Hello, Friend! Happy New Year! I’m here today to share a bit of a secret with you. And that secret is: if you want to be an amazing baker by September, you want to start working on your baking skills now.
You heard me right. There’s no magic that separates the professionals from the home bakers. There are a few techniques that they’ve mastered by practicing.
Read on for four of the tips that professionals use!
Bake All Year
The best way to become an incredible baker is to practice. Consistently. Just like with any other skill, if you don’t do it regularly, you get rusty! And while everyone will choke down that dry Thanksgiving cake from a rusty baker, nobody really wants that dry Thanksgiving cake from a rusty baker.
The biggest difference between a rookie and a professional isn’t some magical skill or a “baking gene”. It’s practice.
Yup. Practice. If you practice the hard things in January and February, you’ll be more confident and consistent than ever by September.
Pick 1-2 Baking Gurus and Stick With Them!
The advent of the internet has brought an EXPLOSION of baking content. And that’s good and bad.
Because every baking guru has their own philosophies and taste levels, and everything they create is tailored to those taste levels.
Even me. ????
While there are many universal truths in the baking world, there are also many subjective factors that recipe developers/baking mentors use. If you’re following a dozen baking mentors, you’re bound to end up confused when their philosophies differ. And your own baking will suffer.
One perfect example is the age-old question: “how many grams are in a cup of all-purpose flour?” According to King Arthur Baking’s ingredient weight chart, one cup of all-purpose flour weighs 120 grams. Another resource (Omnivores Cookbook) measures one cup of all-purpose flour as high as 150 grams! That is an immense difference that would lead to two very different cakes!
What do I consider to be a cup of flour? I thought you’d never ask! ??
For my taste, I consider one cup of all-purpose flour to be 128 grams. I came to that number after years of experimentation. 128 grams gets me to the texture that I’m looking for. It suits my taste.
This is but one example of the ways that recipe developers differ. If you’re trying to learn how to become a better baker by following a dozen bakers online, I strongly recommend that you choose 1-2 mentors whose taste levels are similar to yours. Make them your home base! Even better, jump into baking textbooks! That’s where I got my real start with baking and I don’t regret it at all!
Check Your Leavening (And Use the Right One!)
I get it. Leavening (baking powder, baking soda, yeast) is usually one of the smallest measurements in a recipe. Because of this, it’s very easy to overlook its importance to the recipe.
Not to be dramatic, but YOUR LEAVENING COULD SINK YOUR RECIPE. Put the soup spoon down. It’s not the right tool for this job.
Okay. That was dramatic. But it was also very true. Those tiny amounts of these ingredients could make a huge difference when it comes to the success or failure of your recipe.
You always, always, always need to check your leavening before you bake. This is especially true if it’s been a while since you used it.
Also, you always, always, always need to use the correct leavening for your recipe. The names might sound similar, but they work in vastly different ways.
Metric Measurement > Imperial Measurement
This is my hill, Friend. This is it.
I started my foray into baking, thinking that Imperial measurement (using measuring cups for measurement) “was the way my Mommy baked, so it will be the way I bake.”
Friend, Imperial measurement isn’t for everyone. And it’s consistent for NO ONE.
There are people who can turn out consistently delicious cakes and cookies and breads with Imperial measurement. They are unicorns. I am no unicorn, so I’m firmly on the Metric measurement train.
Like, I bought an annual pass on that train. And I renew it every year. Got my own seat on that train with my own butt print in it. I will never, ever leave that train.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…if you want to improve your consistency and confidence in ONE BAKING SESSION, use a digital kitchen scale and metric measurement. Because, in baking, the ability to recreate a recipe in a consistently delicious manner is THE FLEX. It’s the only flex.
Bonus: Join Me in January for the start of the Baking 101 Series!
Friends, I am serious about getting you to your baking goals this year. So, I’m hosting a live Baking 101 class on January 21st at 11 a.m. ET! In that class, I’ll show you some of the foundational techniques that professionals use to create the most delicious baked goods!
I’ve decided to make the Baking 101 Masterclasses an actual series, and to say that I’m excited about this would be a complete understatement! On January 21st, we’ll focus on the fundamental techniques that are important for cookies and cakes!
This class costs $97, but the first 50 people will get it for 50% off!
This class will set you up for a whole year of baking success. Want to know when registration opens? Click here to sign up for my email list and join the waitlist!
Happy New Year, Friend! The energy around 2023 feels very different and very good. I can’t wait to bake with you!