Posted On: April 19, 2018

Simple and easy things to remember while baking

“Carrot cake”

Baking…Baking…a science or is it art or is it just a love to create baked goodies with different texture / colour??? Whichever the case might it be…here are some Simple and easy things to remember while baking. When I started baking some years back, i did not know anything about baking other than the fact that baking leads to delicious cakes πŸ™‚ But after baking a lot of goodies, i have learnt that there are some simple things which will help us to get a fluffier cake or a softer bread or a chewy cookie !!! I am not a self taught baker, I studied and then taught for a while at The Institute of Baking and Cake Art, Bangalore. The time that i spent at the institute was just amazing…so much to learn and so much to teach… we all learn by teaching don’t we??

So here goes..here are some simple and easy things to remember while baking…Happy baking !!!

  • Measure all the ingredients that are required for the recipe and keep it ready before you start on the recipe

Each recipe for a baked goody can be different and there could be various ingredients that go in a recipe..plus the number of steps for each recipe could also vary. Measuring out the ingredients before starting out the recipe ensures that, you can concentrate and enjoy baking rather than running in between to get ingredients and leaving a messy kitchen. It also helps you to see whether you have all the ingredients…if not a quick run to the nearest shop and voila …all ingredients ready…..lets Bake !!!

  • Β Measure all ingredients at room temperature

Always have the ingredients such as butter / eggs etc are at room temperature. This ensures that the ingredients mix really well or in very complicated terms – emulsify well. At room temperature when you are mixing butter with sugar…ohh look how well it mixes….no curdling or melting..just one cohesive mixture…which results in fluffier, lighter cakes!!!

  • About cake tins, pans and loaf tins

Different types of batter or dough call for different types of cake tins or pans. Get to know a little more about the recipe and buy a good quality tin. Always read through the recipe and have pans /pots and equipment required for making the baked goody.

  • Measure your ingredients using the measuring cups or the weighing machines not both at the same time

Its just a mater of weight Vs volume…the weighing scale well gives you the weight of each ingredient and the measuring cups give you volume of each ingredient.I believe that baking is a science and correct measurements are a basic but mandatory requirement… weighing assures precision and accurate measurements of each ingredient. Imagine this..recipe says a cup of flour – do you take a cup of flour flattened on top or should it be bulged ?? both the way you get a cup of flour, but when you measure them on a weighing scale, the weight would be different..a baking is like a little chemistry experiment going on…a difference in in the amount of ingredient would alter the final batter or dough consistency. Another example of this- 1 cup of flour is 125 gms, but 1 cup of liquid like milk would be 250 ml/gms… entirely different weight isnt it??

  • Always…always pre heat your oven before baking

Every recipe calls for baking at a particular temperature.. a bread bakes at 200 deg C, cake at 180 degree C or Pizzas at 240 degree C. This means that when you are going to place your prepared cake batter or proofed dough, the oven should be ready at the required temperature. For example – I bake many cakes at 180 degree C – if I place my prepared batter in cake tin at a much lower temperature then the batter would take a longer time to rise / cook and the end result would be pale in colour rather than a golden colour on top. Alternatively if you place it at a higher temperature then the batter would rise much faster, top would get golden faster and the batter could remain under-cooked.

  • Baking powder and baking soda are not the sameΒ 

Baking soda is also known as Sodium Bi carbonate and it reacts with acidic ingredients such as curd or vinegar, this produces carbon dioxide ( the bubbles that we see in the cake batter)..this helps in rising of the batter etc. There are times when you would want the batter to rise for a longer period of time and that’s when Baking powder comes in handy. Baking powder contains, sodium bi carbonate and two types of acids….when it is added to liquids – both the acids react with sodium bi carbonate at different temperatures ( room temperature and hot inside the oven)….this helps in rising of batter for an extended period of time…lots of bubbles resulting in fluffier cakes or muffins πŸ™‚

“My bread loaf and my trustworthy kitchen aid”

  • Now for some smaller things
    • Moist layered cakes = use some light sugar syrup to moisten the layers of cake before filling buttercream or whipped cream
    • Refrigerate the cookie dough for atleast a couple of hours before baking = better cookie with better flavour
    • Once the batter is poured inside a cake tin, tap it a couple of times to remove excess bubbles = this will give a flatter top rather than one with a dome
    • Completely cool the cake once it is baked before removing from the cake pan = The cake would collapse and break since it is warm
    • Loaf of bread is baked = a bread is ready when you hit the top of the baked loaf with fingers you should get a hollow sound
    • Once the bread is baked in a loaf pan, remove it as soon as possible = this will reduce the chances of a soggy bread
    • Cutting a loaf of bread to slices = reverse the bread so that the dome faces down and cut on the base of the bread loaf – easy to cut πŸ™‚
    • Piping bags and nozzles are a good buy to create beautiful frosting designs on cakes and cupcakes

  • Last but not the least –Β  mistakes can happen..that okay….just continue with baking..it will be alright !!! πŸ˜€
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