Thursday, August 28, 2008

Basic Tips for Beginner Bakers

So you really want to bake? You've finally convinced your husband (or wife or parents) to buy you an oven? I would suggest you take a lesson or two on beginner baking from the numerous baking schools in the city. They offer a whole wealth of knowledge from the best kitchen tools to where to buy ingredients at a steal.

But if you want to be self-taught or simply don't have the time or resources, I suggest you read. A lot. Almost all books I've read about beginner baking talk about the same tips for novice bakers. I'll be listing some important notes that I personally think anyone who is thinking of getting into baking should know by heart.

1. Read the recipe in its entirety before starting.

2. Make sure that you have all the necessary ingredients and gather them together.

3. Preheat your oven before you commence. Saves you both time and energy.

4. Use only the freshest ingredients. Believe me, people will notice the difference.

5. Invest in standard measuring spoons and cups for both dry and liquid ingredients.

6. Prepare the pan(s) needed, greasing them as necessary. Make sure to use the correct size of pan called for in the recipe.

7. Let butter or margarine stand a little to soften before using if you don't want butter flying around your kitchen.

8. Get to know your oven. No two ovens are alike and most times the temperature reading is not accurate. It is advisable to put a portable oven thermometer inside to test its accuracy.

9. Test for doneness a good 5 minutes before the prescribed baking time. Butter cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Sponge and chiffon cakes spring back when lightly pressed. Pies and cookies are done when golden brown and fragrant.

10. Cooling is also vital. Let butter cakes cool in pan for about 10 minutes then remove from pan to cool completely on rack. Invert the pans onto racks at once for chiffon and sponge cakes. Remove cookies from baking sheets at once to cool on racks.

11. Frost and decorate cakes only after they have cooled completely.

12. Bake as often as you can. It is such a rewarding experience.

No comments: