Hello all, I hope you’re doing well! I thought I’d do a part two of a post I added to my blog a couple years ago. It seemed pretty useful, so if you like baking like me, here are 3 more of my top tips to increase your skills!
1. ALWAYS PREHEAT YOUR OVEN. This one may sound basic, but it’s very important! If you don’t preheat you’re oven, a whole host of bad could go on in there! For example, when baking you use leaveners to help whatever you are baking rise properly (baking powder, baking soda, yeast, eggs). If you put your baked good in an oven that is improperly heated, your leaveners will cause your baked good to rise unevenly. Speaking of which, not waiting for your oven to preheat seriously messes with the constant temperature. Could you imagine putting your muffins into a cold oven that only gets to 350°F when they are supposed to be finished baking? I can’t imagine the horror. (But I digress). As you can probably guess, not preheating your oven will result in a slower baking time as well; like I said earlier, whatever you bake will take longer in an oven that is unevenly heated.
2. NEVER LET A RECIPE SCARE YOU. I wanted to mention this on today’s list because there are obviously recipes that take more effort and possibly more skill than others- croissants, macarons, puff pastry, etc. But that does NOT mean you shouldn’t be making them! If you really want to master your skills, you have to practice; if a recipe fails once, do it again! And don’t think about the failing part- just read your recipe carefully and be confident in your skills! (If you would like to venture into the world of macarons, I have a step-by-step photo post here: https://madebybernadine.com/2018/11/09/french-macaron-recipehelpful-tips-to-master-your-macaron/). I can honestly say that I’ve made a lot of “hard” baking recipes before as a beginner, and they turned out great the first time!
3. SUBSTITUTE SENSIBLY. I think this is one my most important tips because baking substituons have to be chosen correctly depending on what recipe you are making. There are some substitutions I always consider safe most of the time, like buttermilk (milk and vinegar/lemon juice), or powdered sugar (grind granulated sugar in a blender or food processor until fine). Others however, have to be used the right way, like eggs for example. There are tons-and I mean tons of egg substitutes: chia egg, flax egg, banana, store bought egg substitute, nut butter, apple sauce, and a lot more! At the end of the day, substitutions just depend on what you’re baking: if you’re making some blueberry muffins, you might want to go for the flax egg instead of the peanut butter. Another substitution I’m personally weary of is heavy cream, or at least whipping cream. I’ve seen that you can make this with milk and butter, and I suppose that could work if your recipe just called for the thick substance, but I’m certain it wouldn’t whip up like the cream you’d get from the store. At the end of the day, substitutions should be determined based on your best judgement!
That’s it for today, let me know what you thought of these tips in the comments below, I’d love to hear! Until next time!