Common Baking Mistakes

If you’ve baked you’ve probably made mistakes – I certainly have. My mistakes are often the result of being in a hurry or getting distracted. I wish I could tell you I have the solution for lack of time, but I don’t. However, there is something that helps with distraction, if I just do it!

Here are some common baking mistakes and tips to help avoid them.

  • We don’t read the recipe before we start: Reading the recipe all the way through before starting reminds us to check to be sure we have all the ingredients, to preheat the oven and prep the pans. You may also discover cooling or chilling times you hadn’t counted on.
  • We don’t prep all the ingredients: It is so tempting to start a recipe, measuring as we go, but prepping all the ingredients first eliminates a lot of mishaps. If you’re interrupted, it’s much easier to remember where you were.
  • Measure ingredients correctly: Although you can wing a lot of cooking, baking is different – it’s as much a science as it is an art. You need nested measuring cups for dry ingredients and a clear measuring cup for liquids. I like to whisk flour, spoon gently into the measuring cup and level off with a straight edge.
  • We make unwise substitutions: You can do this with spaghetti sauce, but it is much more critical in baking to stick to the recipe.
  • We over or under soften butter: I’ve done this so many times. Start a recipe and discover the butter should be softened. You can cut it into pieces and let it stand at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes. Properly softened butter should yield to the touch, but not go all the way down into it.

Key Lime and Macadamia Bars are one of my favorites for spring. Take into consideration that they need to cool before cutting. Happy baking!

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