Common Baking mistakes and how to correct them
Most of us see baking as a rocket science and swiping to order seems much easier, no denials to the fact that it is more time saving and certain of taste. However, the flavor of those self-made cookies and cakes and the extra sense of self applaud can never be ignored. Baking is not a rocket science, it’s just about accuracy and perfection and not anticipations.
So, there are common baking mistakes that all of us commit because, we feel that it is just “fine” to make compromises with the recipe. Well, you need to follow the recipe word to word and with accurate amounts. That’s all! And whenever you are stuck, we’re here for you.
To help you start bake, we went back to the life skills class and took inspiration from one of the lessons: “learn from your mistakes”. Well, we mold it and say, “learn from other’s mistakes!” Why not, that sounds easy…
So, these are a few generally committed baking mistakes, again, these are just a few of them, and you could get creative, as much as you want!
- It’s a game of patience!
Whenever baking, always remember to not to be too eager or excited for peeking into the oven! Never commit this baking mistake! Opening the oven door releases enough hot air to change the oven temperature, which can make for an under-cooked or unevenly baked product. So it’s better to be patient and wait according to the recipe. Else, be ready to see your deformed cake.
- Always use the right temperature for the ingredients
Different recipes require different temperatures of ingredients, for example: if the butter used in cookie dough isn’t at room temperature, it affects the fluffiness of the dough resulting in flat cookies.
- Always preheat the oven
It is especially very important to preheat the oven when using products like yeast, baking powder, baking soda, as they react to heat. Gradual heat doesn’t work for them; they need instant change of temperatures. Also, food cooks faster in a pre-heated oven. You’ve got to get the right temperature and your dish can start cooking immediately and properly.
- Always use a timer
As mentioned earlier, do as the recipe says, to avoid any baking mistake some recipes are very particular about the time part. If it says 13 minutes 57 seconds, make it 13 minutes and 57 seconds, not a second more than that. Always use an extra timer other than the one on the oven, as you never know… but! Here’s the twist, products like cakes and others have various cooking timings depending on the humidity, air temperature and type of oven. So if it is under-cooked on checking, there is no harm in giving it a quick heat again. Common sense also plays a role!
- Baking soda and baking powder are not the same.
It is one of the most common baking mistakes. They cannot be used in place of each other! Yes, they do have other substitutes, but not each other.
Baking soda is a base, it needs acids like sugar in it to react and make the product to rise. Baking soda is strong. In fact, it is about 3-4x stronger than baking powder. Its use should be just enough to rise the batter, neither too much nor too less.
Baking powder is mixture of baking soda, cream of tartar and sometimes cornstarch so it doesn’t need additional acids to lift up the cake.
- Grease the pans properly
How would it feel to bake a perfect cake and just when you are about to take it out of the tin, its stuck and after all your failed attempts, you get a bowl full of crumbs. Baking mistake before even starting to bake! So better grease the tins and pans properly.
- Sift all the dry ingredients together
Dry ingredients are in the form of small granules, sifting them together makes each and every granule mix with the other and thus helps in the better quality of product. It makes a finer mixture and makes every ingredient do their part evenly all over the product. Hence, your cake would never rise from end side and flat from the other.
- Wait till the product cools down
This is a baking mistake which can totally destroy hours of your hard work! Whenever you take out the baking tray from the oven, place the product on cooling rack and in case of cake, let it cool before you de-mold it. This helps the product to set its shape and retain it. Also, it would be easier to ice the cake when cold as the cream would easily set and not melt.
When we say be precise to the recipe, be sure to measure the products correctly! It is one of the most common baking mistakes of all times. Measure the products using measuring cups and spoons, remember the golden rule: neither heaped or less than required unless mentioned to do so.
- Over or under beating the batter
When you are working with batter, the way you whisk, or mix also matters! Excessive beating will toughen the product and on the contrary, under beating could cause it crumble. Also, while making meringues or any such whipped product, the type of peak is important. Which means, how well does the mixture holds its shape. So, soft, firm, stiff, and no peak, as the recipe says, it is!
So, right temperature, ingredients, time and a heart to bake make up a good bakery product. These baking mistakes could just be used as your to-go guide for baking and would help you to bake a better product for sure. And, as said earlier, these are just a few of the mistakes that we have listed; you could be a bit more creative to create your very own baking mistakes, and its fine! Remember the life skills lesson!