Baking requires precision. It is an exact science that combines accurate measurements, fermentation, and heat. You can cook using substitutes and still get similar results. In baking, slight changes in temperature or ingredients can result in a completely different product. This is why baking can be daunting. But if you have all the tools you need, it will make your culinary adventure much smoother.
Check out these three must-haves for every beginner baker:
Whether you have wooden or quartz countertops, the important part is their cleanliness. Follow Architectural Digest’s guide on how to clean various types of countertops. You don’t want to knead your dough on a dirty surface. It will also prevent pests from infesting crevices in your kitchen. Besides sanitation, proper cleaning will lengthen the lifespan of your countertop.
After cleaning, you have the option of using an additional tool or the surface for kneading. You can get yourself a wooden kneading board, which is great for getting even coatings of flour. Another option is to spray the surface with water then cover it with plastic wrap. This has two benefits: the dough won’t stick to the surface, and it will be easier and faster to clean.
If you’re wondering why your pastry doesn’t look as good as the recipe, it probably has to do with the measurements. Changing just one variable can make your bread or cookies look and taste different. To get the exact same result using the recipe, you’re going to need proper measuring tools.
Measuring cups and spoons are a must-have for every kitchen. Even if you don’t bake, you’re going to need them. There are a variety of options available on the market. If you’re looking to save money, you can opt for the plastic variety. For something more durable, you can get stainless steel cups. To measure liquids, glass cups are ideal.
Cups are not created equal, some may equate to more than others. To get accurate readings, get a food scale. It’s how professional bakers measure their ingredients. It’s also universal. If you’ve seen a recipe from a European chef, you’ll notice that they use grams instead of cups. If you have a digital scale, you won’t have to convert, and you’re sure that you followed the recipe to the T.
You can use a lot of butter in your pan, but the dough might still stick. To ensure that your pastry won’t be ruined at the last minute, use parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. The latter is reusable and easy to clean. It’s great for making sweet treats and savory dishes. But your food might spread or won’t brown as well when you compare it to parchment paper. Parchment paper comes with its own disadvantages as well: it’s not the eco-friendliest option, and it’s an additional expense.
Baking may take a lot of time and effort, but it’s a very fulfilling skill. It allows you to customize your treats just the way you want it. It can be a bonding activity for the entire family or result in a thoughtful gift for a friend.