The Ultimate Guide to Baking
I started baking as a part of a dream. That is why I made this guide to baking. I grew up in a low-income family, and we couldn’t afford to buy a birthday cake. I’m constantly envious of my friends’ beautiful and huge cakes whenever there’s a special occasion. So I promised myself that learn and start baking. Cakes have always piqued my interest as a child, and I’ve always wanted to learn how to bake them. I used to fantasize about opening a café or a bakeshop where I could bake to my heart’s desire. Then I had my daughter, and I began to experience postpartum syndrome. I used baking to help me get through it, and it did.
I didn’t have a mentor, and I never took a class. I have no proper education in baking, let alone blogging; all I have is the internet and my numerous failures to know what works and what doesn’t. Most of it is a failure because I am sometimes too lazy to read. So, don’t be like me and always study the instructions and obtain knowledge before you begin baking.
Learning to bake is fun all you just need is practice, patience, and determination. Baking is easy, you just need to focus and be accurate and you will surely enjoy doing it. You must also good at following the instruction and guide to baking to get your desired results. Baking and cooking are almost the same but the main difference is really accuracy. In cooking, we sometimes forget a little ingredient and it does not make much difference in the finished product. However, it is not the case in baking, because all the measurements and ingredients should be accurate or the desired taste or texture will be different. Patience is also needed in this because there are some instances that you really have to wait for the right timing. You can’t really just rush things or what you’re making will be ruined.
1. Read and understand the recipe
Before beginning to bake, it is critical to read the recipe thoroughly. This is done so that you are specific and informed of the actions taken when baking and what you should avoid. This also allows you to mentally prepare for the steps ahead of you and familiarize yourself with the ingredients. It will also help if you read a guide to baking to give you an idea of what you should do.
2. Gather all the ingredients and make sure the tools are ready.
You have to make sure that all the ingredients are available. You have to do the right measurements for each ingredient and you need to make sure that the tools you will need are also readily available.
3. Distinguish the ingredients
You have to classify the ingredients if it is from the dry ingredients group or wet ingredients. For the dry ingredients you need to sift it first to remove the impurities of the flour. Sifting also lets the flour be aerated. It is important to mix all the dry ingredients before proceeding to the wet ones to avoid the time that you will mix the batter. Too much mixing will not be good in baking because it causes more gluten formation thus making the finished product hard.
4. Prepare your eggs.
Now you will think that cracking eggs is just cracking eggs and anybody can do it. You are somewhat right but you need to consider something else especially in baking. After you have mixed and sifted the dry ingredients, you can go ahead and do it as well in wet ingredients. However, on the eggs, you must crack the egg first in a separate bowl and whip it before adding it to the wet ingredients.
The reason for that is for us to make sure that there’s nothing wrong with the eggs. When I was learning to bake, I just went to crack the eggs together with the other ingredients only to find out that the eggs were rotten. I wasted all the ingredients because I ended up throwing everything away.
5. Preheat your oven
In baking, it is important that you will preheat the oven first before putting anything on there. If you want to learn and start baking, you must keep in mind that patience is a must. The reason why we need to preheat is for us to make sure that the heat inside is right and stable or it will lead to an undercooked product. The outcome will not be as you are expecting.
6. Prepare the pans or molds.
You need to have the pans or molds ready. It will definitely suck if your cake will stick on the sides or in the bottom of the pan. You might want to grease it first or use a baking spray.
7. Mix it all up!
Now you can go ahead and mix the dry ingredients and wet ingredients. Mix it until it is fully combined but do not stir too much!
8. Put that in the oven.
Now that the oven is done with the preheating process you may transfer the batter to your pan and shove it inside your oven.
You may be wondering why in most recipes the time on how long a baked product should be in the oven is not definite. The reason for that is because not ovens are the same. The is a traditional oven and convection oven. Also, the type of pan you are using is a factor. Those factors will have an effect on the quality and baking times of your cake.
Also, avoid opening the oven while it is cooking because in many cases this causes the food to be undercooked. Just open it after it looks cooked or after the specified time on the recipe. Now to test the cake if it is done, get a toothpick or a dry knife and poke the center of the cake all the way down. If the toothpick or the knife comes out clean with no crumbs you are good to go.
9. Let it cool
You can take it out now from the oven and let it cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before taking it out. A freshly baked cake will stick on the sides and will not come out right away so let it rest for at least 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes flip it over to remove it from the pan and let it cool on a cooling rack.