Baking can seem intimidating at first, with its precise measurements, specific techniques, and the potential for things to go wrong. But with a little bit of practice and some helpful tips, anyone can become a confident and successful baker. Whether you're a total beginner or just looking to improve your skills, here are some tips and tricks to get you started.
Start with simple recipes. When you're just starting out, it's important to choose recipes that are easy to follow and don't require too many special ingredients or tools. Some great recipes for beginners include cookies, quick breads, and muffins. These recipes typically use basic ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry, and they're forgiving enough that you can make some mistakes without ruining the final product.
Measure accurately. One of the most important aspects of baking is measuring your ingredients accurately. Unlike cooking, where you can often get away with eyeballing measurements or adjusting seasonings to taste, baking is all about precision. Invest in a set of measuring cups and spoons, and follow the recipe exactly as written.
Prep your ingredients ahead of time. Before you start mixing your ingredients together, it's important to have everything prepped and ready to go. This means measuring out your dry ingredients, bringing your butter and eggs to room temperature, and lining your baking pans with parchment paper or non-stick spray. This will help you work more efficiently and avoid any last-minute scrambling.
Don't overmix your batter. When you're mixing your ingredients together, be careful not to overmix. Overmixing can cause your baked goods to become tough and chewy. Instead, mix just until everything is incorporated and then stop.
Follow the recipe for baking times and temperatures. Different baked goods require different baking times and temperatures, so it's important to follow the recipe closely. Don't rely on visual cues alone, such as the color of the crust or the texture of the top. Instead, use a timer and a thermometer (if necessary) to ensure that your baked goods are cooked all the way through.
Have fun and experiment! Baking is all about creativity and experimentation. Once you've mastered some basic recipes, don't be afraid to branch out and try new things. Add some chocolate chips to your banana bread, try a different type of flour in your cookies, or experiment with different spices and flavors. The possibilities are endless!
Now that you have some basic tips, it's time to get started on some delicious baked goods. Here are a few beginner-friendly recipes to try!
3 Ingredient Mini Butter Cookies
Yield: 20 – 22 cookies @ 18-20 g each
1½ cups all purpose flour
½ cup icing sugar
⅔ cup melted butter
Optional: Your favorite sprinkles
- Add powdered sugar to a medium-sized bowl.
- Melt the butter on the stovetop. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before combining with the powdered sugar.
- Whisk to combine, then add flour. Fold in the flour with a spatula to form a soft dough. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
- Scoop dough out using a small ice cream scoop and drop onto a Cuisipro baking sheet Shape each into a ball.
- Use a fork to lightly flatten each rolled-out dough. Sprinkle with your favorite sprinkles, if desired.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes in a preheated oven of 350°F/180° C until the cookies are lightly browned.
Leave the cookies to cool completely before storing them in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Parmesan & Chive Scones
Yield: 12 pieces
1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
¼ cup chopped chives
5 tbsp unsalted butter, grated and very cold
¼ cup sour cream, cold
¼ cup buttermilk, cold
- Preheat oven at 375°F/190°C.
- On a floured working surface, mix all the dry ingredients, flour, Parmesan cheese, baking powder, salt, and chopped chives.
- Add grated cold butter, cut in the butter with flour mixture by using a pastry scraper. Make a well in the center.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together sour cream and buttermilk.
- Pour the liquid into the well, using a fork, mix the dry and wet ingredients into a dough.
- Using your hand and bench scraper, give the dough a few folds onto itself and pat it about 1½ to 2 inches thick. The dough should come together just barely, be careful not to overwork.
- Using a round cutter dipped in flour, cut circles. Continue dipping in flour to prevent sticking every time you cut a scone.
- Put them on the baking sheets spacing a bit and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
- Brush with heavy cream or buttermilk. Bake in the preheated 375°F/190°C oven for about 15 minutes, or until puffed and no longer creamy inside.
- Let them cool until warm and enjoy.
Breakfast Crêpes with Berries
Yield: 8 crepes
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
½ cup milk
½ cup water
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- Whisk flour and eggs together in a large mixing bowl; gradually add in milk and water, stirring to combine.
- Add salt and melted butter; beat until smooth.
- Heat a lightly oiled crêpe pan or fry pan over medium-high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the pan, using approximately ¼ cup for each crêpe. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.
- Cook until the top of the crêpe is no longer wet, and the bottom has turned light brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Run a spatula around the edge of the pan to loosen the crêpe; flip and cook until the other side has turned light brown, about 1 minute more. Serve hot
Here are a few Cuisipro products that could be helpful for first-time bakers:
Cuisipro Stainless Steel Measuring Cups and Spoons - Accurately measuring your ingredients is key to successful baking, and this set of measuring cups and spoons is made of durable stainless steel that will last for years.
Cuisipro Balloon Whisk - A good whisk is a must-have tool for any baker, and this balloon whisk is made of sturdy stainless steel and has a comfortable grip for easy use.
Cuisipro Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls - These high-quality mixing bowls are perfect for mixing your ingredients and are dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup. They also come with non-slip bases to keep them in place while you're mixing.
Cuisipro Pastry Blender - This pastry blender is great for cutting butter into flour when making pie crusts or other pastry dough. Its stainless-steel blades are sturdy and sharp, making it easy to create the perfect texture.
Cuisipro Silicone Spatula - A good spatula is essential for scraping every last bit of batter or dough out of a mixing bowl. This one is made of heat-resistant silicone and has a comfortable grip for easy use.
Cuisipro bakeware collection - Includes a range of products that are designed to deliver superior performance and durability. Their PFOA-free non-stick coating ensures easy release of baked goods, while the heavy-gauge steel construction ensures even heat distribution. The collection includes everything from cake pans to loaf pans, muffin tins to pie dishes, and more.
Remember, baking is all about practice and patience. Don't get discouraged if your first attempts aren't perfect – just keep trying and you'll soon be whipping up delicious treats like a pro. Happy baking!