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8 Baking Mistakes to Avoid

Posted by Gwen Watson on Apr 10, 2015

8 Baking Mistakes to Avoid

Do you find baking to be frustrating? It can be, especially if you keep making the same mistakes over and over again. It’s enough to prevent anyone from trying again! Well, the good news is that these problems are totally preventable. Here are some of the most common baking mistakes to avoid:

Not Measuring
One thing that can make baking difficult is that all measurements need to be exact. If you add too much flour, for example, it could result in a cake or cookie that’s too hard. Make sure you stick with the measurements outlined in the recipe and this won’t happen. Even something simple, such as not leveling off the flour in the measuring cup before putting it in the bowl, can change the outcome.

Even if you measure everything perfectly, your efforts will be for nothing if you keep it in the oven too long! By carefully following baking times, it will come out perfectly every time! Since each oven is different, however, you should monitor its progress as it bakes. Items can be done sooner or later than the recipe predicted. Make note of how long it actually cooked so that you know for next time.

Opening the Oven Door
It’s very important to resist the urge to open the oven door when checking to see if your baked goods are done! This disturbs the temperature in your oven and could prevent it from cooking properly. Instead, turn on the oven light and check on it without opening the oven door.

Mixing Too Long
In certain recipes, over-mixing can cause textural issues. For example, if you stir that muffin recipe one too many times, the resulting muffin will be too dense. Mixing activates the gluten that’s in the flour. In some recipes, such as homemade bread, this is a good thing. If a light and fluffy baked good is what you’re after, however, keep mixing to a minimum.

Using Deflated Egg Whites
Some recipes, such as angel food cake, depend on the egg whites for its light and airy texture. If the egg whites aren’t beaten to perfection, however, it could ruin your cake! Make sure you separate all the yolk from the whites and use a glass or metal mixing bowl. Chilling the mixing bowl can also help prevent the whites from deflating.

Putting too many things in the oven at once can affect the cooking times because it causes a disruption in the airflow inside the oven. In addition, if you’re making cookies, be sure the cookies aren’t crowded on the cookie sheet, either. This is one of the major causes of baked goods being cooked unevenly.

Substituting Ingredients
Substituting ingredients can be a problem unless you know the science behind it. Each ingredient has a specific effect on the batter and if you make additions and subtractions without truly understanding what each ingredient does, it can cause the whole recipe to fail.

Not Preheating the Oven
When baking, it’s important for the oven to be at the right temperature before you put anything in it. This ensures that it will cook evenly. Since it can take a while for the oven to warm up, it’s best to wait until it’s done preheating before you start baking.

Stop making these eight baking mistakes and your food will be perfect every time!

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