Today I am going to talk about some tips for baking. I'd say baking for 8 years has really helped me to develop my baking skills so I thought I'd share some of the things I think is helpful for those who want to bake more!
The tips that I will talk about can be applied for baking anything, whether you're baking a Chocolate Cake, Banana Bread or a batch of Fudgy Brownies, these tips will be useful. So, my 5 tips are:
Get used to the recipe first.
Keep the oven door closed.
Grams instead of cups.
I have kept these nice and short so it gets to the point, but if you want to read or learn more then make sure to read on - I will be explaining the points in a little more detail.
Let's get started..
1. Get used to the recipe first.
Before you bake, you'd always want to get to know the recipe first. When I bake something new, I always write down the ingredients and method down into my own notebook and watch the video a couple of times to get used to the recipe. I also rewatch the video again and read through my notes just before I start to bake. This helps me to understand what I need to do for the recipe.
The technology is so advanced these days that all the recipes are online (some you can even watch), but I think writing the recipe down yourself really helps with processing the information and understanding it a lot better. You don't have to write a lot, just small sentences (or even bullet points) would be enough. It's also helpful to read through your notes and watch the video just before you bake, this helps you to remember the steps more carefully as it is stored in your short-term memory (a bit of psychology here ).
2. Keep the oven door closed.
It is super important to keep the oven door closed when you are baking, as opening the door can change the temperature - opening the oven door can lower the temperature around 10°C. This is especially important when you are baking a cake or bread as it can lead to the cake or bread not rising as much as it should.
It is also a good idea to preheat the oven 10°C higher than the actual baking temperature - for example, for a recipe that asks for a baking temperature at 170°C, preheat the oven at 180°C and turn it back down to 170°C when you put in the goodie you are baking (just make sure that you remember to turn the temperature back down and don't leave it at 180°C!). Also try to put it in as quickly as you can to avoid too much heat being released from the oven.
3. Always sift.
This may sound like a small thing to do, but it makes a HUGE difference. Whether you are baking a cake, pie, biscuits or any other treats, make sure to sift the flour. Why should you sift the flour when baking? Sifting flour into the mixture helps to make the flour lighter and easier to mix into. When you sift flour with other dry ingredients, like baking powder or cocoa powder, it helps to incorporate it all together before mixing with the wet ingredients.
Sometimes, there could be little clumps of flour or powder that you may not see and if you add that straight into your mixture then it may be hard to separate that clump of flour/powder. So it's a really important step to do when you are baking - never be lazy and always sift the flour!
4. Grams instead of cups.
I have always preferred using recipes that uses grams as the measurement. Typically, the measurements used in the UK are grams, but there are a lot of other recipes that uses cups. Measuring or filling a cup is different with everyone, and it's much more inaccurate compared to using grams. You may add in too much or too little of an ingredient and will affect the outcome of your bake.
Using grams ensures that you get the exact amount of ingredient needed for the recipe, and your bake is more likely to turn out better.
5. Never over-mix.
When you are mixing in your last ingredient (especially flour!), make sure to never over-mix. This is why a lot of the times recipes say 'mix until just combined'. When you over-mix a mixture, the product comes out more dense and ruins the overall texture of the bake. This is especially true when you are making a cake, muffins or cupcakes. Nobody wants a dense and tough cake!
And that's it!! My 5 tips for baking. Hope you have found this post useful if you are planning to learn to make or just to improve your baking skills.
Of course, there are many more tips for baking - I will do some more of these posts in the future as well as focusing on different bakes, like 'tips for baking a cake' or 'tips for baking bread'. Make sure to check back on this blog if you're interested!
Have a lovely day. :)