When we think of baking, we often think of the finished product: a cake, cookies or bread.
However, before you can even start baking you need to know how to prepare and use your ingredients properly. Baking is not something that can be done in 10 minutes; it takes patience and dedication when following a recipe.
Baking techniques vary depending on what you are making; for example, when baking cakes, it’s important to mix the ingredients slowly and delicately to ensure your mixture does not go lumpy and there is not too much air in the mixture which would cause it to collapse when cooking. With baking cookies, however, it’s very different as you want there to be lots of air in them so they rise well! Baking cookies is more like baking biscuits as you want the mixture to be stiff and not too runny.
With bread, it’s even more different; yeast doughs are very tricky to work with because if the water temperature isn’t right or you over-knead your dough then it will never rise! It sounds simple enough but it can be very easy to forget steps in recipes so always check first before you start cooking.
Baking Tips for Beginners:
- Baking starts with the proper tools . Bakers should have on hand things like measuring cups, spoons, bowls, baking sheets (and liners) and wire cooling racks. Bakers also need a stand or hand-held mixer , as well as an oven thermometer to make sure temperatures are correct. A silicone spatula is great for scraping down batter from the sides of mixing bowls while wooden spoons or rubber scrapers help remove every last bit of it when it’s time to clean up. Bakers should always read through recipes before beginning to gather all of their supplies .
- Baking can be quite dangerous without safety precautions in place! Bakers who are just starting out should invest in kitchen safety gear including oven mitts, heat-proof silicone spatulas, and a baking mat. Bakers should also use oven racks that are positioned in the center of the oven. Baking close to the door can lead to burnt bottoms on pastries!
- Bakers must follow recipes exactly as they are written . Even if you don’t have all of the ingredients called for, or there are substitutions made , do not stray from what is written . Baking is science, and you could accidentally throw off proportions or miss an ingredient that is crucial to creating great baked goods.
- Bakers need to know how long different types of baked goods should bake for . Some items require more time than others at certain temperatures. An easy way to do this is to set a timer for 3-5 minutes less than the recipe calls for , and check on the item at that point . Bakers should always refer back to the recipe for guidance. Baking is not an exact science, so if something has already begun to brown or smells done, it may be time to take it out of the oven!
- Bakers often must tell if their baked goods are done by looking, feeling or smelling them instead of using temperature alone . Baked items should have risen slightly, but they will feel bouncy when lightly pressed down with your finger. They should also have pulled away from the sides of pans slightly. Baked goods will usually emit a delicious aroma when they are ready to come out of the oven. Bakers must be careful not to over bake items, as this can dry them out . Baking should always be done with an oven thermometer so that oven temperature is correct .
- Baking often requires ingredients at specific temperatures before beginning the mixing process . Bakers should make sure all of their ingredients are room temperature (or even slightly warmer) before beginning a recipe . Bakers should also bring eggs and butter to room temperature by letting them sit in a bowl of warm water for 10-15 minutes before using. Bakers can speed up this process by microwaving them for 5 seconds at a time , stirring between blasts!
- Baked goods benefit from resting after coming out of the oven . Letting baked items sit for 5-10 minutes on a cooling rack will allow them to settle , and cool just enough so that they do not fall apart when removing from pans . Baked goods are ready to come out of the pans after they have cooled for 5 minutes. Bakers should use their silicon spatulas or wooden spoons to release items from baking sheets .
- Baking only requires basic pantry staples most of the time . Bakers can substitute butter with shortening in some recipes , but it may give baked goods a slightly different texture. Bakers can also sub out some white sugar for brown, which tends to make treats rich and moist! Bakers must always measure carefully, as weighing ingredients is more accurate.
- Knowing how to bake cupcakes is an essential Baking Skill . Bakers should always grease the inside of their muffin tins with shortening or cooking spray before filling them two-thirds full with batter. Baked goods are ready to come out when they spring back when lightly touched, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Essential Baking Tools And Utensils For Beginners
1. Baking Pans
Bakers should make sure they have the correct baking pans on hand. Baking pans are different from regular cooking pans in that they are made for higher temperatures and will help your baked goods rise properly . Baking sheets, or cookie sheets, are what you use to bake cookies, but many recipes call for round cake pans or rectangular lasagna dishes. Bakers should always pay attention to the recipe’s instructions to ensure they get their pan choice right.
2. Baking Sheets
Bakers should own a good set of beater tools to get muffins and cupcakes nice and fluffy. They can also be used to whip up egg whites so you get tasty meringues ! Bakers should not be afraid to experiment with different kinds of beaters. For example, you don’t need a stand mixer to make healthy smoothies, healthy juices or shakes! Baking Tips For Beginners
4. Biscuit Cutters
Biscuit cutters are great kitchen tools for those who love eating fresh baked goods . They come in metal and plastic styles and can be used to create homemade biscuits as well as cookies! Bakers should always grease the cutters so their baked goods don’t stick and break when removing them from the cutters.
5. Cake Pans
For those interested in baking cakes, they should invest in a good cake pan set that includes both round and square pans . Bakers will find that it is best to use a regular and not a dark pan as this will help their cakes bake more evenly and rise correctly. Bakers should make sure they grease the pans before adding batter so that nothing sticks and ruins what could have been a beautiful looking cake!
6. Cooling Racks
Bakers should never, ever skip out on buying cooling racks for their kitchen . Baking can create some very hot creations , and by having a rack on hand you’ll catch any spills, which is better for your oven as well as your floors! You can also benefit from owning more than one since many recipes call for baked goods to cool down before frosting and decorating them. Baking Tips For Beginners
8. Baking Mats
Bakers might not know it, but they should own a good set of baking mats in their kitchen . These mats can be used for a variety of baked goods including cookies and even meat ! Bakers should make sure they buy the right size mats depending on what is needed. Baking Tips For Beginners
Bakers need to own a spatula in their kitchen no matter if they’re making bacon or brownies . Bakers can find great silicone ones that come with measurements right on them so you don’t have to dirty up another utensil! Bakers who use metal or wooden utensils when cooking should invest in plastic ones so as not to ruin their creations by accidentally scratching them! Baking Tips For Beginners
10. Baking Trays
Baking trays are a must-have for any baker . Bakers should make sure they own more than one so they can cook and serve their creations with ease. Bakers who create only one item at a time will find that they need at least two , but those making multiple items on the go may want to invest in four or more! Bakers should always grease these trays before adding batter, just like their baking pans.
Baking can be intimidating for beginners , but following these simple tips to help you create delicious treats that everyone loves!