Top 5 “Must Do’s” before baking
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When it comes to baking, a good preparation is key. Before you even start to bake there are a few things you should do.
1. Read the recipe
Before doing anything else, make sure you read the recipe in full and grab all the equipment and ingredients needed. It may sound obvious, but if you’re anything like me and like to dive head first into a recipe only to find out you’re missing some tools mentioned in the recipe later on and get stuck, you might want to start reading the recipe first.
2. Have all your ingredients at room temperature
Unless stated otherwise, butter, eggs and any other ingredient you may need should all be at room temperature before you start. At room temperature your eggs, butter and any other dairy ingredients blend together nicely which will form an emulsion which traps air. During baking that trapped air will start to stretch it’s legs and expand and make your baked goods all fluffy and light. Ingredients at room temperature blend together easily and will ensure a smooth batter. Using cold ingredients makes it hard to blend into a smooth batter and won’t fill the batter with the air needed to make your baked goods nice and fluffy.
3. Measure out your ingredients
Baking is a science. That’s why it’s important that you measure out your ingredients properly. For the best result I advice you to always use a kitchen scale. Using cups will never be as exact as using a scale. However, if you really want to use cups to measure, make sure you fluff up your flour first using a spoon by stirring into the flour. Take your cup and scoop flour into it, make sure you overfill it. Using the back of a knife, scrape off the excess flour from the cup. Don’t cram your cup with flour, the flour should be scooped into the cup while it’s fluffy or you’ll end up with too much flour. The only way to get the exact amount is to use a scale though, so if you don’t have a kitchen scale yet I suggest you go out and buy one 🙂
4. Preheat the oven – Know your oven
You don’t want to be done mixing up that delicious cake batter only to find out you haven’t preheated your oven. So make sure you preheat it before you set out to mixing your ingredients. Make sure you get to know your oven, each oven is different, to know for sure which temperature your oven is on, use an oven thermometer. I had an oven once that wasn’t calibrated properly and it wasn’t until I bought an oven thermometer (and burned some baked goods 🙁 ) I knew for sure that something was wrong with the oven and it wasn’t me messing up.
5. Choose and prepare the right pan
Make sure you always use the pan in the size the recipe calls for. Baked goods increase in volume while baked so if you use a pan that’s too small your cake will overflow. Once you’ve chosen the right pan, prepare it before starting the recipe. You can spray the inside of the pan (bottom and sides) using an baking spray. Or you can grease the pan with butter, dust with flour and tap the pan while rotating to get rid of the excess flour. Make sure you cover the bottom and all sides of the inside of the pan.
If you follow these 5 easy tips before baking you’ll be all set to bake that nice and fluffy cake.