One of my favorite activities in the kitchen is baking, a skill I’ve improved over the years. During that time I have learned a lot, but I have also made many mistakes, most of them perfectly avoidable if I had not had bad baking habits.
Originated by ignorance, because one is a beginner, or because we have learned by trial and error, these bad habits can spoil our homemade pastries: from cakes, puff pastries, bread, and cookies. Breaking them is not easy, but being aware of it will help us to avoid them little by little and improve every time we turn on the oven.
Not measuring ingredients
It is very common that when cooking we use “pinches”, “handfuls”, “bunches”, “chorritos” and that is something that works well for us when we prepare dishes on the stove. But if we do it when baking we will spoil the recipe. It is true that most baked desserts share the same ingredients, but the proportions of their ingredients are the cause of their characteristics, such as texture, softness, moisture, etc. Hence, it is best to use measuring cups and spoons, and if possible a kitchen scale.
We know well that it is necessary to prepare the molds for baking because in doing so we ensure a simple demolding. It is commonly asked to grease and flour the mold or spray it with spray baking oil, which has both oil and flour combined. When we see this indication is that we do it both on the walls and at the bottom of the mold.
First of all, you have to know that for the bottom of the mold, the best results are achieved using baking paper or sulfurized vegetable paper, while on the sides it is always possible to pass a knife to free the edges of the bread. The problem is that cakes need friction to climb the walls of the mold and greasing them makes it more difficult for them to sponge. Hence the combination of fat and flour can be good for the sides, but not for the bottom.
Overmanagement of the masses
We usually have this problem with the doughs for cakes and cookies, because in addition to kneading them we stretch them with the roller, place them on the molds, wrap them in plastic, shape them, and so on. When overhandling them, we will make it hard, so it is best to handle it minimally and very delicately.
On the other hand, when stretching the doughs we must consider that if we add flour to prevent it from sticking on the surface we will make it harder, When it comes to sweet pastries, it is not bad then use glass flour to prevent it from sticking to us, and if they are salty doughs, a little oil in our roller, hands, and surface will help.
Using old ingredients
Ingredients that have already expired or spent too much time in our pantry can cause our recipe to fail. For example, baking powder, yeast, or baking soda lose their potency and therefore will not sponge our doughs enough. On the spice side, it happens that its essential oils dissipate over time and thus lose their flavor and aroma. Therefore, it is best to always use fresh ingredients and replace those that are already expired.
Do not let cool what we have baked
While it is true that there are desserts that taste better warm like cookies, it is also true that cakes, pancakes, and bread need to be completely cooled before decorating them, otherwise, the bitumen will be filled with small crumbs, and the bottom part will become wet because the steam has nowhere to come out when covered. It is best to let them cool for 10 minutes in the mold and then pass them to a rack and let them cool completely before decorating or wrapping them.
Don't miss interesting posts on Famousbio