BAKING BASICS

Print Friendly and PDF
Baking is an art in itself. Behind every cake, bread, muffin and a cookie is the secret ingredient of  passion and love for it. When I started baking I was nothing but skeptical of how I'd accomplish the task, but now after knowing the nuances of baking, it makes my world a lot more colourful and interesting than it ever was. Here are a few tips that would come handy while baking.

You will need a list of basic bake ware that is necessary for your kitchen. Every penny is worth the investment:
A manual hand mixer, a spatula and an electric mixer
A set of bake ware- Cookie sheets, a loaf pan, a round and square cake pan and a muffin pan.

1. An electric or a handheld/ stand mixer- An electric mixer makes whisking a lot more easier. While stand mixers can be a little heavy on the wallet, hand mixers are affordable. While manual hand mixers are even more cheaper,but the task a tad time consuming. Either ways all mixers are a must have in baking.

2. Round/square layer cake pans or a sheet cake pan- This will usually be aluminum or a dark non-stick bakeware coating. You'll need two of these if you like to make cakes and brownies even from cake mixes.

3. Muffin Pan-  You get different varieties in this one, they vary from 16 cups to 24 cups for mini muffins and 6 cups to 10 cups for large muffins.

4. Loaf pan- Choose from glass, metal or non-stick metal. You'll need this making quick breads and meat loaves.

5. Spatula- They make mixing an incredibly easy task. With their broad, flat and flexible rubber blades they ensure even mixing of batters and prevent it from sticking to the bowl.

6. Cookie sheets/ Cookie pans- These pans not only are helpful for making cookies, but also help when you want to broil a few vegetables and meat. They also come in handy for baking bread rolls.  
They come in different sizes and are usually made of aluminium or non-stick metal. 


  • Small: 13" x 9"
  • Medium: 15" x 10"
  • Large: 17" x 11"

  • 7. Parchment papers and aluminium foils- a non-fat alternative that saves cleanup time. Roll out cookie dough between 2 sheets for no sticking and easy transfer to your cookie sheet. You can even reuse it for the next batch. Oven safe to 400°F, parchment is great for conventional ovens, microwaves and the freezer. Professional grade.
    8.
    Oven- Conventional baking ovens may vary from place to place and their functioning. So make sure you check for the right temperature and read the manual to know your oven settings.

    The Primary Ingredients

    The primary ingredients of baking must be handy to avoid rushing into the grocery store at the last minute.
    The dry and wet ingredients for a cake and bread


    1.For Bread
    All purpose flour
    Yeast
    Baking soda
    Baking powder
    salt

    2.For Cakes and Muffins

    Dry Ingredients

    All Purpose flour/ maida
    Baking powder
    Baking soda

    Wet ingredients
    Eggs (optional, refer Egg Substitutes)
    Vanilla extract
    Butter (Ref Butter substitute)

    3.Whipping Cream

    Heavy whipping cream is commonly used as a topping or for drinks and desserts. If you do not want to buy the heavy whipping cream with stiff peaks, you're more than welcome to make your own at home. :)
    It's deceptively easy. All that you need for it are just 3 ingredients and a whisker ( electric or hand), with the hand mixer/whisker it would take quite sometime, while the electric whisker does it in minutes. Here it goes.

    •  Whipping cream- 1/2 cup
    •  Vanilla extract- 1 tsp
    •  Sugar- 1/2 cup
    1. First whip the cream in a bowl until it forms soft peaks. 
    2. Add vanilla extract and sugar and whip again until it forms stiff peaks. 
    3. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours and serve with your favourite drink or as a topping on desserts.


    4.Sifting the flour- Sifting the flour ensures even mixing and avoids lumps and air bubbles in the baked goods that you prepare.
    5.Measuring spoons-
     Only if you're perfectly  sure of the measurements  and follow your heart when it comes to measurements,  can you ignore the measuring spoons.
    Use the exact measurements and level off spoons with a straight edge spatula or knife. For dry ingredients, dip the measuring spoon into the container until overflowing, then level off. For liquid ingredients, pour liquid until it reaches the top edge of the spoon. 

    6.Egg Substitutes- Yogurt or Commercial Egg Replacer Powder like EnerG,Bob’s Red Mill, Organ and other brands which does not affect the flavour of the baked goods.
    I have also read that you can use Apple sauce, butter milk and flax seeds. But I am not sure how it turns out.

    7.Butter substitute- Vegetable oil/ canola oil/ sunflower oil, but the same cannot hold good for cake frosting.

    I have made note of all that is limited to my knowledge when it comes to baking. I hope this would be of some help to you. Please feel free to let me know if I have missed anything.