Read the Recipe Carefully
Yes, it’s that simple. But the fact is, it needs to be said. Many amateur bakers will skim across a recipe, think they have an idea of how it works, and then proceed without reading the whole recipe carefully. It’s often met with disappointing results: flat cakes, chewy cookies, or bland brownies. The reason why you should read your recipe is simple.
You can make sure you have all the ingredients available (you don’t want to be halfway with your recipe and then realize you ran out of eggs!), you can make sure you understand all the baking terms (do you know the difference between creaming and folding?), and you can prepare all your ingredients.
This brings us to the next important tip:
Have All Your Baking Ingredients at Room Temperature
Unless stated otherwise, most baking ingredients should be at room temperature. This allows for easy mixing, and better distribution of the ingredients when baked.
Measure Your Ingredients Correctly
It makes sense that we should measure out ingredients correctly if we want a successful bake. But many pro bakers say that there is also a correct way of measuring ingredients.
If you have a kitchen scale, the best is to measure by weight instead of using volumes (i.e. cups). This is because the amount of flour in one cup can differ quite a bit if you just scoop it out (packed loosely) vs if you pack the flour tightly in the cup. You can even do a small test at home and see how different the cup measurement of flour is to the weight measurement. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, make sure to shake your flour beforehand to loosen it before you scoop out a cup. You can also scrape of excess flour with a butter knife. If you have a recipe that keeps on failing and you end up with a dry and crumbly product, this could be the reason why!
Get an Oven Thermometer
If you are doing everything right and you still have issues with your baking, the problem might be with your oven. Most ovens are actually inaccurate. Some can be off with as much as 70°F (20°C)!0
If you find that your cakes are burnt at the bottom but not yet cooked through, or you have to double the time your cupcakes are in the oven, it’s time to invest in an oven thermometer. They’re inexpensive and you will save yourself time, ingredients, and possibly tears, in your future baking endeavors!
What are some of your own baking tips? Tell us in the comments below!