Interested in baking? The first thing you need to remember is that baking is different from cooking; the latter allows you to experiment in a recipe, but the former is more of a science that requires accuracy. Of course, you can experiment in baking as well, but not until you have mastered the basics and know what mistakes you have to avoid. Want to know what they are? Ido Fishman has highlighted some common baking mistakes that everyone should learn to avoid if they don’t want any disasters:
- Not reading the recipe or substituting ingredients
According to Ido Fishman chef, you can solve a ton of issues if you know just what ingredients you require and when you require them. Also, unless you know what you are doing, it is best not to change the recipe. Even making small changes like reducing the amount of sugar, or using a different type of flour, can have a big impact on the finished product. Do exactly as the instructions say, especially when you are doing it for the first time. Leave adjustments for the second round.
- Not considering preheating a requirement
Preheating can actually affect the appearance, texture as well as timing. You will have hard/flat cookies, or unevenly/densely cooked cakes if you don’t prioritize preheating. Rather than considering it a suggestion, you should treat preheating as a requirement.
- Not weighing your ingredients
It is of the utmost importance for you to weigh your ingredients before you start baking. Ido Fishman recommends that you invest in a digital scale and do volume to mass conversions to ensure the outcome is what you expect it to be and not a disaster.
- Dunking the measuring cup into flour
Dunking your measuring cup into the flour and then packing it is a big mistake because you will end up with more volume that what the recipe requires. Instead, Ido Fishman suggests that you spoon the flour and then level it off.
- Not cooling cookie dough
Once you have mixed your cookie dough, you should refrigerate it because this will allow the fat to harden and it will not melt. Baking warm or room temperature will cause it to spread and pool and ruin your cookies completely.
- Not cracking the eggs on the countertop
Cracking eggs on the side of the bowl is a definite no-no. As per Ido Fishman, it is just the quickest way for you to get egg shells in your batter. It is better to crack them on a flat surface, such as the countertop, and then open them up over the bowl. If you are still worried about egg shells, you can crack them in a separate bowl and then add them to the batter.
- Not considering the order of ingredients
If you see butter, or any other kind of fat, and sugar mentioned first in the recipe, it is considered a creaming method. This means that you have to mix the fat and sugar together first, until they are airy and light. Add the eggs in one by one for mixing them well and this will ensure a light texture for your batter.
- Not using an electric mixer
Sugar and butter have to be beaten together for a lot of cakes, until they are fluffy and pale. Ido Fishman says that you will never get the right consistency if you just stick to a wooden spatula/spoon. You can find a ton of mixers out there, both stand and hand mixers, and they can be used for a variety of things. Once you get the extra air, you will notice the difference in your cakes.
- Not sifting dry ingredients
Sifting dry ingredients should be a priority. Ido Fishman says that this should definitely be done in the case of powdered sugar when you are making buttercream, as you want the sugar and butter to mix seamlessly.