Anybody can choose baking as their favorite hobby, but not everyone is baking’s favorite person. In short, you might be interested in baking, yet it seems like it’s not for you, like it’s not your calling. Probably, that’s because you keep on experiencing various baking fails every time you try and do your best. When you have made more errors than successes in your baking pursuits, sometimes, you get discouraged to bake again.
Naturally, when you’re excited to create the baked goodies you’re visualizing, but they end up the exact opposite of what’s in mind, you get disappointed. Sometimes, you get disheartened, too, that you never touch the oven again for quite a long time. Everyone who bakes understands you, especially rookie bakers like you.
Well, listen here, aspiring baker! Baking is fun, but it can be difficult at the same time, and that’s completely normal. People who learn how to do it are not exempted from the challenges that come with baking. In fact, there are times when even skilled bakers commit mistakes that alter their usually perfect bakes. It just goes to show that you shouldn’t be completely knocked down by baking fails caused by you. When you want to learn something, you should be ready for some hurdles, too, that will test, teach and toughen your skills.
For you to do the right thing, you should know what to keep away from. For you to bake successfully, you should know what leads to failures. In that way, you can prevent them. Be enlightened! Here are 10 reasons why baking fails happen. Find out the essential tips on how you can avoid them too!
1 – Wrong measurements
Your chocolate chip cookies are chewier than they should be. The croissant you created doesn’t look the way it should look. Your donuts are uninvitingly sweet. The strawberry shortcake you baked lacks fluffiness. These and more are often due to wrong measurements.
When you pour too much cake flour into your project, your dough will end up dry and easily crumbled. Missing to add ample quantity of butter can also result in that same cake quality. On the other hand, if you go over the needed butter, your cake will become greasy.
Blending too much sugar to your cookies can make them become dark brown, while blending too little gives you pale ones.
Wrong measurements can be avoided by paying attention to every time you put in an ingredient. You won’t forget whether or not you already added this item or not. Use effective measuring tools in baking, so you can get more accurate sizes.
2 – Poor-quality and expired baking ingredients
Baking ingredients are commonly expensive, so some bakers resort to super cheap options. However, the problem is that some of those options lack the necessary quality and nutrients that baked grubs should have.
Poor-quality baking ingredients are initiators of poor-quality baked products. Expired substances won’t only bring about dud bakes but can also cause food poisoning.
Don’t settle for less. Purchase high-quality and reputable baking ingredients. Always check the expiration date. Make sure you don’t buy expired materials or those nearing the end of their consumable period. Immediately throw away rotten baking ingredients to avoid accidentally using them.
3 – Incorrect ingredient alternatives
When you don’t have yeast, what will you do? When you suddenly run out of cake flour, how will it go? You didn’t notice that you forgot to buy bread flour, what happens to your ongoing bake? Using incorrect ingredient alternatives is among the distinct baking fails because you can only encounter this when you have absent or short ingredients.
Resourcefulness is a vital attribute of good bakers. It’s a pivotal key to surviving the twists and turns of happenings in the kitchen.
Know what substitutes should you turn to when you don’t own the exact necessary ingredients or when you have insufficient of them. If you’re not sure, don’t rashly use just anything you have at home. Don’t merely depend on the outer appearance of ingredients; just because cake flour and bread flour look identical does not mean they serve the same purposes. Do your research before you choose your baking alternatives. You really should determine which can replace which.
4 – Interrupting the oven
Baking fails can be also engendered by your own “simple” actions, and one of those deeds is interrupting the oven. You keep opening it because you’re worried or too excited maybe. Doing so can cause your goodies to shrink and collapse owing to the external air entering the oven.
Resist the temptation of wanting to check and peek. If you set the timer right, there’s no need to get bothered so much about your pastries getting burnt or undercooked. Move away from the oven. Do something else while you wait for the baking to finish. Keep an eye on your oven, but don’t disturb it.
