7 Secrets Every Pro Baker Knows

IMAGE Patrick Martires

Baking is a little bit trickier than cooking: roast chickens and potato salads don't need precise measurements or strict rules that directly affect the chemistry between the ingredients used in the dish. Be a better baker by knowing these tips and secrets by heart, and you will be on your way to baking a flawless cake in no time!


1  Preheat your oven.

Now. Do it now, before you whip your butter and sugar, and before you fold in those fluffy egg whites. After ingredients are completely incorporated, your batters and doughs often need to immediately be placed into a hot oven for them to rise properly. The last thing you want is to find out last minute that you forgot to preheat your oven. Consequently, your cake batter will slowly lose all the little air pockets you worked so hard for while you wait for your oven to heat up. 



2  Take note of which ingredients need to be at room temperature.

Butter, eggs, and milk are the usual culprits: remember to leave them on your counter at least 1 hour before you start baking to make sure that they aren't cold once your start whipping and mixing. Same-temperature ingredients blend seamlessly into smooth batters and doughs.


3  Don't toast your nuts last minute.

Toast your nuts long before you incorporate them into any batter. Since mixing in nuts are often among the last steps in making any batter, it's easy to forget this step. Do not mix in hot toasted nuts into cookie doughs-the butter in the dough will start to melt!

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4  Line your cake pans before prepping your ingredients.

When baking cakes, remember to line your cake pans before anything else. That way, your cakes can make it from the mixing bowl, to the pans, and then to the oven in a snap. Don't let your cake batter deflate while you rush to get your cake pans prepped.



5  Don't crack your eggs too early!

Many baking recipes call for separated egg yolks and egg whites. If you leave your egg yolks out for too long, they begin to dry up and will start to form lumps. Prep your egg yolks right before they need to be incorporated into any batter.


6 No peeking!

The first 15 to 20 minutes of baking are crucial for almost any recipe. Avoid constantly opening and closing the oven door and let those goodies get a good rise on them.


7  Use salt.

Always at a pinch of salt in anything sweet baked good you make: this will bring out all the sweet flavors of rich eggs, creamy butter, and fragrant vanilla!

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