Turns out baking is a harder hobby that it looks – just look at that batch of rock solid oatmeal cookies you pulled from the oven.
But don’t fret! For any #WomenThatDo that want to try their hand at baking, ENTITY’s got you covered. Here are five things you need to do to make treats like a pro.
There are a few basic tools that you absolutely have to buy before you start baking. Real Food Kosher offers seven essentials: liquid measuring cups, dry ingredient measuring cups, measuring spoons, scale, instant-read thermometer oven thermometer and timer. They also point out the importance of canning jars with measuring marks for storing unused ingredients for next time.
If you want to bake, you’ll need this tool … but not yet. If you’re new to baking, don’t immediately jump on the electronic mixer boat. These electric stand mixers are wonderful – and beautiful – but not quite worth the $100+ investment when you’re just starting out. Instead, purchase a hand mixer, which are priced around $20. Buying one of these will save you a great deal of time and some cash to put toward other baking necessities.
Does your oven cook evenly? Is the bottom row hotter than the top? Does the right side cook faster than the left? Get to know your oven – there are certain things you may have to do to keep everything cooking evenly. Maybe you need to turn the pan around halfway through the bake. Or you may need to only bake one tray at a time if the bottom gets too hot. You can use a thermometer (from #1!) to double check if your oven is working as it should.
READ MORE: 6 Life Hacks for the Inexperienced Cook
Keep in mind that high altitudes mean you have to cook something longer because of decreased air pressure. If you live in a city with a higher altitude – particularly 3,000 feet above sea level – look to Eat Right for a helpful cooking guide. They suggest adding more time in the oven rather than raising the heat since higher temperatures will only dry out your masterpiece.
For the most part, it’s best to stick with the recipe when just starting out. It’s important to learn from the experts before making up your own creative rules. Find a recipe book or cooking website you love … maybe Taylor Swift’s favorite, The Barefoot Contessa? However, there are some things that you can get away with deviating from the recipe. (Like adding more chocolate chips than strictly called for.)
Equip yourself with these top baking know-hows and most-used tools for the best chance at sparring in the kitchen. Soon, you’ll be Taylor Swift in no time. Well, maybe you won’t be touring the world and earning Grammys – but you’ll make some mean Chai sugar cookies with cinnamon eggnog icing just in time for the holiday season.
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