Baking is like a science and can be difficult when you are getting started. While making mistakes is certainly part of the journey, what actually helps you grow and get better is how you learn from those mistakes. The good news is that they don’t necessarily have to be your own mistakes for you to learn from them. There are some bad baking habits that people tend to develop when they start out and you should learn to ditch them immediately in order to get better at it. But, what are these habits? Ido Fishman has mentioned some common ones here to help you improve your baking skills:
- Using a dark baking pan and not adjusting the oven temperature
Baking pans are not very different from t-shirts in the summer; the darker they are, the more heat they absorb. Ido Fishman says that using dark pans is a good idea for things, such as roasted veggies i.e. things you want to brown. For delicate baked items, you need the lighter ones. Likewise, if you are using dark pans, then the oven’s temperature needs to be adjusted so your baked goods don’t turn too brown.
- Using the wrong size of eggs in the recipe
You will come across different sizes of eggs, ranging from jumbo to medium and they are all quite different. As far as baking is concerned, most of the recipes ask for large eggs and using the wrong size can disturb the ratio of the baked goods. According to Ido Fishman, if the recipe doesn’t mention the size of the eggs to be used, then it is best to go with large eggs.
- Using wet and dry measuring cups interchangeably
Dry and wet measuring cups don’t measure things the same way and even though it is a small difference, it can turn out to be a big one in baking. You should use wet measuring cups for things, such as water, oil or anything else liquid like honey. Dry ones, on the other hand, are better suited for everything else, such as sugar and flour.
- Using a wet bowl for melting chocolate
Melted chocolate and water don’t go along and result in seizing i.e. clumps are formed. Therefore, the Ido Fishman blog stresses that the bowl you use should be completely dry before you even get started. Even if it appears to be dry, even a slight drop of water will ruin the entire bowl of melted chocolate.
- Constantly opening the oven door to check
It is undoubtedly tempting to open the oven door while baking, but certain baked goods can be really messed up if you do so. For instance, some sponge cakes tend to collapse. Opening the door will result in a drop in temperature and this causes your cake to sink.
- Not letting eggs and butter come to room temperature
If the recipe is asking for butter or eggs at room temperature, there is a solid reason behind it. When butter is at room temperature, Ido Fishman states that it mixes and creams with other ingredients easily and it is easier to whip room temperature eggs. Sticking butter into the microwave is a definite no-no, as this will heat the butter from the inside out and cause it to melt in the center. Instead, just stick the butter and eggs on the counter for half an hour before baking.
- Not investing in an oven thermometer
Even if you have set your oven to the correct temperature, it may not actually be heated to that. In fact, Ido Fishman says that it could be far off enough that it messes up your baked items. To ensure that your oven is accurate, you should go for an oven thermometer and hang it on the grate. This will tell you the exact temperature of the oven, so you don’t have to be concerned.