On my return to work yesterday I was asked how I started baking, and how did I learn? This person had bought many cookbooks, loved cookery programmes but was stuck and not starting to bake because of lack of confidence. So, I thought I’d sit and write down how to help those stuck with developing Baking Confidence and to help them make some changes in 2017 and start to Bake .This is how to develop baking confidence:
- Baking is about continuous learning. Try a simple, Easy recipe, master it, feel confident then move on to the next one. Don’t vary the recipes until you have done this.
- Break down the recipes in stages, re read the recipe, even talk to yourself about this (I do it all the time) and this will help, this will help with time management also. Have a timer on a clock , phone or cooker handy. Know how long the bakes take, and write it down like a plan.
- Preparation is the key. Organising yourself to bake is essential. Having all the ingredients to hand, having a cupboard with the essential ingredients will help you bake with more confidence. When buying essential equipment, buy well, but buy only the equipment needed to start baking, and don’t worry that you don’t have the latest gadget.
- You don’t have to be a professional patisserie chef but getting to grips with some of the terminology helps. Have a read of the terms in the cookery books you have, or Google them but Don’t get overwhelmed. I made mistakes on the Great British Bake Off, and then learnt how to master them later. It’s about picking yourself up afterwards and baking your ‘baking nemesis’. We learn by our mistakes.
- As we all live busy lives you may not be able to spend hours in the kitchen after work, or with children running around, so make things in advance. Pastry can be prepared a day in advance and left in the fridge and so can bread dough. Italian meringues and mousse can also be made in advance if you are making a cake. This will help with breaking down a more time-consuming bake into a more enjoyable time for you.
Believe you can do it, expect mistakes and try to find out what and why they happened. Keep a baking notebook; it will be handy for keeping the recipes that really work for you, and the start of your baking reference library. Enjoy it and then try a more adventurous recipe.