What follows is a pretty serious, vaguely sarcastic, and hopefully helpful list of pointers for baking. These should be mostly useful for novice bakers.
1. It’s not a law
I am not a baking goddess. I’m not even a baking demigod, or prophet, or satyr. I’m just a baker, and I have my own kitchen that has it’s particular quirks. Your kitchen might be different, and you know it better than I do (presumably). Therefore, remember that what I say isn’t law; if you think a different way will work better for you, go for it! (Of course, don’t blame me if you do your own thing. Only blame me if you followed all my rules and something still didn’t work). Remember that my ingredients aren’t rules, especially for the few non-baking recipes. Feel free to cut down or amp up the herbs to create something you think is delicious, and get creative!
2. Watch the bowl, not the clock.
Most of the recipes I write up use descriptions of what’s inside a bowl instead of a timestamp. Remember (again) that every kitchen is different, and therefore room temperatures, mixer speeds, and oven heats may be different. If you’re confused about what something is supposed to look like, email me!
3. Weigh things.
If you’re lucky enough to have a scale, remember that volume is often faulty. Substances such as flour, brown and powdered sugar, and cocoa powder may all have differing volumes depending on the brand and the handling. Whenever possible, I will include weight measurements (mostly because I use them.) Another plus side to using a scale? Cutting out lots of measuring cups.
4. Scrape the sides
I will forget to write this in recipes. Remember to use a spatula to make sure all the ingredients are included. Make a habit of it.
Email me if you’re still confused about the difference between baking soda and baking powder. I am not a chemistry whiz by any means, but I do know a lot about leaveners.
6. Quality, quality, quality.
Chocolate is one of the biggest draws on my baking supplies budget (which is my whole budget). This is because I will only get good quality chocolate. The chocolate not only tastes better, but changes in fat content and sugar content can drastically effect a recipe like the salted chocolate rye cookies, which are mostly chocolate. This goes for most other ingredients, especially when used prominently in a recipe. Use the best tasting cream for vanilla ice cream; in cake batter it doesn’t really matter. Use great butter for croissants and buttercream frosting; in cookies regular old unsalted is fine. Using the best ingredients where they matter will make your recipes shine.