The world is full of wannabe chefs who wish to whip up picture-perfect bakes on a whim. But unless you are a seasoned baker, your last-minute decision to whip up the desired delicacy may end up in much disappointment! You may think you did everything right but the baked dish may not just turn out like the picture you had in mind! And if this happens to you regularly, you may arrive at the unfortunate conclusion that you’re not a good baker, and you may eventually give up baking.
Find out the top 14 reasons why I encourage baking at home.
- 1 Why your baking fails?
- 1.1 Ingredient Substitution
- 1.2 Ingredient Omission
- 1.3 Inaccuracy in Measurements
- 1.4 Misunderstanding of Terminologies
- 1.5 Unavailability of Right Tools
- 1.6 Lack of Patience
- 1.7 Use of Expired Ingredients
- 1.8 Wrong Placement in Oven
- 1.9 Movement of Dish During Baking
- 1.10 Inadequate Oven Temperature
- 1.11 Not Following Recipe Directions
- 1.12 Cold Ingredients
Why your baking fails?
Always remember: good bakers aren’t born, they’re made. So why your baking fails is probably not your fault. Chances are that it doesn’t have anything to do with you, and a few small adjustments and careful attention to common baking mistakes will fix everything.
Now let us learn some of the most common baking mistakes that you should avoid while baking.
Is there any difference between self-rising flour and plain flour? Do you know the difference between baking powder and baking soda? Can they be substituted for one another? Successful bakers know just how scientific the process of baking really is, and that even the smallest misstep or ingredient substitution can ruin an entire dish.
Just because a recipe demands only half a teaspoon of baking powder, it does not mean that its function in the recipe is insignificant. Omitting smallest of ingredients from a baking dish is a big goof up.
Inaccuracy in Measurements
When a recipe calls for measuring ingredients by a cup, you’re often in a dilemma as to how big should be the cup. Should it be a coffee mug or a fancy little teacup? Of course, using a cup is simpler than painstakingly weighing and measuring ingredients in grams and milliliters; but it isn’t quite accurate.
Always use the correct size or the standard measuring cup. It is also important to use liquid measuring cups for liquid ingredients and dry measuring cups for dry ingredients, or better yet – weigh on a reliable set of scale.
Misunderstanding of Terminologies
Good baking recipes use terminologies like Rubbing, Folding, Whipping, Creaming, Levelling, etc., which may all seem just fancy words for casually “mixing” the ingredients. But this isn’t right. Each terminology represents a specialized way of putting ingredients together that has its own significance in a recipe.
Different sizes or types of cake tins, molds or baking pans may be required for different kinds of recipes. Using too small a tin for a quantity of dish or vice-versa will be disastrous!
Lack of Patience
You may be restless and unwilling to wait until you can do all the icing on the cake and serve it your guests. But once a cake is out of the oven, it is critical to allow it to cool completely so that it can firm up and not break or tear while cutting or frosting. It also prevents the icing from melting and spreading out unwantedly.
Use of Expired Ingredients
Sometimes, you may end up using expired baking soda or baking powder that fails the baked item to rise properly. Such chemical leavening agents lose their potency over time and may not remain fit for use beyond the printed expiry date.
Wrong Placement in Oven
A baking pan or tray placed on the bottom rack of the oven will result in the dish getting cooked faster at the bottom due to exposure to more heat from the oven floor. The reverse is true when the baking dish is placed on the top rack.
Whether you should be baking in the center rack or the bottom rack completely depends on the recipe. However, you should know what type of oven will fulfill your needs.
Movement of Dish During Baking
Opening the oven lid or door, or moving out the dish mid-way through baking will be very damaging. It leads to considerable loss of heat from the oven that hampers proper cooking of the dish and spoils a good rise.
As a general rule, you should not open the oven for at least the first 10-15 minutes to check how the dish is doing.
Inadequate Oven Temperature
It is critical to preheat your oven, otherwise, your cake will not bake correctly and may crack. Placing dish in an oven that hasn’t reached the specified temperature can adversely affect the texture, color, and rise of the baked item.
Not Following Recipe Directions
Baking is truly a scientific process and therefore, it is important you follow the recipe directions and add ingredients in the correct order. Skipping some of the smallest of baking steps will fail your baking effort.
The temperature of your ingredients is actually important. Always use room-temperature ingredients, especially eggs and butter, unless the recipe specifies otherwise. If the butter is too cold, it can affect the fluffiness of the item. Avoid using the microwave to soften the butter too quickly, otherwise, it may melt the butter to a watery consistency that won’t cream properly with sugar to create fluffiness.
Now that you have learned why baking fails, I do hope that the explanations will help you avoid the common mistakes. With enough practice and experience, you will be on road to becoming a proficient baker whipping out world’s most picture-perfect delicacies, without fail!
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