25 Baking Techniques & Secrets Every Home Baker Should Know

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When you first start learning to bake, there is a lot to learn, and it might be beneficial to have a few tips and techniques from seasoned specialists to assist you along the way.

We’ve compiled a list of twenty-five pointers to help you get off on the right foot and avoid making the same errors that others have made.

1. Read through the recipe carefully

Preparation is the key to great baking. Be sure to thoroughly study the instructions before beginning to bake, and preferably before going to the grocery! This fulfills many functions.

For starters, it guarantees that you have all of the necessary materials on hand. Nothing is more frustrating than getting halfway through a cake only to learn you’re missing a key component.

It also ensures that you have a clear understanding of all the stages needed before beginning. It is possible that you must work rapidly during one phase while ensuring that prior processes or components are prepared ahead of time.

On that subject,

2. Follow EVERY step and instruction

Baking is not the same as cooking. There is a lot of intricate chemistry involved, and the elements must be blended and prepared precisely for the chemistry to operate properly.

Yet, as a beginning, you should not be put off by this, nor do you need to know much about chemistry. You should get fantastic results if you follow the stages in the recipe and make sure that every instruction is followed in sequence.

That is, don’t be tempted to skip a step or dismiss an apparently little idea. That might be the difference between success and failure!

3. Mise en place

Mise en place is a French phrase that meaning “putting everything in its proper position.” All you need to know about getting ready for a party.

Skilled chefs do it, and bakers, even amateur bakers, should as well! It all comes down to one thing: being ready.

Sift the flour, break the eggs, and preheat the oven to 350°F. Make sure you have all of your tools and understand the stages needed.

Your baking will go much more easily and enjoyably. Believe me!

4. Measure ingredients carefully

The ratio of components in baking may have a significant impact on the final result.

Increasing the amount of sugar, butter, or flour in a cake, for example, may have a significant impact on the taste, texture, and structure. Too much or too little baking powder may cause a cake to rise too rapidly, only to collapse and dry out, or to not rise at all.

Changing the quantity of yeast in a bread dough might cause it to rise much too rapidly or far too slowly to be feasible in the time allowed.

As a result, it is critical to properly measure all of your components. Get some decent measuring jugs for liquids as well as a set of measuring cups for tiny quantities. Yet, if you want to be completely confident about the weights of those crucial substances,

5. Purchase an electronic measuring scale

Measuring jugs and cups are fantastic for measuring liquid amounts, but an electronic measuring scale is unbeatable for weighing dry components.

Measuring cups vary in size, and dry components cannot be accurately measured by volume. The coarseness of the component and the amount of compaction may have a significant impact on its volume in proportion to its weight.

If you look at numerous conversion charts online, youll see a wide variety of values for certain items. Your issue is solved by using a digital scale.

6. Convert volume measurements to weights

You will very certainly come across recipes that need volume measurements of dry ingredients like as flour or sugar. For the reasons described in the preceding advice, it might be beneficial to convert these volume measurements into weights to make your work simpler the next time and to assure uniformity throughout your bakes.

When you’ve measured it by volume, weigh it and write it down next to your recipe. Once you are delighted with the outcome of the bake, you may repeat the process.

7. Weigh your water

This only applies if you use the metric system, but if you do, it might be more practical to weigh your water rather than measure it by volume. This is particularly true when dealing with unusual proportions that may be difficult to read from a measuring jug with water splashing about within.

Since the metric system was founded on water, one milliliter of water weighs precisely one gram. A liter of water weighs one kilogram. As a result, you can now measure 473 ml of water with considerably more precision using your digital scale.

8. Be careful when substituting ingredients

There is usually a solid reason why a recipe asks for a certain sort of wheat, sugar, or butter. If you’re looking for a way to spice up your baking, this is the recipe for success.

Cake, pastry, and bread flours contain varied quantities of protein and hence gluten, thus they are unlikely to be appropriate alternatives in certain recipes.

Similarly, various kinds of sugar have varied tastes and textures, so switching them might have an effect on the final result. Unsalted butter gives you greater control over the quantity of salt in a dish, so if you’re replacing for salted, be sure to cut down on the additional salt.

In general, adhere to the listed components when you first start off, and as you get more skill, you may begin to experiment with alternatives.

Knowing more about the roles of each component can help you forecast what modifications, if any, a substitute will make to the result.

9. Make your own self-rising flour

That being said, if you don’t have self-rising flour or don’t bake enough to warrant keeping several kinds of flour on hand, there is a simple technique to convert conventional plain flour to self-rising flour.

Just whisk together 1 cup (approximately 6 oz or 150 g) plain or all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1 teaspoon fine salt. Make sure the ingredients are fully combined before adding them to your recipe.

This is also an excellent idea if you seldom use self-rising flour since it loses its leavening effectiveness over time. Just be sure the baking powder you use isn’t over its expiration date.

