby is so short.
  3. Prep ingredients
    • After getting all the ingredients out, let them sit as they should. If your butter needs to soften, let it do so. If your eggs need to be at room temperature, take them out.
      • This is another thing I’m guilty of and it delays baking. In my beginner baking days, I went ahead and used the eggs while they were cold (annoying) and called myself trying to cream the butter with the sugar and I hadn’t let it sit long enough (super annoying). Give yourself enough time to get along with baking, because one mistake normally leads to another, and baking isn’t as forgiving as cooking. It’s the one thing that requires the most accuracy or the end product will be a tad upsetting.
  4. Preheat the oven
    • When they say to preheat the oven, preheat the oven or you’ll find yourself delaying the process once again. You mixed everything and now you have to wait until the oven gets hot.
      • Guilty as charged and sentenced all on the same day.
  5. Get the proper pans or baking dishes for what you’re making and prep them
    • Make sure you have the right-sized pan for the job, make sure you grease and/or line as specified in your recipe.
      • There were many cakes and brownies that didn’t want to part ways with the pan because I forgot to spray or line my pan.
  6. Measure out all ingredients
    • Measure all ingredients in separate bowls and/or ingredient dishes before mixing.
      • Remember, you can always add, but you can’t take away. It’s easy to lose count when measuring with cups. The best way to measure is by weight. Weighing ingredients is the most accurate way to measure ingredients. Either way it goes, use separate bowls and don’t let someone calling you from the other room, distract you in the middle of counting cups of flour… kids….
  7. Combine in the order the recipe states
    • Combine the ingredients and mix as it says. Simple as that.
      • This matters. If you don’t cut the butter or shortening or butter into the flour for biscuits, or if you’re directed to add part of the liquid mixture, part of the dry ingredients, and mix until combined and you don’t–don’t expect it to turn out as good as it should or even turn out right. I made that mistake my first go-round with biscuits and donuts. The way you mix makes a big difference.
  8. Ser your timer
    • This doesn’t always let you know that your product is done, but it’s surely telling you to check on it.
      • If you’re following a recipe from a book or on the back of a box, DO NOT put all your trust into the time or the temperature you see. For a baker, its easier to understand, but if baking just ain’t your thing, and you decided to test that water, use the temp, but watch the time. The times given on the packages are for test kitchens. Not all ovens are created equal. If you see something that says 15-22 minutes, go for a time in between those two OR cook for the lowest amount of time and check your goodies before letting them cook any longer. I’ve been through quite a bit of ovens in my life and the only thing they do exactly the same is get hot and burn stuff.
  9. Check for doneness
    • When you let all the time needed for baking, do its thing, check it again before taking it out of the oven.
      • I don’t ever remember making this mistake, but I’m pretty sure I have in my early days. Never be left without a 1000 pack of toothpicks. They go a long way.
  10. Let it cool
    • I know it looks good when it comes out of the oven, but don’t cut into it, don’t rip it, or scrape it. Let it chill.
      • If you cut into something like a cake or a loaf of bread while it’s hot, it makes the exposed end weird and dry. Don’t scrape the cookies off the pan right away because they may fall apart. Don’t go icing your cake while it’s still warm either.

There is much more to learn about baking, but until you get through the basics and can get the simplest things down, there’s no graduating, whether you’re self-taught or going to school. I’m a self-taught baker. I watched my mom bake and even helped sometimes, but I didn’t think about baking deeply at a young age. In my 20’s I started leaving the boxed cakes alone and doing my own thing. Experiment and failing, experimenting and succeeding. No one taught me how to handle the dough or know when it’s right. No one taught me to know when my cake mix was mixed right or how to build a cake. There were things I learned by watching people and there were things I learned on my own. However you go about it, make sure you go about it the right way.

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you would like to read more about baking, make sure you subscribe to the blog, let me know in the comments, and come back. See you in the next one.

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