Top 10 Important Baking Tips You Need To Know

So, you just started various hobbies during this lockdown to feel productive and let me guess… one of them is baking. Congratulations! Welcome to the club! The club of us who really love desserts and instead of wanting to buy and wait, we just get up and go to the kitchen to learn and make one. I applaud you for taking up this hobby. Considering you’re a beginner, there are plenty of things you need to know when it comes to baking. Don’t worry, these are just some basic, baking tips you need to know about baking. Let’s dive into these top 10 and get to know them!

Tip #1:  Read The Recipe Before You Start

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Image credit: Giphy

The first step you have to do for everything like reading the manual before you start building furniture or else everything might go south. Take note of what you need and how it needs to be done. How long does it need to chill? Sometimes recipes require the food to chill for 3 hours or perhaps, overnight which gives you the idea that you could do it in the late evening. I understand we can be a little impatient because we can’t wait to taste and devour our own creation but patience is definitely what you need when you start on baking. 

When you’re reading the recipe, be aware of the ingredients. Therefore, you’ll have everything by your side and you don’t need to go to the store at the last minute to purchase a bottle of vanilla extract. While you’re at that, check the freshness of your ingredients and the expiration date. This tip is important so your creation comes out perfect and tastes nice.

Tip #2: Follow The Recipe

As Collette Tatou would always say ‘Follow the recipe’. Yes, you can do a little improv here and there but when you’re still a beginner and learning, it’s best to follow the recipe. Everything from preheating your oven to following the time that you’re expected to work on something. Including measuring your ingredients correctly as shown in the recipe because this is often where people would make mistakes. From weighing your flour (invest in a digital scale!) to measuring how much vanilla essence you would need. All of your work will definitely be shown at the end of your baking and the outcome of your creation, and if things go wrong, you definitely have to look back at the recipe instructions (or perhaps your ingredients! That’s why fresh ingredients are crucial for the best outcome!) When you’re making something new for the first time, just follow the recipe. Once you get the hang of it, you can slowly improve your skills and do a dash here and there!

Tip #3: Put Things Right Back When You’re Done

This is a tip that probably doesn’t seem too important but we’re all humans here, and we might forget things a little too quickly (speaking from experience here) so yeah, put things right back when you’re done using it. I’m mainly speaking for the ingredients you’re using because when you’re at home, there’s so many distractions and you might do something like… adding another teaspoon of salt when you’ve already added to the mixture and you end up with a super salty cupcake. 

Tip #4: Take Note of the Temperature

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Image credit: Giphy

Going back to the ‘follow the recipe’, take note of the temperature. There’s a reason behind why when a recipe calls for ‘room temperature butter’ or ‘room temperature eggs’. It does make a difference once you’re baking it. In a recipe that asks for eggs or any dairy ingredients that need to be in room temperature, do follow what it wants because:

Eggs: Known to trap air which will have your baked goods end up having a lighter and fluffier texture. 

Butter: Cold, hard butter is definitely hard to stir in a bowl so let your butter set to room temperature butter so when you have to cream it with sugar, you wouldn’t have any problems. Or when the butter is too warm, you would have to deal with an unfluffy result when creaming with sugar. 

Cream Cheese: Let it set to room temperature by getting out of the fridge so you wouldn’t have to deal with a hard cream cheese when mixing.

Now you’re wondering how do we know an ingredient is set to room temperature? Well, for butter, it’s when you can bend it easily like it’s flexible. It should be cool to the touch and when you press it with your fingers, it makes a slight indent. If your eggs are cold, let it sit outside on the counter for 30 minutes (not longer than 2 hours!) Basically, it’s best if all ingredients are at room temperature until you’re told not to do so.

Not only does this go for the ingredients, but follow the oven instructions as well!

Tip #5: Do a Test

Every time you’re baking a cake, do a test. If you wanna if your cake is fully baked, get a toothpick and insert it into the cake. If nothing ends up on the toothpick, congratulations! You just made a cake! But, if there’s residue like a wet batter stuck to the toothpick, it’s most likely that your cake hasn’t finished baking yet. But this trick doesn’t work if you’re making Molten Chocolate Cake because you know.. It’s expected to have some melty chocolate inside.

Tip #6: Allow Your Creation to Cool

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Image credit: Giphy

Let your cakes cool! For how long the recipe asks you to. If it tells you to let it sit for an hour before decorating, do so. This is because cakes are fragile once you get them out of the oven so if you start doing any sort of decorating like frosting, it will create a breakage and fall apart. You’re not going to end up with a nice looking cake if you don’t have enough patience for it to cool. So, yeah let your cake chill and yourself to chill. 

Tip #7: Be Careful of Over-mixing and Under-mixing

Ah, this is important. If you end up doing either of this, the outcome is not going to come out the way you’ve expected. You just need to ensure that all of your ingredients are combined. Too much mixing of a cake batter will end up making your cake weak and unpleasant to chew. So, how to know? Pay close attention to your ingredients to ensure that all of it combines. I’d recommend doing research on the baked goods you’re making so that you would have a good outcome.

Oh yeah, don’t leave your mixer alone in the kitchen and leave! Stay close to it!

Tip #8: Don’t Open the Oven
GIF credit: Giphy

I know the oven is a curious place. It’s kind of magical if you think about it but anyway, you don’t have to open the oven door too many times to check up on your creation. It will change the temperature because you’re letting the air come in. Only open when the time is up and ready, or just peek through the glass oven door.

Tip #9: Bake at the Center

There’s a reason why we always place the baking tray in the middle of the oven. This is done to ensure that whatever you’re baking is being baked nice and even, unless you’re told otherwise.

Tip #10: Don’t Beat Yourself Up     

HAVE FUN. You’re learning. You’re finally ticking this off of your endless list of new hobbies that you want to try out. If you stress out too much, you’re not going to like baking. While you’re taking note of every other tip, this is the most important one. If you make mistakes, you’ll learn from it and just make more cakes. As we all know, dessert makes everything better.
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