Not only is it an impressive skill, baking can be a useful, healthy, and calming activity. Many people find scooping, pouring, mixing, and scraping to be methodical and relaxing, even meditative. Learning to bake opens up a lot of options in your meal plan, too. Casseroles, breads, snacks, desserts, even vegetables and meats can be baked. In most cases, anything that can be fried, can also be baked, and it’s a healthier option! Baking typically requires far less fat and oil, and the baking process does not usually cause the nutrients in foods to break down, meaning you get the full benefit of all those healthy vegetables and baked goods.
Many people find certain foods to be comforting, and most often these are baked goods. Possibly because they’re warm all the way to the center, good baked goods feel like a hug. The smell of delicious food increases your endorphins, and making someone smile with a batch of cookies is good for your mental health, too! Learning to bake is an all around win. Here are some simple tips and tricks to get started!
- Butter should be room temperature for most recipes! You can speed up the process by grating butter sticks into a bowl, where they will melt more quickly.
- Making a light, airy dessert? Sift your flour! It aerating is key for some recipes. Some master bakers recommend sifting at least three times.
- ALWAYS Pre-heat the oven.
- Test the centers of breads and cakes with a skewer or toothpick, if it comes out clean, it’s done.
- Read the full recipe before you start
- Keep the oven door closed! Use your oven light to check on browning progress, and if you must open the door, due it after the first half of the baking time has passed.