These are tips for general baking, along with full guidelines for some of the key areas of baking that I am particularly fond of: little baking bites, to dive into as and when……!
Of course, being an amateur baker I am certainly no expert, and I will bow to the professionals any day of the week. But after much practice at several of these areas over the years in my bid to improve, these tips work well for me.
Give yourself time!
In terms of trying to give the best bakes, allow yourself time.
I can certainly recall many occasions when I have tried to make something in a short space of time (“Oh, I’ll get this done before I have to go out….”, only to find that I have not allowed time for tasting or for finishing touches, resulting in bakes that are really not what I would be too proud of!
Check you have all the ingredients before you start
An obvious tip, but on many occasions over the years I have been half-way through making something only to find a key ingredient is missing! Frustrating to say the least.
I would also go so far as to get the ingredients out and, if possible, weighed so that it is a matter of getting straight into the joy of the mixing and baking. Honestly, I lost the “enjoyment” of delving into the back of cupboards part-way through making something
Don’t get put off if something does not work
I most certainly have several “off days”, not least when I am rushing. Eavesdroppers to my kitchen may occasionally hear me moaning along the lines of “Just look at this monstrosity. HOW many times have I made that perfectly before?!”
While errors (or full-on disasters) are frustrating at the time, it really is important to get back in the kitchen as soon as you can to re-make whatever did not work previously: a successful second or even third attempt can then boost confidence immeasurably.
On a personal level, I find there is little more annoying than having an unsuccessful bake hanging over you, mocking you mercilessly until you nail it, so a more successful re-make does wonders to banish negative thoughts.
Key areas within the world of baking
My full tips and recipes currently include:
- Breads – with commercial yeast and sourdough breads
- Cakes – different types of cake, filling and icings, decorating cakes
- Macarons – a basic recipe, plus flavour ideas
- Pastry – choux pastry, croissant pastry, rough-puff pastry and shortcrust pastry
The links below go to my full recipes and guidelines on those areas. Those guidelines summarise what works well for me, giving reliable results that I am very happy with: and I tend to measure “happy with” by how easily I can devour them and how confident I am to serve the bake to others!