Scratch baking is an incredibly rewarding hobby that provides you with delectable treats to enjoy after, such as homemade breads, cookies, cakes, and more. For those just starting out in the realm of scratch baking, it can also be incredibly overwhelming. Many people don’t realize just how precise and scientific baking can be and assume that it’s more like cooking, where you can eyeball measurements and season to taste. That’s why we’ve compiled 3 essential tips for scratch baking for beginners to set you up for success.
What Is Scratch Baking?
If you’re wondering about scratch baking for beginners, you may also be wondering what scratch baking even is. Scratch baking refers to when you don’t use a mix to make your baked foods, but rather, make them “from scratch”. Now, we don’t mean you need to go and grow your own yeast, but rather, just the raw ingredients that you can pick up at any store, including here at Kitchen Kneads, and then combine in order to make your pastries or breads.
There are both simple and complex recipes you can follow that vary from just throwing ingredients together and calling it good to being very specific and using molds in order to craft a beautiful end result. However, as we mentioned, scratch baking can be quite challenging if you’re not prepared for it. This can lead to issues like dry cakes, bread that you can’t get out of the pan, and more.
Now that we’ve defined what scratch baking is, let’s dive into 3 of the essential tips you need to know about scratch baking for beginners.
#1. Ensure That You Have The Right Ingredients
It’s quite common for people to pull up a recipe and get started on it before realizing that they don’t have everything they need for it. That’s why one of our top tips for scratch baking for beginners is to pre-read the recipe and ensure that you have everything that you need. It’s helpful to keep your pantry stocked with the staples and to go out and get any ingredients you don’t have before getting started on a recipe.
Different recipes may need very specific ingredients, but in general, many call for similar ingredients. You’ll want to keep the following on hand:
#2. Temperature Matters
One of the most important things to remember about scratch baking for beginners is how much temperature matters, for your ingredients, for your oven, and more. Many people assume that you can just turn the oven on as you throw your cake into it and that preheating doesn’t really matter that much. The same is true for the temperature of your ingredients. While some recipes will tell you the temperature that your ingredients should be, others assume that experienced bakers are using the recipe and can skip over the basics.
Thus, it’s important to remember when scratch baking for beginners that your ingredients are the right temperature and that you ensure to preheat your oven. You generally want your ingredients to be room temperature, unless stated otherwise. Too cold, and your baked goods can collapse in the oven. Too warm, and they won’t rise properly. You also want to steer clear of microwaving your butter, as this causes it to be uneven temperatures, and not mix properly.
You want to ensure that you preheat your oven properly, so that the temperature is right when you put your goodies inside. That way, they’ll cook how they’re supposed to.
#3. Mind The Measurements
When people talk about tips for scratch baking for beginners, you’ll see measurements talked about a lot. That’s because they matter a lot! With cooking, you don’t need to worry so much about being exact, and many cooks take pride in their ability to eyeball measurements. However, measurements make all the difference when it comes to scratch baking for beginners. Too little sugar, and not only would your cake not be sweet enough, but it could also not be moist enough. Too much flour, and it could be too dense and dry.
It’s important to be exact to the measurements the recipe calls for. You can do this with a baking scale or with dry and liquid measuring cups (these are two different things!). Generally, scale measurements are more accurate, as it can be easy for measuring cups to get packed with a dry ingredient, causing there to be too much of it.
Being mindful of measurements is one of the best tips we can give for scratch baking for beginners. It’s always a good idea to double check your measurements to ensure they’re correct and so that your recipe turns out the way it’s meant to.
Getting Started With Scratch Baking For Beginners
These are but 3 of the essential tips for scratch baking for beginners! Watch this space, as we’ll update it with more tips for scratch baking for beginners in the future to aid you on this journey!
Kitchen Kneads has many of the essentials you need for scratch baking for beginners, from ingredients to equipment. If you have any questions about any of our products, please don’t hesitate to contact us! We’re here to help.