10. Keep ingredients in glass jars

Many dry ingredients will keep longer if they are stored in sealed containers away from direct sunlight. This shields them from excessive wetness as well as the harmful effects of UV light.

Moisture may diminish an ingredient’s shelf life or, in severe situations, cause it to spoil. The sun may oxidize it, diminishing its taste and altering its nutritional composition.

To prevent this, store your ingredients in glass flip-top or Kilner jars to keep out moisture and in a dark pantry or closet to keep out light.

11. Add a slice of bread to brown or demerara sugar

Brown and demerara sugar have a propensity to dry up, causing the granules to cling together and become hard. This might make it difficult to measure and separate the sugar.

If this happens to you, one option is to put a piece of bread in the container with the sugar. The bread’s moisture will be transferred to the sugar, keeping it wet and preventing it from sticking together.

Just be sure to check the bread on a frequent basis to ensure it hasn’t gone moldy.

12. Room Temperature means room temperature

When a recipe instructs you to bring an item to room temperature, this isn’t simply advise. The bulk of components will function significantly better and provide better results when combined in a recipe when at room temperature.

Butter creams much better, and whisked egg whites provide a lot more volume.

Consider this step as part of your mise en place (see tip 3) by removing all components from the fridge ahead of time.

13. Separate eggs with a soda bottle

There seem to be as many methods for separating eggs as bakers. So here’s another approach to add to the list:

To begin, break an egg into a plate or into a dish. Squeeze an empty plastic soda bottle to compress it and place it over the egg yolk.

As the pressure in the container is released, a vacuum is created, and the yolk is sucked up into the bottle, leaving the whites behind.

The yolk may then be released by squeezing the bottle again. This procedure is not only effective, but it also looks great!

14. Use separate bowls for cracking eggs

Even the most experienced bakers get a piece of eggshell in their cracked egg or injure the yolk when breaking it. As a result, it’s a good idea to break your eggs into a separate dish before adding them to your mix.

This is also a fantastic deterrent to any renegade bad eggs that may be lurking in your fridge.

If you want to separate your eggs, it is even preferable to have one dish for the cracked egg and two more for the white and yolk. If you break one of the yolks when separating the eggs, it will only effect the egg in question.

This is particularly critical if you want to whisk the egg whites into peaks, since any fat from the yolk will hinder the whites from fully converting.

15. Get a stand mixer

Using a variable speed stand mixer can save you a lot of time and work. You can combine, whisk, and cream items in a fraction of the time it would take you to do it by hand if you obtain a model with many attachments.

If you’ve ever attempted whisking egg whites to firm peaks with a hand whisk, you’ll understand what I mean! Some of the bigger, more powerful machines even have a dough hook, allowing you to knead bread dough without all the effort.

16. Autolyse bread dough

Allowing the flour and water to autolyze while kneading by hand is another fantastic way to save time and retain taste.

Another French name for letting the wheat, water, and salt in a bread dough to rest and spontaneously create gluten is autolyse. Just combine the ingredients in a rough mixing, cover, and let aside for at least a half hour, preferably more.

Gluten will develop spontaneously, making final kneading more simpler and less labor-intensive.

17. Use wet hands when handling rye flour dough

Making the switch from wheat to rye bread? Baking may be immensely satisfying, and it is a nutritious powerhouse, particularly if you use wholegrain flour. Nonetheless, it is highly sticky and might be tough to work with.

To avoid this, soak your hands and utensils with cold water before handling the dough. This allows it to easily slide off of them and makes smoothing out the dough in its shape a pleasure.

18. Chill your pastry and cookie doughs

When you’ve made your pastry dough, cover it in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge to chill. This makes it much simpler to roll out, allows for better fluting or other artistic patterns, and may also assist keep it from blowing up when blind baking.

By doing the same with cookie batter, your cookies will be more likely to remain together when baking, keeping them from spreading excessively.

19. Use pie weights, or a pie weight substitute

Several pie and tart recipes call for blind baking the crust. This is a pre-baking step that is useful for fillings that are extremely moist or will not be cooked for long.

Put pie weights or a replacement on top of your crust to prevent it from blowing up in the oven during blind baking.

Rice, beans, or popcorn are all suitable substitutes.

20. Switch to silicone baking mats

Tired of your cookies sticking to the bottom of the oven or the parchment paper tearing when you attempt to remove them? Bake them on silicone baking sheets instead for consistently flawless cookies.

They are reusable, so the original expenditure is well worth it, and they are quite simple to clean and store.

21. Bake bread in a Dutch oven

Have you ever wondered how bakers get such a high rise and crispy brown crust on their loaves? Most of it is due to the warmth and steam in their ovens, which are specifically constructed for baking bread and other baked items.

A household oven, on the other hand, is more of an all-arounder, and replicating the conditions inside a bakery oven might be tough. Steam rapidly escapes, causing the crust to dry up before the bread has completely expanded, and it is difficult to provide sufficient constant heat to the loaf during the bake.

