Baking is a passion for many people out there. So much so that they enroll in different baking workshops to enhance and improve their baking skills. Some people have developed their baking skills to a level that they are successfully running their own cafes and bakeries.
Baking, unlike other types of culinary skills, does not forgive mistakes. It has very little creativity and a lot of science: chemistry, physics, and even biology. It is good that bakers do not need to take exams in all these disciplines, but just a number of typical mistakes should be avoided, including a careless attitude to the temperature and quality of ingredients, the choice of irregular shapes and haste.
Writing the exact recipe suitable for beginners is more difficult than it seems too many. Before you start baking, carefully and thoroughly read the recipe. Pay attention to whether everything is clear to you, whether the weight and volume of all the ingredients are indicated, whether instructions are given on the time and temperature of preparation. If something is in doubt, it is better to put off the recipe and look for another one. Some techniques are better to watch live, having found on YouTube. Choose recipes with informative illustrations rather than the most beautiful ones.
Follow the instructions
Do not assume that in the end, everything should fall into one bowl, so you can immediately put everything into it. This is a big mistake. During the kneading of the dough, a series of important chemical processes take place sequentially, you cannot think about it only if you strictly follow the instructions. Knead the dough to the specified consistency. Let him “rest” the indicated time. Sift the dry ingredients, as indicated in the recipe. In addition, of course, first break the eggs into a separate cup, because one bad egg can spoil you with many good ingredients.
Substitution of ingredients
If you are a beginner baker, you do not need to replace some ingredients with others at your own risk. If you want less sweet pastries, look for recipes that initially contain some sugar substitute. Sugar gives the dough color, structure, allows you to maintain the desired humidity. Replacing it with something, you need to take into account that. What other ingredients will take on the form and texture of granulated sugar? Also, do not arbitrarily replace the oil with margarine or other fats.
Incorrect oven temperature
A thermometer on standard kitchen appliances can shamelessly lie. If you are fond of baking, it is better to invest in a good calibrated remote thermometer, because even 10 degrees in plus or minus can ruin your work. Moreover, even more so, you should not “play” with the baking time, increasing or decreasing the temperature.
Incorrect oil consistency
In many types of baking, butter plays a key role. It can be chilled, softened and molten. Most recipes require softened butter. It should not be heated but should be left for an hour or more at room temperature. Suitable oil is the one on which the mark remains if you press it with your finger. However, it still has to keep in shape. Chilled butter allows the dough to be delightfully layered. To do this, it should be held in the freezer. Melted butter must not boil; otherwise, it will become rancid and may spoil other ingredients.
Wrong egg temperature
Makers of good recipes are not insane calling for the use of eggs at room temperature. Only in this case, you will get a homogeneous emulsion that creates the right texture throughout the product. Egg whites, however, only at room temperature will give you a persistent foam, plentiful and lush, rich in small air bubbles.
Not only butter and eggs have their expiration dates. Yeast, flour, baking powder, and even soda have it. Good flour creaks if you rub it between your fingers; it smells fresh and tastes a little sweet. Wheat flour is spoiled if it has acquired a grayish tint and has become sour. Baking powder and soda should bubble when poured with warm water. Live yeast gives a prominent rise to your dough if mixed in certain proportions with flour, sugar and warm water.
Number of ingredients
Ideally, all ingredients should be indicated in grams and milliliters so that you can weigh and measure them correctly. Bulk and liquid ingredients can be measured with faceted glasses and spoons. When measuring liquids, keep a measuring cup at eye level to make sure that they have reached the right risks. Do not use recipes where the quantity is indicated in certain cups, because even in your kitchen, you will find several completely different volumes, and it is almost impossible to guess which cup the author has in mind.
Take the right baking dish
The oven can have a different temperature and should be set at a particular temperature as explained in the recipe. If you are a beginner at baking, do not go around making changes that you cannot foresee the consequence of. When baking biscuits, for example, it is very important to know the shape of which diameter the amount of dough is calculated. If the form is closed, the biscuit swells, wide – settle. For baking some cookies, you might need a ceramic mold, some cookies and cakes require special molds. Check the availability of this equipment before baking.
Do not forget to prepare the pan
It is very important to properly prepare the pan or baking sheet for baking. They should be greased with oil and sprinkled with flour or lined with baking parchment. Usually, if the author insists on any particular option, you should believe him. Therefore, when baking some biscuits, it is important to cover the bottom with parchment, because then it can be separated with a crust, which will allow the biscuit to be better saturated.
Do not open oven door unnecessarily
Since the temperature is very important when baking, do not open the oven door too often or keep it open for a long time. When you check the readiness of the product, remove it, close the oven and only then quickly check. The readiness of almost all products, except biscuits, can generally be determined visually.
Whenever you try something new, it is natural that you feel a bit intimidated and curious about the result. Baking is an art that takes patience, practice, and precision. All of this takes time to develop. Just make sure you remember the tips in the article to help you out through your beginner’s baking journey and slowly and steadily see your own skills becoming better and better.