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10 Basic Rules of Baking

  1. Read your recipe.  Before you even start adding things to your mixer, read your recipe all the way through.  There have been countless times when I will get half way through a recipe and realize that I should have saved the egg whites or the sugar was separated.  The extra few minutes to read the whole recipe will save you some trouble!
  2. Do the research.  This is especially important for recipes in the internet.  Read a few recipes and their reviews before settling.  The reviews often save me from trying a not so great recipe or they offer good tips that the recipe forgot to mention.  Also, if you don’t know a certain method or phrase, look it up.  I guarantee you there is a YouTube video for it.
  3. Avoid distractions.  When you are distracted it is easy to over mix the batter or burn your cookies.  Better to be safe than sorry.
  4. Check your ingredients.  It’s a real bummer when you start a recipe and then realize you don’t have enough sugar.  It’s also best if you have the right ingredients.  Avoid substitutions, especially if this is your first time trying the recipe.
  5. Check your utensils.  Take all your utensils out before starting that way you know you have them.  Standard measuring cups and spoons are a must.
  6. Follow the instructions.  Unless you have tried this recipe before or are an experienced baker, follow the recipe step by step.  There’s a reason why you sift the confectioner’s sugar or line the baking pan.  It is much easier to experiment/improve a recipe after you have already tried it.
  7. Preheat the oven.  I cannot emphasize how important this is. Don’t put something in the oven if it isn’t preheated. Your food will most likely not bake properly. For instance, the bottoms may burn, but the inside may not be cooked at all. This is especially important for recipes with high temperatures and short baking times.
  8. Make accurate measurements Ever heard of measure twice, cut once?  Same goes for baking–it is truly a science.  If you want a moist decadent cake, don’t guess how much a teaspoon of baking powder is, get the measuring spoons.
  9. Confidence is key.  I’ve heard so many people say “Oh, I can’t bake.” Well, not with that attitude. March into your kitchen and show the mixer who is boss. The more recipes you try, the better you will get.
  10. HAVE FUN.  “This is my invariable advice to people:  Learn how to cook–try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!” – Julia Child. She said it best.

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