It’s never too early to start when it comes to baking. Teenagers in particular are primed to jump right in, already having the basic knowledge and necessary motor skills needed to become a full-fledged New Gen Baker. Whether it’s cupcakes, cookies, bread, or cakes, just a little bit of know-how goes a long way in whipping up your own baked creations.
Here are the skills that you need to practice in order to give you a head start on learning how to bake.
#1 How to Measure Ingredients
This is as basic as it gets! First, you need to learn how to measure dry ingredients, like flour, baking soda, sugar, etc.
It’s good to be precise when it comes to baking because too much or too little of one thing can alter the finished product. That’s why it’s important to get yourself a set of measuring cups and spoons.
Use these according to what the recipe calls for (i.e. 2 cups of flour, ¼ cup of sugar, and so on). Spoon your dry ingredient into the measuring cup to get a nice heaping, then level it off with a knife or your finger.
For measuring liquids like water, milk, or vanilla extract, an essential baking tool here is a see-through measuring container. Hold the container at eye level to get an accurate read.
#2 How to Separate an Egg
Some recipes will call for either egg whites or yolks, so separating an egg is a very important skill when it comes to baking. And, yes, it can be tricky.
Carefully crack your egg over a bowl, making sure that it separates into two roughly equal halves. Slowly and surely shift the yolk from one half of the shell to the other over a bowl until all the whites have been separated, leaving a solid yolk. Transfer the yolk into another container.
Resist throwing away what you don’t need and try to find another use for it. For instance, you can make homemade mayonnaise with egg whites or you can use egg yolks to keep pie crust from getting soggy by beating them and brushing the crust before popping it in the oven.
#3 The Best Way to Melt Chocolate
Now we’re talking! Chocolate is one of the most loved all-around ingredients, especially in baking. Baking chocolate comes in many varieties and is rather bitter, unlike the candy bars you’re so fond of sneaking in before bedtime.
It usually comes in bars and sometimes chips; the kinds you find in chocolate chip cookies. For this article, we’re going to walk you through how to melt the bar variety.
The first step is to place some water in a saucepan and turn on the heat. The stove should be hot enough to make the water simmer, but not too hot that it’ll boil. Break the chocolate into pieces with your hands—it doesn’t have to be pretty. Place the pieces in a bowl that can be heated and place the bowl over the saucepan. Make sure the bowl isn’t submerged in the water. It’s the steam and not the heat that melts the chocolate. Stir gently until melted but don’t over mix.
With these three basic skills, you can establish a great foundation for baking. Anybody can learn how to bake with patience and determination. Go ahead and give it a shot and let us know how it goes in the comments!