New to Baking? Try These Time-Saving Tips

Apple Pie Everyone likes to eat baked goods, but not everyone feels that they have the time to learn how to make a perfect cake, cookie or pie. For some, the idea of baking a birthday cake is on...

Apple Pie
Apple Pie

Everyone likes to eat baked goods, but not everyone feels that they have the time to learn how to make a perfect cake, cookie or pie. For some, the idea of baking a birthday cake is on par with replacing your car’s engine—a lot can go wrong. Still, you don’t need to worry; even though you might not be up to preparing a seven-layer wedding cake, we guarantee that there are many easy dishes you can make quickly after you learn some time-saving tips.

Many baking tips and tricks are jealously guarded and passed down from generation to generation in a family—or from chef to chef in a kitchen or cooking school. Here are a few secrets we can  share with you today:

You Don’t Need Fancy Equipment—Just a Great Pan

A few generations ago, cooks didn’t need electric mixers, varying sizes of whisk or an assortment of imported spatulas to prepare top-notch desserts and pastries out of the oven. Though, those things are nice to have, especially if you’ll bake frequently.When you start out you’ll do fine with a high-sided mixing bowl, measuring spoons and cups and a fork. A whisk will make things easier and faster, but the lack of one is not a deal breaker.

However, a good quality baking tray, pan or dish (depending on what you’re baking) is a big deal. You’ll save yourself time by getting a good one early, so you can be sure that the baking times you use in your recipes are accurate, and you won’t have to throw away under-cooked or burned items.

Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Cake

Presentation Might Matter—or It Might Not

Everyone loves to look at exquisitely frosted cakes or delicately decorated cookies. However, decoration of baked goods is a whole artform in itself — one that requires some level of natural talent. If you are baking mostly for yourself and your family, the taste of your baked treats is probably more important than how they look.

If you find yourself decoratively challenged, start with brownies, cookies or cupcakes,which are easier to look nice because you serve them in pieces. Though latticed pies are lovely, the filling will taste just as delicious when they’re fully covered or baked uncovered.

Measuring Is Important

Half of your anxiety about baking may well be the pressure of following a recipe. Take heart, though, in the fact that people have been cooking or baking for much longer than cookbooks have been around. If you fudge the recipe’s instructions a bit, it may not matter: the important issue is the tastiness of the finished product.

However, to get the best results, and the ones intended by the chef who designed the recipe, you should follow the instructions as closely as you can. If possible, measure out all of the ingredients first, and set them on your kitchen workspace in the order you’ll need to use them. Organizing your kitchen this way will help you avoid missing a key ingredient, since they’ll all be sitting in front of you. If you’ve already gotten your hands dirty, this tip will help you avoid having to page through your cookbook (or worse, a recipe on your computer or smartphone) to double check how many cups of flour to put in.

Follow these steps and you’ll be surprised at how much time you save and how much fun you have both baking and eating what you bake.