Holiday baking shows and displays of elaborate sweet treats inspire us all to try our hand—or rather, whisk—at baking. But we can’t go from making break-and-bake cookies directly to building multi-tier cakes. Follow these 5 tips for baking newbies to set your bakes up for success.
Tips for Baking
Read your recipe. Before you begin, read your recipe all the way through. There may be hidden steps that you otherwise skim over, like needing to prepare ingredients in different bowls or splitting the measurements of the called-for ingredients throughout the recipe. There are smaller common mistakes, like forgetting to soften the butter or getting halfway through before realizing you haven’t given yourself enough time to finish the recipe.
Prep your ingredients. To make sure you have enough of everything, measure all your ingredients beforehand. While looking more closely at the ingredients called for, this is also a good time to notice if ingredients have special instructions.
Follow the instructions. When it comes to baking, instructions really aren’t guidelines. Those new to baking should follow instructions in the order given, otherwise, your creation may not come out as intended. Wait until you have more experience with how ingredients react before customizing flavors or measurements.
Preheat the oven. Preheating the oven saves you time and makes sure your bake comes out as expected. Placing your bake in the oven before it is preheated can lead to burned desserts if in too long or raw batter if cooked for the recommended time at the wrong temperature.
Make accurate measurements. Looking at your mix, you may think there is no way you have enough eggs to moisten all your dry ingredients, and does it really need that much flour? Baking is a science. If you change how much of each ingredient goes in, even by “eyeballing” it, be prepared for an entirely different bake from the expected.
Good luck baking!