How to Start Baking: A Guide for Beginners
Baking is a cooking process that uses moderate heat to cook bread, cakes, and other pastries. It’s also known as the second-oldest art after cooking. The word “bake” means “to heat an oven” and can be traced back to the 17th century. One of the common types of baking is called pâtisserie, which is translating from French meaning pastry or cake-making and sometimes refers to biscuits, or pastries that are made of choux pastry, similar to American doughnuts.
How to Start Baking?
Baking is fun, but it can be challenging. Whatever you make from the recipe will taste good because baking doesn’t allow a mistake and only the best will come out of it. However, if you want your great creation to be noticed by others, then here are some tips for you:
What Things You Need to Start Baking:
It is best that you have on hand the ingredients required for baking, but sometimes, you will run out of it and not be able to purchase it immediately. If this happens, make sure to have some substitute ingredients ready just in case. Stick with known brands like Nestle because they sell quality ingredients and are reliable.
Tools and Measuring Accessories
You don’t need to have the best tools and measuring devices on hand, but it’s good to have them in order to make your work easier. For instance, if you need to measure out a specific amount of flour, use a cup with measurements. But if you are using baking paper instead, then just estimate how much flour you need.
Some tools are:
- Sifter – a utensil used for combining dry ingredients. This will make sure that you have the right amount of sugar, flour, and other mixes that are needed for baking.
- Mixing bowl – a utensil used to combine wet and dry ingredients in order to come up with the final product.
- Measuring cups/spoons – designed to be used when measuring out liquids or solids. This is great if you need to follow the recipe to a tee.
- Baking pans – this is the utensil that you will use when baking. This can be a cupcake pan, a loaf pan, or anything else.
- Cookie-cutter – if you want your baked goods to be in the shape of stars, hearts, or whatever else, then a cookie cutter will do the trick. You can use it on cakes, cookies, and other pastries for it to have that special shape.
- For frosting cakes, use a spatula and butter knife for the sides of the cake while using an icing scraper on the top portion, but you can also use your fingers to press crumbs all over the cake surface.
- If you are aiming for some cupcakes that look cute, then you need a nice piping bag and a frosting tip. You can use any color or even sprinkles for a more festive-looking cupcake.
- Oven mitts – these are used for protection if your hand accidentally touches hot pans while baking. It’s best to have two of them in order to protect both hands and arms.
The different equipment that you will need in the kitchen are:
- Mixer – an electric device used for mixing ingredients such as eggs, sugar, flour, and more. This is what makes baking a lot easier than stirring everything using a spoon or spatula. The mixer can also be used for kneading dough after it’s mixed with other ingredients.
- Stand mixer or hand-held mixer – one of these is used for mixing batters and dough. The stand mixer uses electricity to operate, but it is still useful when making some baked goods. You can tell the difference between a hand-held and stand mixer by looking at their heads, as the stand type has two handlebars on each side, while the hand-held type has none.
- Oven – this is used for baking. There are electric, gas, and solar-powered ovens, but you can still manage to bake even with the last one.
- Bread machine – although not required in baking, having a bread machine is still a good way to start baking because you don’t really need much other than the ingredients and the bread will be done after hours of processing. This is like an appliance that does all the work for you.
This little device will help you make sure that your oven is at the right temperature. The goal of baking is to cook the food at a stable and even temperature.
Ovens have a tendency to vary slightly and this can be bad for baking, so make sure that your oven thermometer is working perfectly.
Baking Tips for Beginners:
When making a recipe for the first time, it is best to follow the directions and tips given. Read and understand the recipe completely, especially if you are reading new recipes that require preparation in advance.
Use Good Quality Ingredients
Using good quality ingredients is important because they give your baked goods the flavor and texture that make them unique from other brands of treats. Do not use cheap or low-quality ingredients, as this will harm the taste and quality of your product. Make sure to choose ingredients with known brand names, especially in baking, so you can be assured of its quality and freshness.
The right amount of ingredients used for baking is important. They should be exact so your cakes, cookies, and other baked products will come out the right size with good texture and flavor.
Mix or Blend Properly
Do not mix battery forcefully because this will make your product have a tough consistency, which is undesirable in baked goods. Always make sure that all ingredients are well combined and smooth, so the texture you desire can be achieved.
Use Prepared Forms
These premade molds will make your work easier in making a cake or a pastry. If you want to make a lot of cupcakes, simply use the muffin forms that are lined up on your baking rack. It will get easier for you as well as for people who will enjoy eating your creation because they will not have to worry about breaking their teeth!
Use an Ice Cream Scoop
If your cookies looked like the balls that you see in professional bakeries, you should use an ice cream scoop. Scoop out a portion of cookie dough and then shape it into a ball with your hands. Repeat this process until all of your cookie dough has been used up.
Use Ready-Made Ingredients
If you are already new to baking, just stick with ready-made ingredients for your simple recipes. This will help to avoid costly and time-consuming mistakes before you get the hang of it. You can also make use of store mixes, which is a great way to get familiarized with different types of recipes.
Use nonstick pans and utensils.
They are easier to use and clean-up is a breeze. If you are baking in a pan with burnt food, you can simply wipe it out and not worry about scrubbing anymore. It is also best to use non-toxic ingredients designed for cooking purposes since they don’t contain harmful chemicals like the cleaning materials used in homes today. Parchment paper is also a must-have tool for bakers. When baking, it is added to the bottom of the cake pan or cookie sheet and allows easy removal of your cookies once they are done.
Keep Your Kitchen Clean
If you have more than one type of dough or batter in your kitchen, it is best to keep them in separate containers. If possible, create separate stations for different types of food, so they will not get mixed together by mistake. Keep the area near the stove tidy and organized, so it will be easier to work at, and you can also avoid food spills.
Handle with Care
To avoid crusting on your hands, always use dry, clean towels when handling hot ingredients in baking recipes. Do not handle the wet or sticky dough as this will make your hands dirty, and you get oily stains on them.
Always cool baked goods until they reach room temperature before storing them in airtight containers for future consumption or selling purposes. This is to prevent the growth of bacteria that may cause foodborne illnesses like Salmonella.
Have a Plan
Baking is an exact art because of the science involved in it. It’s best to have a plan before starting your project. Think about the recipe, the number of servings, and your ingredients. Make sure that you have all of them in order to avoid disappointment when you need to stop and go back because there was an ingredient missing. This will also help you budget your project.
Practice Makes Perfect
You must realize that baking requires practice and hard work. It is not something that can be learned in a day or two, so you must learn from your mistakes and try to improve upon them later on with the experience you got from your past fails. Always remember that practice makes perfect!
While baking, you must always remember to have fun because the most important thing is to have fun. Be creative and stay focused on your work so that you can come up with a great treat for yourself or for others.
When to Start Baking
There are many benefits of learning to bake as early as now! It is the best way to start teaching your kids or even yourself about healthy eating. Baking is something basic that anyone can learn, regardless of their age. The earlier you teach a person the proper way of baking, the more mature they will be when it comes to cooking recipes for their families.
I hope the above article will help you to enjoy the benefits of baking. With just a small learning curve, you can be a baker and already create mouth-watering recipes that would impress your friends and family alike!