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Shake Bake and Mix

Baking for Beginners

Baking is great. Essentially anyone can bake something and have it taste delicious, however there are tons of baking terms and essential techniques that have to be learned. This can sometimes make learning to bake seem more difficult than it actually is. If you’ve felt intimidated by baking in the past, then don’t fret because we will take you through all the necessary things that you need to get started.


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Baking Essentials

Pans

Cake pans are the most fundamental thing that you can have in your collection of baking tools.

 

Muffins and bun pans

Get yourself a good muffin pan that has 12 holes. These pans can be used for making cupcakes and also muffins. Bun pans are more shallow than muffin pans and these can be used for pastries like tarts and mince pies.

 

Sandwich tins

These are essential for making cakes. Have at least two is good for making layered cakes. The perfect depth of on of these should be about 3 inches

 

Loaf tin

A loaf tin will be perfect for making breads and loaf cakes.

 

Electronic utensils and appliances

Electrical devices are not necessary for baking but they can make your kitchen life so much easier. You’ll be able to save a lot of time and energy with electric appliances.

 

Stand mixers

This is the appliance that you will get the most use out of when baking. You’ll be able to mix cakes and meringues and anything else without breaking a sweat. You can have the ingredients mixing and also go and do other things in the kitchen cutting your baking time in half. They also come with tons of attachments. KitchenAid stand mixer attachments can transform a mixer into several other appliances. It’s incredible!

 

Food processor

A food processor is great to have if you’re going to be doing a lot of shredding and chopping.

 

Hand Mixer

A hand mixer is a great thing to get for a beginner, especially if you don’t have the cash to invest in a stand mixer. Cheaper models will usually just have a whisk attachment while more expensive models allow you to switch attachments.

 

Other useful accessories.

 

Whisk

Whether or not you have a mixer it’s a good thing to have a whisk on hand for quick sauces and icings.

 

Spatula

A spatula can do more than just ice your cake. They are great for scraping the mixtures off the side of the bowls and also leveling your mixtures.

 

Measuring cups

Definitely an important accessory to have for accurately measuring liquids and powders.

 

Baking parchment

Baking parchment is perfect if you don’t have non stick pans. You can use them to line your cake tins and make sure that nothing will get stuck.

 

A rolling pin

You’d be surprised how much easier a rolling pin can make rolling out doughs and making cookies. Any type such as wood plastic or silicon will do.


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Baking Golden Rules

General Rules

-If your cakes aren’t ready by the time listed on the recipe, don’t panic. Everyone has different equipment and ingredients so the recipe can’t always be 100 percent accurate. If you still need more time to bake, add a few minutes on, This is why it’s always best to go for the minimum baking time in a recipe since you can always bake for longer, while you won’t be able to rescue something that has been over baked.

-Read your recipe through completely before you begin

-Always keep your ingredients at room temperature before starting unless the recipe states otherwise.

-Cover your cake with aluminum foil if you find that it is browning faster than the middle.

 

Cookie Rules

-Use more cookie trays than necessary so that you can give your cookies enough space to spread.

-Dipping a cookie cutter into flour will help it not get stuck in the mixture

 

Cake and Cupcake Rules

-Keep your oven closed for the minimum baking time. Opening it too soon can cause the mixture to sink.

-Use softened butter when mixing butter and sugar together. Cold butter can cause small flecks to form in the mixture.

-To avoid any curdling add your eggs slowly and beat well. If curdling occurs add a spoonful of the flour that the recipe calls for.

-For an even rise, bake your cakes in the center of the oven.

 

Pie and Tart Rules

-Brush your pastry with egg wash if you are making a pie with a liquid filling.  This will help your pastry not get soggy.

-If your pie has a top and a bottom, make sure you push the edges together. If not, the filling will start to come out.

 

Bread Rules

-If you have sticky dough, then add more flour. If you have dry dough, add more liquid.

-You will need to need your dough until it is smooth and elastic. If you are doing this by hand, it cane take up to 10 minutes, so get ready for an intense work out!

-To check if your bread is ready, tap the bottom. If it sounds hollow, then it’s done.

 


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Photos from here, here and here