5 – Improper baking tools
Utilizing improper pastry brushes, spatulas, mesh sieves and pans can cause greater alteration to your bakes more than you know! If you use the wrong baking pan size and material, you will get the wrong batter thickness and texture. To get crusty bases for your pastries, an aluminum pan is the key, so if you want that yet use glass pans, expect baking fails.
Make sure to determine and to use the right tools and equipment for baking. Even your tool proxies should be functional and appropriate.
6 – Too low or too high temperature
Temperature is a major factor in baking. Know the required temperature for your goodies to have the precise quality you’re aiming for. Remember, temperature has an impact on the taste aside from the texture.
Too low will bring forth uncooked, and too high will leave your bakes burnt. Set the oven temperature to the degree best for the best results. Check it from time to time. Especially when the temperature is high, stand by and be mindful.
7 – Not following the recipe
Some ace bakers don’t need cookbooks and step-by-step how-to’s anymore. That’s because they can bake anything, anytime, anywhere. But as for beginners, baking fails happen by not following the recipe.
Remember, as a learner, you should be obedient and diligent. When you’re being instructed, don’t violate. In baking recipes, methods are taught, so you can get the best outcomes from detailed practices.
Before you can flex your no-hands cycling, you have to learn cycling with hands first, right? The same thing applies in baking. Before you can do what adept bakers do, you should do first what amateur bakers do.
8 – Not sharing your baked products
It’s not during the baking itself but after it. Not letting others taste your baked products may also be a reason for your baking fails. Because you don’t hear others’ opinions regarding your creations, you don’t totally know your strengths and your weaknesses.
Be generous. Share your baked goodies with your family and friends. Ask for feedback. It’s nice to hear positive thoughts, but be welcoming to constructive criticism too, which will help you do better next time if needed.
9 – Lack of patience
Baking tests your patience in so many ways, so if you lack patience, you’re close to failing it. Buying the correct ingredients, gathering the requisite instruments, measuring, kneading, shaping, cutting, mixing, whisking, freezing and many more — all these demands the patience of a baker.
Wait for the oven to finish. Be patient. Smile even if you don’t get your expected baking result. Be patient! There’s always a next time, and you can bake more and better!
10 – Need for baking skill improvements
When baking fails happen ceaselessly, you need to improve your baking skills. Know which part you find hard to do or which step you repeatedly get confused about. Maybe you know how to bake but not how to bake well.
Watch baking video tutorials. Read baking tips for beginners. Ask your loved ones who bake. Sign up to an online baking workshop. Learn from experts. Baking fails don’t seek to make you give up. Rather, they’re a sign that you can grow better and be a good baker.
Baking fails are often a result of a few wrong choices, improper actions and lack of significant baker qualities. Even the seemingly small aspects you set aside, because you think your bake is fine without them, can make a huge difference to your baking outputs. Indeed, they can make or break your baking agenda!
Whenever you make one or more of these mistakes while baking, don’t feel bad for too long about what you’ve done. You still made time and effort to produce those baked noshes, so it’s not bad. What’s more, you’re not a master in this craft or not yet, so it’s understandable when baking fails occur. You’re a beginner or somewhere in between a novice and a veteran, so there’s definitely a lot more to learn if you want to be a really good baker!
Another valuable lesson to keep in mind is that every good baker starts from scratch. Expert bakers were once people who knew absolutely nothing about baking. Some of them probably did more baking fails when they were newbies than you do now as a newbie. Nonetheless, with their desire, dedication, perseverance and practice, they reached great heights starting from the bottom. And you can be like them too!
In baking, your passion and willingness to grow is chief, and that involves being ready for challenges. Regardless of whether you want to be a good baker for recreation or for career, you should be teachable and tenacious. Baking fails are typically frustrating, but if you keep going despite them, you will soon taste the joy of baking successfully!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
NICOLE ANN PORE is a writer, an events host and a voice over artist. Quality and well-researched writing is her worthwhile avenue to enlighten and delight others about things that matter. She is a daytime writer for Mauri Baking Supplies Australia, a chief supplier of bakery ingredient solutions all over New Zealand and Australia. Nicole graduated Cum Laude from De La Salle University Manila, Philippines with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts.