Baking Basics

Tips for consistency in the kitchen for beginning bakers…

If you’re anything like me, consistency can be an issue when in the kitchen. One day, you follow the recipe to the letter and it comes out looking like mush and then next time it looks as though Gordon Ramsey himself placed it on the table.

I have always had this problem and probably will as I am nowhere near a world class baker. Not to cut myself short as I spent a whole post explaining why you should never allow yourself to not believe you’re a baker/chef (hint hint look down and then click 😉

15 Signs to Convince You that You’re More of a Baker/Chef than You Think…

 

Every time I step into my kitchen, I am experimenting, testing myself and my abilities to a degree. I am constantly learning which each recipe what works and what doesn’t, whether it be with the cooking, the technique, or myself in general.

Not to say that I don’t have those moments

download (3)of complete frustration where throwing a pan seems like a viable solution to my current level of anger. Trust me, those moments constantly lurk lol. Just last week, I let it boil over as the heat of Southern California, combined with that of the oven and stove on made me a wee bit frazzled to the point that I decided a hot pan would feel great against my forearm. Oh yeah, I was beyond ecstatic….

Despite this, I still am not deterred from the kitchen.  And neither should anyone else be. The world is full of set-backs and negativity; don’t let one bad try stop you from trying again.  You don’t have to be the best to enjoy doing what you do. I’m certainly not. Key thing is to simply enjoy it.

That being said, there are a number of things you can do to help your baking be the best it can be. I have created another list (yes another one) to pass on some of the pointers I have picked up along the way as well as those I have found that help me out.

  1. Before beginning, always read the recipe TO THE END!!!: Yeah, we all know this is what we should do, but how many times have you not done this, especially not the whole thing. Sometime there are key point at the end or notes on alternative steps to follow that we can miss not reading the whole thing. Reading it ahead of time will help you to be prepared for your next step before you get to it and anticipate your moves.
  2. Post your recipe up high: I tend to tape my recipe up on the cupboard so it doesnt get lost in the hustle and bustle and I end up messing it up with all the ingredients as I continually pick it up to review it. By taping it up off the counter, I save space (a continual theme here) and allow the recipe to stay nice and clean.
  3. Prepare your ingredients ahead of time: Yes, before you even start the first step of the recipe (okay maybe you can preheat the oven), get out all the ingredients you will need and put them within easy reach. Measuring them out helps clear off much needed counter space and save time by having them ready to simply add to the mix. If you’re neurotic like myself, you can place them in order of their combination on the counter so its simply pick and dump 🙂
  4. Pick up as you go: Measuring beforehand helps with this tip as the moment you finish with an item, put it back. Get it out of your way so you don’t have a ton of items confusing you or sitting in the way. The less clutter, the less stress.
  5. Measure correctly: Measuring your ingredients as precise as possible will help ensure your recipe will be as accurate as possible. Some people like to use a measuring scale versus the cups as it is more accurate, but its personal preference. Plus it helps with metric recipes (converting to imperial measurements is never precise as it always turns out to be 1.267 cups….ugh)
  6. Know your ingredients: when a recipe calls for unsalted versus salted butter, follow the directions! There is definitely a need to understand your ingredients as they can change the taste of your recipe immensely.
  7. Follow your directions hints/tips: when your recipe says use softened, melted, vs cold butter, make sure your follow those suggestions. The texture of your ingredients can determine the outcome just as much as the type of ingredient. Believe it or not, room temperature does make a difference with your ingredients.
  8. Know your oven!!!: If your oven is like mine, it hasn’t been calibrated in quite some time. If the temperature is off, it can burn or undercook your recipe, with no fault to yourself. Using an oven thermometer or calibrating your oven can have a major impact on your success rate. Temperature is everything.
  9. Keep the oven door closed!!: Piggy-backing off of the last point, every time you open the oven door, you lower the temperature in the oven, causing it to have to reheat back to the correct temperature. This can affect your cook time and possibly make or break the recipe. Minimize the amount of times you open the door to check or if possible, use the viewing window to check your concoction.
  10. Soapy sink: Have a sink ready with soapy water so as soon as you are finished with a dish, you can dump it in the sink and get it out of the way. This way you save space and get the cleaning process started early 🙂
  11. Take a breath: Always remember to try and enjoy cooking instead of just doing it. When you start to get frustrated, take a step back and take a breath. When you get too frustrated, you start to doubt yourself or make mistakes. Maintain control of your kitchen and finish what you started.

Now I’m just an average jane so my advice isn’t worth more than a cup of coffee, but from personal experience, I wouldn’t have improve to where I am without these tips. Key thing is the list above has help me become more consistent with my desserts and food concoctions and my hope will be the same for you. I’m sure there are hundreds of other hints that I would love to hear so be sure to leave them in the comments for all of us to benefit from.

Thanks for reading and get cooking!

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59 thoughts on “Tips for consistency in the kitchen for beginning bakers…

  1. You talk of getting all the ingredients ready before you start. Good move. But what frustrates me is there is always so many different ingredients and things you don’t usual have. Nice writing, like a conversation 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 🙂 I honestly try to write in that style as it’s easier to connect to and yes, I have been pulling jngreiendts and pre-measuring for awhile. I found that I get super frustrated with clutter as my kitchen isn’t the biggest. This helps deter that issue lol

      Like

  2. This is awesome! I’ve been trying new recipes and trying to cook more. It is intimidating at times. I love your great tips especially the soapy sink. I HATE washing everything afterwards and this will certainly help! Thank you! And I love your writing style!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Awesome tips! I find I t makes baking so much more fun when there isn’t a sink full of dishes when I get finished. Cleaning as you go is a huge help.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. These are wonderful tips. They are also helpful for people who have been baking awhile because we tend to forget the basics. Thanks for the reminder!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I tried my hand at baking a year ago. I’ve never been much of a baker, but my daughter insisted I make her cake after I had whipped together a make-shift Minecraft cake for her brother. Talk about stressful. His birthday is in February and hers is in the hottest part of summer. These tips sure would have helped me back then. I just decided to leave to my husband (who is actually a really good baker) and the professionals. I’ll use these tips from now on!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I actually really enjoy cooking. The hard part is figuring out WHAT to make that everyone would like! I do a lot of these suggestions, but I really like the idea of having soapy water in the sink to start the washing process as you throw things in.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m a terrible baker! I am a great cook but baking is just not my thing. I can’t even make rice krispie treats and you don’t even bake those lmfao Oh here’s a cooking hack for you: You know those clippy hangers that are meant for pants? Use it for your cookbook, and hang it on an (upper) door handle! No more taping 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. All the yes! When I made doughnuts last time, I made so many mistakes that could’ve been avoided with a small pause. Aha it doesn’t help that my attention span is off the charts sometimes. 🙂 For me, I prep all the recipes that I bake in an Excel workbook with the ingredients, measurements, and notes. I always have my laptop on hand when I bake. Good thing I have a keyboard cover.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Man oh man oh man! I seem to do the opposite of every one of these tips when I bake. Haha! I learned from my grandmother and she wings the hell out of recipes. They come out great most of the time and sad to say I’ve kinda picked up the same trait. Great tips though!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great post! I love to cook and bake but it’s so hit and miss for me. I love the idea of pre measuring everything first. I makes everything so much easier. Thanks for the amazing tips 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. LOL I love that you say always read the recipe to the end.. that’s something I always fail to do and that’s where I tend to mess up recipes 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you for the tips. I’ve been burned before by not reading the recipe all the way through and had to get another ingredient at the store, lol. and with baking, that could possibly ruin a recipe. Patience, that’s the key.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Initially even I had been facing the same issue each time I stepped into the kitchen,especially with Italian and Chinese dishes.But I have been following the exact steps you have mentioned and I no longer face this issue 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. These really are great tips for a beginner and good reminders for the rest of us! It’s easy to try and skimp on steps to save time but doing it right always yields the best results!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. These are all amazing tips! TBH I haven’t cooked or baked in so long because our house doesn’t actually have a full kitchen but I totally found myself nodding at every point you made thinking back to when I used to bake all the time. I think posting the recipe up high and picking up as I go are both really important to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Awesome tips!!! I rarely cook because it’s such a hassle 😂 But if I follow your advice, I’m sure I’ll have a better experience!! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. So many awesome tips here! I am so bad at reading the recipe til the very end and I end up messing something up. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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