As I am not a baker or a pastry maker and I was always scared to venture into baking because they always say that it is a precise science and that you have to follow things exactly and I’m just not that kind of a cook. I like to eyeball measurements and usually just go by taste and not by recipe. So I was very hesitant to try it out.
But since I did buy a new stove that has an oven, it was really just a matter of time before I sink my teeth into it. I haven’t tried anything complicated yet, but so far I’ve tried banana bread and cookies and they came out ok, so I’ll definitely try out the more difficult things like cakes and muffins next week.
But as novice, I did pick out some notes with what the things that I’ve tried already. And I think it will be useful to those people who have no experience and no expectations whatsoever to baking but want to try it.
From baking banana bread
- Most recipes are in F and my oven setting is C. I burnt my first ever banana bread thinking that 375F was 375 C on my oven since there were only numbers and there were no indication whether it was F or C.
- Banana bread and carrot cake are different things. I thought of using the same recipe for banana bread to make carrot cake by simple substituting carrot to banana but it didn’t turn out well.
- It’s better to mix by hand. It’s a good exercise and you won’t overmix your batter. I bought a handheld blender that had a whisk attachment that I used to make my banana bread batter but it didn’t work well. I overmixed the batter and though it did rise better, the texture became dry and crumbly.
- I think vanilla doesn’t contribute much to taste. I ran out of vanilla extract when baking a batch of banana bread and decided not to put some in and it still turned out fine.
From baking cookies
- Make sure that your batter (is that what you call it or dough? not sure, haven’t been baking that long) is not runny. It should be stiff enough that you can move it in one piece in the cookie sheet. If it’s too runny, it will fall flat while cooking and will turn too crispy and probably burn. May sure you can make balls gewwy balls out of your dough so that they can make good cookies. When my dough turns out to liquid, I add more flour to make a better consistency, not sure if this is how people do it, this is just my fix it for that problem for the moment.
- If you want chewy cookies, melt the butter and cook the cookies only until they firm up. Once the cookie becomes firm and you can lift the side with your thumb, leave it in for only 2 minutes and you can already take them out. Don’t wait until the bottom becomes dark brown because that would make crispy rather than chewy cookies.
I know this really isn’t much and I’m not an expert but I hope this becomes helpful to anyone who would be able to use it. They are helpful notes to me so I hope it can help somebody else. 🙂