Baking is a fantastic hobby, says Zack Singh of San Francisco. You can relieve stress and be creative while delighting your friends and family with tasty treats! But baking can also be frustrating for beginners. If cooking is an art, then baking is a science, which means if you get one measurement wrong or add an ingredient in the wrong order, you can ruin all your hard work and end up with a flat cake, rock-hard cookies, or chewy pastry.
Luckily, Zach has some tips and tricks for beginners to help them avoid catastrophe and build confidence while they’re starting out. Just like everything else, it takes time and practice to become a true master–but learning from the pros can help you get there faster!
Read the Recipe Says Zack Singh of San Francisco
Before you decide to bake something, read the whole recipe, advises Zack Singh of San Francisco. This may seem tedious, especially for people who are used to throwing things together in the kitchen but trust us. This will save you hours of heartache and frustration.
There are many pastry and bread recipes that take all day or even multiple days to prepare properly. You need to make sure that you’re leaving plenty of time for your dough to rise or rest or chill. If you force it or cut corners, you’re going to end up with an inferior bake. And there’s nothing more disappointing than promising to bring cake to the potluck and having to stop for store-bought cookies instead!
Follow the Recipe…At First
Before you can play free-form jazz, you have to master the basics of the saxophone. It’s the same with baking. You have to master the basics before you can start tweaking recipes and making your own, better bread.
Sometimes recipes may call for seemingly unnecessary steps like sifting the flour twice or bringing butter to room temperature. Remember when we said that baking is a science? Zack Singh of San Francisco says that it’s vital that you follow the instructions to a tee the first few times you try a recipe.
But after you have a basic understanding of a recipe, and the science behind it, feel free to start playing around. Try buttermilk instead of whole milk and see what happens. Or replace the white flour with coconut flour! Just don’t change too many things at once, warns Zack Singh of San Francisco. Otherwise, you won’t be able to tell which of your improvisations worked.