When you're cooking, there's a lot of wiggle room for adding certain spices, to eye-ball ingredients, and some wiggle room for cooking times. However when it comes to baking, it's a science and requires specific measurements and precise timing. Even the greatest bakers should remember these tips for their cakes, cookies, brownies, and other baked goods to come out to perfection.
Here are some great tips to become an even better baker:
If your recipe specifies to use room temperature butter, eggs, or milk, you should never ignore this step. Baking requires patience and planning, so try leaving out the eggs and butter hours before you begin baking or even the night before. Whisking or hand mixing cold hard butter is very difficult and can change the outcome of your tasty treats.
If you're going to skimp on bakeware by buying flimsy or thin pans, you could end up with inefficient baking times and the trays won't heat up efficiently. Do yourself and your baked goods a favor by buying thick, high-quality bakeware. This is also important for mixing bowls and non-stick pans. Glass and metal material bowls are the best. Non-stick coatings can rub off over time and even rub off as particles on your treats. It's better to avoid these and generously grease/butter your pan or use parchment paper.
Whenever a recipe calls for rotating your pan halfway through the baking time it is important to not skip this step. Ovens are not perfect, every oven has hot spots. If you ignore this step, you're at risk for unevenly cooked treats and possible burning on some spots.
Some recipes will call for 1/2 teaspoon of salt or another small measurement which may seem insignificant. Don't leave this out! Even if you're trying to cut back on sodium, leaving this out will drastically change the taste. Salt makes ingredients like vanilla, sugar, almond, and lemon intensify.
As tempting as it is to dive into a fresh, warm, baked good, it's best to wait until the steam has evaporated and the treat is easier to manage. Also, frosting a warm cake is a huge no-no and can lead to a disastrous gooey mess. If you've greased the pan properly you should have no problem getting your treat out of the pan once it's cooled off. However certain treats need taken out of the pan as soon as possible so make sure to follow these directions as applicable.
These tips will take your baking to a whole new level. Check out Sweet Day Gourmet for all of your baking needs!