8 Basic Rules Every Baker Should Follow

Here are our top rules every baker should know before starting their baking journey.

Everyone knows baking is a science. There’s a rhyme and reason for each ingredient, and each method has a purpose. Some recipes take multiple trials and tribulations to develop. While some things can be adjusted willy-nilly, others would be disastrous if deviated from the recipe. To reduce the risk of failure in your baked goods, there are some rules every baker should follow. Here are our top 8 basic rules everyone should know when starting their baking journey.

1. Read The Recipe BEFORE Baking

Read it once, twice, or even three times to fully understand the recipe before starting. Doing so is especially important when baking something you haven’t made before. Make sure you fully understand each method and do the research when you don’t.

2. Mise En Place

Mise en place is a French culinary term that means “putting in place.” Before baking, always make sure you have all the ingredients needed. It’s better to do so now than halfway through the recipe only to realize you only have two eggs instead of the necessary three. Prepping in advance helps ensure you have all the correct ingredients available, so you don’t have to look for replacements in a hurry leading to significant errors.

3. Measure Accurately

Baking is a science; precise measurements are crucial to achieving the desired results. Make sure you use measuring cups and spoons or weigh your ingredients when necessary. If using volume measurements, make sure to do so correctly. For example, flour should be spooned into the measuring cup and leveled off, or you risk the chance of adding too much flour. Another thing to remember is that dry ingredients are measured differently than wet ones. Make sure to use a liquid measuring cup for ingredients like water, milk, cooking oil, and even yogurt. The reason to use liquid measuring cups is that liquid has a curve. This curve is referred to as the meniscus. Be sure to add enough liquid to align the bottom of the curve with the measurement needed. Check out our favorite tips to learn more about accurately measuring wet and dry ingredients.

4. Don’t Make Substitutions Lightly

We know it’s easy to get carried away with wanting to make a ton of substitutions. We’re all for making a recipe your own, but not everything has equal substitutions. Knowing how to appropriately substitute ingredients can help you adapt recipes to your wants and needs. For instance, there are many different flour types, all of which have different proteins and will affect the texture and height of the final product. Some sweeteners have more liquids than others; even changing the fat type can affect your baked goods. We recommend doing the research and substituting one ingredient at a time. If you want to change more than one ingredient, we recommend looking for another recipe better suited to your needs.

5. Control Your Temperature

Pay attention to the temperature of your ingredients and your environment. Use room temperature ingredients for even mixing and baking. Make sure to give your oven enough time to preheat and reach the right temperature. That said, ovens can vary in temperature, so it’s essential to calibrate your oven to ensure accurate baking. We recommend using an oven thermostat to get the most out of your baked goods.

5. Use The Right Tools

Use the right tools for the job. Something as simple as pan size can change a lot. Make sure you use the correct tools specified in the recipe.

6. Mix Properly

Different recipes require different mixing methods. Understanding the differences between stirring, beating, whisking, and folding will help you achieve the right texture for your baked goods.

7. Be patient

Many baked goods require specific timing and patience. Always start with the shortest recommended baking time and then check for doneness. But be sure to wait to open the oven door until then. The quick change in temperature will dramatically impact your baked good if you open the door too soon.

8. Take Notes

We love to take notes once it’s all said and done. How does it taste? How long did it need to bake? Would you make any changes? Taking notes helps you see what worked and what didn’t. It helps you learn how to better yourself and your baked goods. For us, this is the most important rule – never stop learning!

As you can see, baking is a science, but it’s not complicated. By following these essential rules, you can feel confident your baked goods will turn out well. Even if they didn’t, you can now know what adjustments must be made. Baking is a journey; once you get a hang of it, it’s one of the most rewarding journeys anyone can take.

Let us know if you think there are any other important baking rules we should follow!

About Ciara Kehoe

Ciara is a writer and food photographer living in Pennsylvania. Her love of writing and food began from a young age and has continued to blossom as she’s worked with a variety of food and recipe companies. Everyday, she’s inspired to learn more in the health and wellness industry to become the best version of herself, and to help others along the way.

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