Basic Baking Recipes To Master This Year
Learn these basic recipes to hone your baking skills.
For any baker who is still learning how to bake, there are basic recipes that they need to learn. There's a reason why new bakers and baking students need to learn these simple recipes: you learn specific baking lessons when you make these recipes.
Here are the basic baking recipes you should learn to master plus what the baking lesson is that you should learn with each one:
1 Basic Cake Recipes: Room temperature ingredients and oven preheating
This may look like an intimidating birthday cake but at the heart of this cake is a basic cake recipe that you should learn to master. This cake recipe shows you how important it is for ingredients to be at the same temperature because if you use cold butter instead of softened, room temperature butter, you'll find it's hard to cream the butter and sugar easily. The same goes for using cold eggs and cold milk, water, or liquid. This is not always stated in the recipe but it's a basic unspoken rule.
Another unspoken rule that isn't always stated in a recipe is to preheat your oven. The problem with not preheating your oven is that you might not get a cake that rises well or at all. That's why this is frequently the first step for many cake recipes or is stated later in the step when you place the cake in the oven. Unless it's specifically stated in the recipe to not preheat your oven, you should always preheat your oven.
2 Basic Chocolate Cake Recipes: Cocoa powder and chemical leavening agents
The basic chocolate cake is usually the cake you want to make first, especially if you love the flavor of chocolate. A basic chocolate cake is similar to a basic cake recipe with a big difference: the cake batter is more often than not a very liquid cake batter. There is nothing wrong with the recipe! Many chocolate cake batter recipes are liquid in nature and this is perfectly fine.
3 Basic Chiffon Cake Recipes: Whipping egg whites and folding batter
You might be a master at making cakes but when it comes to whipping eggs whites, you have to be specific and attentive. The bowl and whisk need to be very clean, only egg whites are used (no egg yolks), and if you really want maximum height, use cream of tartar or the applicable substitutes with the egg whites. You also have to have some patience because whipping air into egg whites takes time. It doesn't happen immediately but when it does, it happens soon after the other stages occur. You can go from soft peaks to stiff peaks easily and beyond if you're not careful and attentive.
Not only that, you have to learn to gently fold ingredients into batters. Whipped egg whites is a delicate foam, so you don't want to remove the air that you worked hard to whip into the mixtures. Folding with a large spatula and doing this gently is really the only way to do that well. Learn to do it gently, from the bottom and up and over, is a technique that you will use for many if not all baking recipes you will make that needs ingredients mixed in.
4 Basic Muffin Recipes: the muffin method and overmixing
Muffin recipes aren't as popular as cupcake recipes but there are important lessons to be learned when making muffins. In fact, the muffin is so important to baking that there is what is called the muffin method. This method shows you how to properly mix ingredients together. This requires you to mix wet ingredients in one bowl and dry ingredients in another. To mix it together properly, you pour the wet into the dry ingredients and mix.
The other lesson in muffin recipes is to learn to not overmix the batter. If you make pancakes, you know that overmixing the batter until completely smooth can lead to pancakes that are not as fluffy as one that is mixed just enough to mix the ingredients. Muffin batters are best when not mixed completely just like pancake batters. These result in perfect muffins.
4 Basic Cookie Dough Recipes: Creaming
Drop cookies are the most basic and the easiest of all cookies. There is little technique in making cookies but there is a technique that you do need to do right when making cookie dough. The lesson is creaming butter and sugar together right. Creaming requires butter to be softened well enough that it's easily mixed with the sugar. Creaming is the act of mixing the butter and sugar until the mixture is lightened, soft, and fluffy.
This is the first step of many cookie recipes and one that you will also need for many cake recipes that use butter instead of oil.
5 Basic Bread Recipe: Using yeast, bread flour, and kneading
Bread recipes are actually more advanced baking recipes. That's because when it comes to baking bread, there are many techniques that you need to learn and do right to make gorgeous bread. While you can follow a recipe, the biggest challenge is learning to identify the cues that the bread dough is giving you rather than relying solely on the recipe.
Yeast in particular is tricky since this live organism is what will make your bread rise. Let the yeast not proof enough or let it rise too much, and you will end up with failed bread. Plus, there are at least two kinds of yeast available in the market so you need to know how to use either one.
Not only that, but you also need to learn the art of kneading. Many bread recipes will call for using bread flour, and this is different from all-purpose flour. The difference is the gluten content of the flour and this is what will determine how elastic your bread dough will be once you start kneading.
Kneading is also a technique that requires you to learn the feel of your dough. You need to learn when to add more flour to prevent it from sticking to your counter as well as learning when to stop kneading. There is such a thing as over kneading your dough.
Have you learned all of these baking techniques or are you still learning?
Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!
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