Learn a little about my start to baking and the 3 best baking tips for beginners!
Anyone Can Bake!
I want to preface this by saying I firmly believe that anyone can bake. No matter what people may tell you, you are absolutely capable and it's really not as scary as it may seem if you're just starting out.
I've always loved baking. When I was younger, rainbow cupcakes were kinda my thing. However, I didn't start baking recipes from scratch until I graduated college and moved into my first apartment. In college, it was the running joke between my roommates that I didn't know how to cook or bake, and that I was essentially useless in the kitchen.Jokes, although harmless, and even playful, made me too insecure to give anything a shot in the kitchen for a while.
Don't Doubt Yourself
I'm here to reinforce to you all that with confidence and the right tools, you can accomplish anything. Don't doubt yourself (despite what others think or say)! Living on my own after college gave me a lot of spare time to pick up new hobbies. I consider myself a well-rounded person, so I knew I wanted to become a better baker and teach myself some helpful tricks to creating delicious and beautiful desserts for fun.
Beautiful AND Delicious? Is That Too Much To Ask For?
Nothing beats the feeling of creating something fully on your own that is appreciated and enjoyed by others. I blame it on my "Hostess with the Mostess" mentality. When I'm baking something new, I strive for it to be two things - beautiful and delicious. Part of the fun in baking ensues once you determine how to portray what you've just worked so hard on - it allows for another level of creativity! Presentation is important, y'all, and I want everything I bake to look like it tastes good, not just taste good! (Although, c'mon, if I had to choose, of course I'd rather it taste good over look good).
I'll be honest, I've had my fair share of comments from people who think I only value the portrayal of my baked goods. In fact, someone once said to me, "Molly, your desserts may look prettier but *Insert Name's* taste way better".
Verbatim, those words were spoken to me and it wasn't a joke! Lol, ouch! Be right back, just gonna go cry in the bathroom for a bit. (Lol, I'm kidding)! I will say, what got me the most was that they said "way better," because, well, I would have gotten the picture without the emphasis! Haha!
Luckily, the person who said this (who shall remain nameless) is someone very close to me and he truly did not mean it as an insult - he genuinely thought I'd be ecstatic to hear that my desserts were prettier! For the record, I don't want them to just be prettier. I want it all - prettier and just as delicious, if not more! See above, where I mentioned that if I had to choose, of course I'd choose taste over looks!
We Are All Capable
The moral of the story is, you'll hear some comments, you'll lose some confidence (when you inevitably ruin a pie crust here and there), and you'll get frustrated. But please, don't let that stop you if baking is something that brings you joy. The reward is so worth it! All of us self-taught bakers are in this together and we are capable!
For those of you who are just getting started into baking, here's what I believe are the 3 most helpful tips to make sure everything goes smoothly.
The 3 Most Helpful Tips for Beginner Bakers!
I'll save you from the laundry list of tips that you could find anywhere, like, "You NEED an oven thermometer!"
Sure, that may be helpful, but I want to focus on the Top 3 most useful tips for the new and average baker that I have found to make the most impact.
1. If The Recipe Calls for Room Temperature Butter, USE ROOM TEMPERATURE BUTTER!
In other words, follow what the recipe says. Seems a little self explanatory, right? Well, clearly not for me, who has had to learn the hard way multiple times. You can get away with changing a few things in recipes or using a cold egg instead of a room temp egg, but butter must not be messed with!
Cold butter is hard so it won't mix properly with other ingredients. It will ruin the smooth cookie dough you're trying to achieve and result in crumbly dough that falls apart. I am pretty much the opposite of a professional chef, so this is an honest, average baker's advice to another average baker.
2. Measure Out All of the Ingredients Before You Begin
Why is this such a dreaded task? Oh, because extra dishes. And planning. And impatience. Trust me, I know all too well. But if you're a new baker, I promise you that measuring out the ingredients before you being the baking process will make a world of difference. Baking is more enjoyable and goes off without a hitch when you have everything prepared ahead of time. Complex recipes can require some quick steps and having everything ready to go will avoid any fluster or errors.
I try to have everything measured and ready to go before I begin a new recipe and every time I do, I'm so thankful. Once you've made something multiple times, it's a lot easier to skip this step.
3. Don't Be Afraid to Fail
Cliché, but I mean it. Do not be afraid to make mistakes and try again. I've made the same recipes countless times just to get them right. A lot of times, it's trial and error. The more you practice, the more it'll become second nature and you'll learn your own tips and tricks for all of your favorite things to make.
I'm still failing at pie crust at least 1 out of every 4 times I make it, and that's okay! I am constantly learning and educating myself on what I may have done wrong so I can keep working at it.
There are so many great baking tips for beginners, but these three are what have helped me the most as an average baker. Happy baking to you all! Check out my favorite recipes on my site.