Your Ultimate – Beginner – Baking Guide

By: Hanya

Baking slowly but surely became one of my many quick and effective retreats, because for people like myself who struggle with constant battles between two opposite and very extreme emotions, it’s a must that it is all let out – well that or await a literal massacre. I’ve always been into drawing or writing my emotions but I’ve started playing around more till my fatass developed a sweet tooth, but like, don’t we all?

Trial and error?

Baking lets you play around and learn how to experiment. It’s basically trial and error, trial and error, trial and error. And while I know none of us have enough time, effort, or creativity to actually develop recipes, we can tweak and tinker till we reach our perfection. What’s especially fun when it comes to baking is that there isn’t necessarily a strict way to go about it; everyone’s preferences are different and even change from season to season.

So how will you actually “develop” a recipe? I usually surf the web for a good 10 minutes looking through the overhyped recipes, take notes, and understand what the basic structure is. I like to then proceed by looking through the differences and understanding why people chose to add this but not that or just skip it all.

If you didn’t already know, baking is one of the many complex sciences – nothing like Physics though don’t worry!

The components in each ingredient can either make or break your sacred goodie so understanding key ingredients like salt, sugars, and flowers is a game changer if you ask me. I highly recommend reading a bit more about all of the aforementioned.

Complexities out of the way, we can now hop on to the fun part; the actual baking.

This is pretty obvious but I still need to state it: Be. Clean.

Wash your hands thrice, with soap, tidy up your counters, arrange your ingredients so it doesn’t get messy, run through the jars with wipes. When baking, surfaces are all constantly in contact with one another and your hands are more often than not used in folding and mixing your dough. Your jars may even look perfectly clean, but that is never the case- just imagine how many times people run their hands across them.

Don’t stress it.

You’re baking to help let out anything you’ve been suppressing so you shouldn’t have your brows furrowed in concentration or confusion. You should put on some music and bake with “love” for a tasty cookie or brownie! I do find that this matters overall because you’ve put so much into it, it just has to taste amazing.

Never leave anything unattended.

You need to treat your dough like a new born baby in your possession. Only when a sleeping baby is carefully put in his crib is when you leave, same works for your dough. When it rests, you need to make sure it’s covered so it doesn’t form a crust or ruin the dough.

However, if we jump into the part where the oven is involved, I don’t recommend you playing around somewhere else at all. It’s like dancing on a bed of knives with death. If whatever your baking is relatively small and doesn’t cook in much time, say cookies for example, I advice a peak every 5 minutes as it already doesn’t need more than 15 minutes to reach a well cooked and chewy cookie and is small enough to burn in just a fraction of a second. But if you’re working with a cake that takes around half and hour to cook, then you can relax a bit more and maybe even rely on your sense of smell if you trust yourself that much.

It is true that baking is a science, but a very fun and playful one, and on top of that, experiments don’t necessarily involve instant death like hydrochloric acid in a lab, but once you trust yourself and are the good level of cautious, you don’t need anything more. It’s fun putting your heart into something that you and maybe others will enjoy too. Just remember that recipes never remain the same so you shouldn’t try to force that upon yourself, and never forget the special message our beloved Auguste Gusteau left each of us as children, “anyone can cook!”

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