A Dutch oven is therefore the finest technique to bake a loaf of bread. Let it to warm up in the oven when you turn it on, then remove it when you’re ready to insert the loaf and shut the lid before re-entering it.

The cast iron evenly distributes heat to the bread, while the steam produced by the loaf during baking produces a humid environment within. To let the crust to crisp up properly and avoid the bottom from burning, take the loaf towards the finish of baking and place it on an oven shelf.

22. Dust your peel with rice flour

Do you like to bake your bread on a baking stone? A peel is a flat board with a handle used to move the bread to the baking stone. It is advised that the peel be dusted with flour to assist the loaf to glide smoothly onto the stone, however plain wheat flour is not always successful.

A wonderful substitute is rice flour, which enables the loaf to slide much more freely and does not burn in the oven, resulting in a much cleaner look on the bottom of the loaf.

23. Make sure the oven is the right temperature

The baking temperature is important. While baking bread, a low starting temperature will prevent the loaf from rising properly. If you overheat your baked items, they will burn.

As a result, make sure the oven is well hot before beginning to bake, and keep the door closed! When you open the door, a lot of heat is lost, so only do it if absolutely essential.

24. Use a freestanding oven thermometer

The easiest approach to check that the temperature is correct is to use a standalone oven thermometer that can be placed inside the oven. Sadly, the thermometers on residential ovens are not always accurate, so having a spare might be useful.

Since the temperature within the oven might fluctuate between the top and bottom, as well as the front and rear, an oven thermometer will enable you to accurately measure the temperature where you will be baking.

25. Let your products cool fully

Although certain baked items, such as pies, are best served warm, others must be completely cooled before being sliced or decorated.

A cake should be completely cold before attempting to frost it, and bread should be completely cool before slicing. Warm bread’s crumb will be damaged, producing a sticky feel on both the bread and the knife.

Once you’ve made rye bread, you should wait 24 hours before cutting it since it requires time to develop. The crumb is still quite moist, and steam will continue to escape for many hours.

Employ a cooling rack to guarantee that your baked items cool properly and efficiently, as well as to avoid moisture buildup beneath.

You’re well on your way to taking your baking to the next level with these tips and methods!


What are 3 common baking mistakes?

Typical Baking Errors (And How to Fix Them)
Baking at the incorrect temperature…
Not measuring the components.
Excessive checking on your products…
Your components are at the incorrect temperature.
Your dough is not rising.
Nothing bakes evenly….
Your dough or batter is too firm.

What are the 10 basic baking rules?

10 Baking Fundamentals
Examine your recipe. Before you begin adding ingredients to your mixer, thoroughly read the recipe.
Do your research.
Keep distractions to a minimum.
Examine your components…
Examine your kitchenware.
Follow the instructions….
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Take precise measurements.
More to come…
•Jan 14, 2014

What is the best baking secret?

10 Cake Making Secrets We Learned From Grandmother
Examine Your Components List…
Always crack your eggs one at a time.
With a boxed mix, substitute milk for water…. Use room temperature eggs…. Prepare buttermilk.
Mix together your dry ingredients… Tap your pans.
Additional details…•July 26, 2022

What are some good tips to remember when baking?

Let’s go a bit more into the baking tips.
Always use the proper butter consistency.
The temperature of the room is critical.
Before you begin, read the recipe.
Always have your ingredients ready.
Learn to Measure… Weigh Your Ingredients…
Get an Oven Thermometer… Keep the Oven Door Closed.
Additional details…•March 20, 2020

What is the number one rule in baking?

1. Go through the recipe (Yes, Really) This may sound apparent, but nine times out of ten, the reason a meal fails is because the chef did not thoroughly study the instructions before beginning.

What is the golden rule in baking?

Always begin with the lowest baking time advised (a slightly moist cake is always better than an overdone one). Do not open your oven until the minimum time has passed. It alters the temperature and movement of the air and has the potential to collapse the whole cake.

What are the 5 C’s of baking?

Jamie Cantor was instructed at the Culinary Institute of America to construct a dessert menu around the five C’s: chocolate, citrus, coffee, cheese, and caramel, prior to her many year stay at The French Laundry and the establishment of her own sweet endeavor, Platine Cookies.

What are the three 3 principles in baking?

Wet ingredients, dry components, leavening agents, flavoring, heat, and varied mixing procedures are the six essential elements of baking.

What are the 5 golden rules of cooking?

Again, proper warming necessitates that all sections of the dish reach at least 70 °C.
Avoid coming into touch with raw and cooked meals.
Hands should be washed many times.
Keep all kitchen surfaces immaculately clean.
Food should be protected against insects, rodents, and other animals.
Use only safe water.

What is the magic 7 baking?

Seven Layer Magic Bars – A buttery graham cracker crust is covered with layers of chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut, chopped almonds, and sweetened condensed milk.

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