Basics of Baking Pt.2

Everyone is bound to make a mistake somewhere, and if your relationship with the kitchen is bad, then you’ve probably made at least one of these mistakes.

So what is the thing to keep an eye on while baking? It’s a very tough question to answer, Each product has a different outcome. The different tastes and textures are what make us vary in choice when choosing what to bake. This is why I always give this specific piece of advice; if you haven’t tried it before, don’t try to make it. It is a simple rule to follow, because it simply helps you know what you’re looking for in a product.

1- Read your recipe

Before attempting to even start your recipe, read it. I cannot stress that enough. When you read a recipe you have a better idea of what you are preparing and what you’re doing. So, it helps reduce time spent in confusion, and if you are making a batter that cannot sit, you do not want to risk it by waiting around to see what’s the next step.

2- Follow the recipe

Yes, you read that right. Follow the recipe. What does that even mean?! I’ll tell you exactly what that means. It means that when the recipe specifies that you should cream the butter with the sugar, and mix the dry ingredients together don’t just go like… MEH, what’s the worst that can happen? This is what happens. Every step taken in a recipe is scientifically studied, thus, giving us the smoothest, richest and most delicious product. I’m not gonna go all Science geek on you guys because all you need to know is that it’s important.

3- Understanding the difference between Butter and Oils

Sometimes, you’re out of butter but you’re in desperate need for those creamy chocolate filled cookies that you have been craving! So you go ahead and substitute with oil and you end up with flat cookies. Why? Did I bake it for too long? Did I add  too much flour? The answer is very simple. Butter is used to coat the flour while baking, when it is creamed with the sugar, the sharp sugar crystals create air pockets in the batter which help make an escape for CO2 that wants to escape when baking causing the cookie to rise. That’s why it is very important to make sure that if you do substitute an ingredient, you know what it will do. Ladies and gentlemen, there you go, Science geek.

4- Pre-preparation.

No, this isn’t some kind on Inception. Pre-preparation is the process of preparing items for the preparation. For example, I am making a Meringue. I have to crack the egg whites, prepare the equipment, preheat the oven. These are all things that we need before the actual preparation of the recipe and this helps a lot throughout the recipe because when you’re ready,  you waste less time running after things that would only take a few minutes in the first place.

Finally, I’d just like to say baking is a very rich and rewarding hobby so always remember to have fun while doing so. Play some Fredric Chopin and pretend you’re in a high-end chocolate commercial or something. That’s fun too!

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