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7 things you must know about baking

Baking
Baking tips

Baking is a good hobby or business to start, and to some it is quite simple, for others it may be a bit more challenging. We all want to impress others. If we bake, we want the dish to come out exactly as we intended it to be. We all want our cakes to look good, but that doesn’t mean it has to follow an elaborate procedure for baking. Baking a cake or pastry with a simple recipe that is convenient to follow and use at home can do wonders for you.

But unlike other types of cooking, we can’t cheat on baking. We can’t alter the amount and type of ingredients according to our choice and availability. If you think you can make small careless mistakes while baking and it won’t affect anything, then you are gravely mistaken. This is the main reason for people shying away from baking by thinking it is a tedious, unsatisfying work to do. But actually, it is not so. You just have to take care of the small things for the big things (here, cake/pastry/cookies) to fall right into place.

I've decided to come up with a short list of five important tips that will be helpful to anyone who is baking or has recently decided to venture into home baking.
    cake
  1. CHOOSE A GOOD AND STICK TO THE RECIPE: Baking is an exact science, unlike cooking, reducing or increasing measurements randomly can spell disaster in your end product. If you don’t have a good recipe to start with, the results aren’t likely to be delicious. Always remember, bad recipe is equal to bad result. A bad recipe is confusing and has a disproportionate and odd combination of ingredients. A good recipe is always easy to follow, and is created with tweaks and turns to the standard one to suit your convenience.

    You should always choose a recipe that matches your baking abilities and the type of ingredients you have. Also, you should also follow the recipe accurately from start to finish, and check the results time to time, and make sure they match with those written in the recipe. Do not substitute the ingredients or alter the recipe until you feel confident enough.
  2. QUALITY MATTERS: The quality of ingredients matter. Buy the best you can afford. If it is unsalted butter, buy it from a reputable company. If it is wheat flour, my favorite is self-rising flour, they make quality baking flours. Your quick breads will always taste exceptional when made with quality ingredients. 
  3. ACCURACY IS IMPORTANT: When measuring dry goods like flour, don't spoon ingredients into the measuring cup. It is easier to dip the cup into the flour, then with a straight-edged object like a knife, sweep away the excess. This method will save you from a ruined recipe due to less or more ingredients. 
  4. PREHEAT THE OVEN: You should always preheat the oven, at least 10-20 minutes before you put the cake batter inside it. This is one of the most important steps which should definitely not be forgotten, otherwise it will result in a cake that is under-cooked or not risen properly.
  5. GET A THERMOMETER: Oven temperature dials are unpredictable and can often be wrong. If you are a passionate baker who is concerned about accuracy, like myself, invest in a thermometer that accurately measures oven temperature. 
  6. MIXING THE CONTENTS WELL: Properly mix the ingredients of the batter. The dry ingredients should be sifted together really well. Once the dry ingredients are mixed, add the wet ones and mix properly again. Refrain from over mixing the batter as it will result in a tough cake due to hardening of gluten and will give a chewy taste.
  7. NO PEEKING: Avoid opening the oven door while baking. Peeking allows heat to escape and a cake that is baking may not have formed yet, disturbing it may leading to sinking in the middle. 
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