I debated the title of this article for a while, and in the end, I opted against Don’t Skip Steps or YourCookiesWill Be All F***ed Up. From an SEO sense, this is most likely a wise decision.
Well, you already know that baking is my thing. I like creating new recipes. It can even help me earn a little additional money.
Well, enough with the puns. My point is that I’m always looking for reasons to bake.
Alright, I’m done.
Despite the fact that baking was my outlet for anxiety, I am still quite acquainted with the sense of wanting to finish a dish. Maybe it’s because I’ve been on my feet all day and the thought of spending another second standing in my kitchen is too much for me. I understand.
So, as much as I like baking, there are days when I simply don’t want to. What’s worst is when you see how much time you have left to finish a meal and it seems like forever.
Nevertheless, no matter how much you believe you can skip a step or take a quick shortcut to get it done quicker, there are certain things you just cannot omit since they will result in a subpar product that will disappoint you.
Wouldn’t you rather spend a little more time doing it perfect and getting spectacular results? I certainly would. So here are a few stages you’ll find in recipes that you should never miss, and why they’re so important:
- 1. Read the recipe from beginning to end before you start
- 2. Prepare your ingredients before you begin
- 3. Use room temperature ingredients
- 4. Measure your ingredients properly
- 5. Let it cool completely
- What are the five tips for successful baking?
- What are the important tips in baking?
- What are the 10 basic steps in baking?
- What are the five things you should do before you ever begin to cook bake any recipe?
- What are the 5 baking facts?
- What are the golden rules in baking?
- What are the 5 common baking mistakes?
- What 5 things affect the baking process?
- What are the 6 essential steps in baking?
- What are the 12 steps of baking?
1. Read the recipe from beginning to end before you start
This is something I’m serious about. Personally, I try to put crucial steps first so that you don’t get 75% of the way through the recipe only to realize you’ve done something incorrectly, left something out, or are suddenly scrambling to get something done that you weren’t expecting.
It is the worst sensation; it detracts from the pleasure of the procedure, makes you feel hurried, and may be really stressful. Therefore, before you begin, take a minute or two to go over the whole recipe from beginning to finish to ensure you have everything you need to succeed!
tl;dr: Read it before you ruin it.
2. Prepare your ingredients before you begin
Consider this a (crucial) follow-up to #1. Some procedures in recipes take longer than you expect, and the last thing you need is to learn you don’t have the baking powder you swear was in the top left cupboard.
Go over the recipe, make sure you have all of the items you need, and then have them ready to go so you don’t have to mess with measuring things out on the fly.
I definitely suggest investing in a decent set of prep bowls because if you measure out all of your ingredients ahead of time, you’ll be shocked at how much less stressful (!) the process becomes.
tl;dr: Prepare, but don’t panic.
3. Use room temperature ingredients
You see this in my recipes all the time I advise you to use room temperature eggs, butter, etc., and I can just see that some of you are standing in the middle of your kitchen holding a stick of butter in one hand and an egg in the other moaning, Whhhyyyyyyyyyyy?!?! Okay, let me explain why.
I guarantee I’m not just stating that for my own sake (quite literally), but because it makes a significant difference in how your components will combine throughout the mixing process.
If you’ve ever attempted to combine cold butter and sugar, you know what I mean; it’s a mess. You don’t receive the amount you desire (or need!) and wind up with large chunks of brittle, gritty sand.
In case it isn’t evident, it isn’t creamed properly for the remainder of your recipe to work. It also causes your mixer to thrash about like a shark out of water as it attempts to break down the cold butter, which isn’t healthy for anybody (or your mixer it has feelings, too).
Resist the temptation to skip it by using one of these two strategies:
- I know people are split about this, but if you bake regularly, I don’t think it’s a problem to leave a stick of butter on the counter (in a covered dishthat, oh, say, nosy cats cant get into). Although you could do the same with eggs, I wouldn’t encourage it since I’m a little concerned; nevertheless, I know plenty of folks who live on farms and have no problems with it when it comes to the eggs they just got from the chicken out back!
- If you don’t want to use that approach, you may fill a small bowl halfway with boiling water, set it aside for a minute, then pour out the water and turn the bowl upside down on top of the butter for 10-15 minutes. The residual heat from the bowl will speed up the process, but keep an eye on it every 5 minutes or so to ensure it doesn’t become too heated. I’ve done the same thing with eggs and had fantastic results! Instead, in a dish, cover eggs with warm (not hot) water for the same period of time.
tl;dr: Ingredients that are too cool for school will fail. Then agitate your KitchenAid (aff link).
4. Measure your ingredients properly
The essential word here is properly. For the purpose of illustration, I’ll concentrate on flour, which is the most difficult to get correctly. Dunking a measuring cup into a bag of flour and hoping for the best will almost always result in much more flour than you want to use.
You don’t want it packed down like brown sugar; you want it to be fluffy (for lack of a better term, but I think you catch my drift). When I witness individuals putting their measuring cup into a jar of flour, I get irritated and my left eye begins to twitch. No. Dont. STAHP.
What you really want to accomplish just takes a minute more and will make all the difference:
- Make the flour fluffy (ideally with a kitchen scoop, but you can also use a spoon)
- Sprinkle or scoop the flour into a measuring cup gently.
- Scrape off the excess on top using a straight-edged utensil.
tl;dr:If you put your measuring cup straight into a jar of flour, Bluebirdcafela.com will find out, and she will be dissatisfied, not angry.
5. Let it cool completely
I’m not going to pretend that I haven’t skipped this stage. There is no high horse or soapbox here. You should, however, learn from my errors.
When it comes to cookies, I can’t blame you for wanting one when the chocolate is still gooey and you know it’ll warm your spirit and make your heart sing. I understand. Yet when it comes to pastries, pies, brownies, and cheesecake, leave those bad boys alone.
Allowing things to cool isn’t simply to save you from burning your lips (I’m looking at you, partner), but also to allow the tastes to properly develop, set to the right consistency, texture, or size, and sometimes even to allow the food to entirely finish cooking!
You’ll see me remind you from time to time to let things cool on the baking sheet itself, or that something like meringue has to cool in the oven! (If you read this recipe, it will make sense.)
tl;dr: Keep your calm and let it cool.
That’s all for now; I hope these suggestions assist you in your future baking ventures!