How to Start Baking: Basic Baking Tips for Beginners
We’re sure a few things are better than baked treats, but nothing immediately springs to mind!
No matter your age or background, you’ve probably grown up loving to spend time in the kitchen. You might have beautiful memories of smelling goodies that a loved one has made from scratch baking in the oven. And maybe you’ve always dreamed of having the skills to whip up your own creations using common baking ingredients.
Well, everyone has to start somewhere! Luckily, this article can help. We’ll look at essential baking tips for beginners to kick-start your baking success.
Before you start reading this blog, it might be helpful to familiarized with some basic baking terms so you can understand the fascinating world of baking.
Ok!! Now, these key techniques will help you create delectable treats to enjoy year-round.
Never Swap Ingredients
When you study a recipe, remember that each ingredient listed is there for a reason. So you should resist the temptation to replace one with another.
It’s important to keep in mind that most beloved baking recipes have been around for decades (or longer). Each ingredient is there to make the finished food as delicious as possible. Even if you have to make a special run to the store for the right ingredient, it’s definitely worth your time and energy.
Always Measure Ingredients
Many beginners make the mistake of thinking they can wing it when adding ingredients to a recipe. But unless you’re a seasoned baker with years of experience, estimating amounts will typically result in disaster. The best strategy is to invest in good measuring cups, measuring spoons and a kitchen scale to ensure each recipe comes out as intended.
It also never hurts to double-check measurements when adding ingredients. The difference between too much and too little, even by a tiny amount, can be astounding.
[Related: Kitchen Must-Have Utensils for Your First Apartment]
Let Ingredients Reach Room Temperature
Believe it or not, allowing ingredients to reach room temperature will make the baking process much simpler. This is because nearly all ingredients are easier to mix when they’re not cold or frozen — especially butter.
Once you’ve let everything reach room temperature, you can pour and mix with ease, and your goods will bake more evenly in the oven. However, don’t keep eggs out too long before baking because you don’t want to risk spoilage. Room-temperature eggs combine smoothly with other ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Resist the Impulse to Skip Steps
As a beginner, you might get in a hurry at some point. When this happens, you could feel the urge to skip a step or two to speed the process. Or maybe the instructions are confusing, and you think it’ll be fine to hop to the next.
That said, skipping steps in a recipe is a bad idea.
If you skip steps or perform them in a different order, you’ll totally change the recipe and miss the mark in the final product. Recipes are precise for a reason, so follow steps closely to create baked treats everyone will enjoy.
Prep Your Kitchen
One of the most important basic baking tips for beginners is to always prep your kitchen before diving into a recipe. So, what does “prep the kitchen” mean?
It simply refers to the process of getting your needed baking ingredients, pans, utensils and pots ready to go beforehand so everything’s at your fingertips when you need it.
Take the time to get everything lined up in the order you’ll need it. That way, you won’t waste time hunting for anything in the middle of mixing. Plus, you’ll avoid a lot of frustration and potential mistakes.
Place the Oven Rack in the Center Position
When you’re ready to preheat the oven, move the oven rack to the center position. For extra caution, do so before you turn on the oven.
This will help ensure even heat distribution for both the top and bottom of the treat you’re baking. Additionally, make sure the rack is secure in the oven slots — you don’t want wobbling pans or (even worse) a spilled batch of dough!
[Related: 10 Best Small Kitchen Appliances]
Choose the Right Pan
There are many baking pan and cookie sheet sizes and shapes to choose from. Selecting the right size and shape for each recipe is crucial for producing perfect results. Closely consult the baking instructions listed in the recipe to determine which bakeware to use.
And always pay attention to seemingly minor notes about the pan or cookware (like glass or metal, nonstick or regular). Some recipes explicitly require non-nonstick pans, like cast iron or glass.
Never Trust a Nonstick Surface
The cooking world is rife with nonstick cooking pans. But that doesn’t mean you should fully trust them. Not every item is properly coated with nonstick material, and not all nonstick pans are created equal.
If you don’t take precautions, you can still end up with a big mess on your hands.
The best strategy is to add an extra layer of protection so that baked goods don’t stick to pans. For example, you can grease a pan with vegetable oil, shortening or butter. Add an even dusting of flour (a very thin layer) for further protection against sticking.
You can also line a pan with parchment paper to allow a cake to slide right out when it’s done baking. Buying nonstick silicone baking mats or using ceramic-coated cookware is another great option.
Rest Flax Eggs for About 10 Minutes
Let flax eggs, a vegan egg substitute otherwise known as fake eggs, rest for 8 to 10 minutes. Why is this such a big deal? Well, this helps them achieve the proper consistency.
Mix 1 tablespoon of flax meal with 3 tablespoons of room-temperature water. Then, let the flax egg rest before adding it to a vegan recipe.
[Related: How to Make a Berry Compote (Vegan)]
Never Fill Cake Pans More Than Two-Thirds Full
When learning how to start baking as a hobby, cakes are popular first-try recipes. Because they’re often a baker’s go-to option, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention overfilling pans.
Never overfill a cake pan. In fact, never fill one more than two-thirds full. This gives the batter room to rise as it bakes — and you don’t end up with an overflowing or mushroom-shaped cake.
Put These Baking Tips for Beginners to Work
The perfect time to start learning baking tips for beginners is now — it’s never too late to become a wiz with a mixing bowl and a spatula. And we hope these tips and tricks help you become the master baker you’ve always wanted to be.
So get in the kitchen, gather your gear and make something magical!
[Related: Not Your Average Pumpkin Cookies: Pumpkin Whoopie Pie Recipe]
Find Information and Inspiration at Good Home Chef
Whether you’re wondering how to start baking or are an experienced home cook who’s looking for tips and recipes, we’re here to help at Good Home Chef. It can also help to surround yourself with content about the world of baking, that’s why we collected a list of some of the best baking shows to watch.
You can contact us via our online form or send us an email at email@example.com.
Follow us on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram for more inspiration!
Featured image via Pixabay