Bake better with these tips.

When done right, baking can be extremely satisfying. Here are some essential tips to ensure you get it right. Happy baking!

Some people seem are experts at baking. This is not a god-given skill. It comes with years of practice. You can do it too. Just remember – Skill and confidence come with practice.

Here are some essential tips to help you get there.

Read your recipe carefully before starting: Be sure you have all the ingredients called for and that you understand the recipe clearly.

Use top-quality ingredients and assemble the ingredients before starting: You can’t expect a first-rate product using second-rate ingredients. If your recipe says the ingredient must be room temperature, be sure it is room temperature before proceeding.

Measure the quantities correctly: This is a baking must!  One common cause of cooking failures is inaccurate measurement of ingredients. You can use the best ingredients in the world, but if you do not measure correctly, the recipe will not come out properly.

Use a glass measuring cup. The glass permits you to see the level of the liquid being measured. The cup for liquids should have additional space above the one-cup line, so that a full cup can be accurately measured without spilling.

Mix Carefully: Each type of baking has different methods of performing the mixing. Follow the recipe carefully.

Use the type of pan specified in the recipe: Recipes are carefully calculated to yield and changing the pan size also alters the baking temperature and time. Larger, more shallow pans need increased heat; smaller, deeper pans need decreased heat. The size of a baking pan or dish is measured across the top of the container from the inside edge to inside edge. The depth also is measured on the inside of the pan or dish from the bottom to the top of the rim.

Place pans as near the center of the oven as possible: Do not place pans directly over another and do not crowd the oven (this makes for uneven baking).

Use correct oven temperatures: Never increase a cooking temperature because you are in a hurry. Make sure the racks are placed properly before heating the oven. If the recipe calls for a preheated oven, preheat it! Preheat at least 15 minutes before baking. An oven thermometer can be left in the oven to verify that the oven is heating to the desired temperatures. Do not open the oven door prematurely.

Finally, never carry on another activity while you are mixing a recipe. Distractions, no matter how small, lead to mistakes. Let the phone ring!

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Avinash Subramaniam

Avinash has been an advertising writer, fiction writer, poetry writer, freelance writer and serial wronger. Other roles he has been in include those of an editor, brand builder, and teacher. His interests include advertising, scrabble, body building, chess, cinema, making money, reading, internet culture, cricket, photography. To hear him air his thoughts, follow him on Twitter @armchairexpert.


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