When it comes to baking, there’s nothing more useful than sound advice from actual bakers. While there are general rules of thumb that can easily be picked up from a book, experience is key.
We asked our baker friends to help you on your baking journey.
#1 Be Observant
If you’ve been baking for a while now, you will agree that every baker reaches a point wherein they can experiment. And, this requires a keen sense of observation.
According to Simona Garcia Nera, a former cook at a home healthcare facility in the U.S.: “As a baker, you must be a keen observer. Every mistake is crucial, and sometimes irreversible. It is important to understand the baking process by using your empirical senses, which helps you discover and master your own technique.”
Truer words couldn’t have been spoken as baking is a very exacting skill that has a lot do with science and math. This is the reason that there are specific tools with which to measure out ingredients. You also learn by trial and error, and it’s important to remember your mistakes and why you made them.
#2 Resist the Temptation to Add More Sugar
Just because you have a sweet tooth, it doesn’t mean that you should go all out on sugar when it comes to baking. Always remember that baking health is body wealth. And there is such a thing as “too sweet,” especially when you’re baking for your loved ones or are planning to start a baking business.
Venus Chinx Soriano is a woman of many talents and one of them happens to be baking. She says that “Avoid putting too much sugar or adding more than what your recipe calls for in your baked goods. I kind of noticed that the sweeter your products are, the less people will actually like to order more or re-order from you because very sweet products tend to be ‘nakakaumay’ for most customers.”
#3 Study Your Recipe Well
It’s crucial to understand the recipe. Take the time to read it more than once. If there’s anything you don’t understand, ask somebody more experienced. If not, watch videos or books by trusted names in baking. In short, do your research. This keen attention to detail should extend to the ingredients. Always, prepare your ingredients beforehand.
Mercedes Camacho Peterson, owner of Petit Patisserie and a trained pastry chef emphasizes that “Always do your mise-en-place [prep your ingredients] and read your recipe thrice, no matter how many times you’ve made it before!”
#4 Limit Opening the Oven to Check on What You’re Baking
Temperature plays a major role in how your baked goods are going to turn out. Opening and closing the oven door causes shifts in temperature, which can lead to a cake that has either collapsed or is stuck to the pan.
Just ask Chef Mira Angeles, baker and operations head of some of your favorite foodie haunts, including Spell Kitchen. Her advice? “Be patient. Don’t check the oven often. Be precise, don’t do short cuts.”
If you notice, her advice also includes being meticulous. Short cuts can result in your baked goods being well, not good.
Take their well-meaning advice. You won’t be disappointed. Got any baking tips of your own? Share them by leaving a comment below.