Baking basics – a recipe for amateur bakers to succeed
Fancy some Christmas treats in the middle of July, August or even September? Why not? It doesn’t have to be the festive season to try out Christmas cake recipes. Not only will you have something tasty, but you’ll also hone your baking skills. Baking fundamentals are the paving stones of delicious baked goods. Once you have the techniques nailed, you can move on to perfecting and experimenting with flavours.
Here are five baking basics that will change the life of an amateur baker and maybe even take you up a skill level:
<h2> Always sift your dry ingredients</h2>
Sifting dry ingredients serves multiple purposes. For starters and most obviously, it prevents clumping and lumping when you add wet ingredients. It also aerates the ingredients and makes the final product lighter and separates the particles for a more even distribution of ingredients when it comes to the mixing. So sift all dry ingredients from flour and baking soda to salt and sugar.
<H2>Flour or grease everything </H2>
To prevent sticking, you’ll need to keep surfaces and utensils correctly flowered or greased. Flour your workbench, spoons, knife and rolling pins if you are working with doughs and never forget to grease your baking vessel before you put something into the oven or fridge. If you are working with batters, there is no need to grease your utensils.
<h2>Make sure ingredients are the right tempreture </h2>
If a recipe calls for room temperature butter or cold eggs, there is usually a reason. Baking is an art that hinges on chemical reactions which can be significantly affected by temperature. If your recipe calls for ingredients to be warm, cool, chilled or room temperature, make sure that’s what they are. If a recipe does not specify, it’s best to go with room temperature, as this is when ingredients are easiest to mix together.
<h2>Use the correct ingredients </h2>
It may seem obvious, but all too often this detail flops a bake. If your recipe calls for cake flour and you use ordinary flour, it will alter the taste and texture of the bake. If your recipe calls for margarine and you simply use butter, you are going to end up with a different end product. Ingredient lists are there for a reason, so stick to ingredient specifics if you want to get the most out of your baking.
<h2> Master measuring </h2>
Always pay attention to when your recipe differentiates between weight and volume. Typically, dry ingredients are measured by weight such as milligrams, grams and kilograms. In contrast, wet ingredients are measured by volume in millilitres and litres. However, always double-check how your recipe is set up before you measure your ingredients.
Also, when it comes to measuring, ingredients behave differently. So for dry ingredients, use flat-cup measures and they should always be level. Spoon measures must be measured with the correct sized spoons, and a level spoon is also essential. When measuring liquid ingredients, you should use a jug wherever possible and place the jug on a flat surface to check at eye level.Baking cakes, bread and pastries may seem simple and straightforward, but when it comes to baking, the devil (and we mean the devil’s food cake) is in the details. ILoveBakingSA has more tips and tricks to help you become the baker you always know you could be.