The Top 10 Things Every Beginning Baker Should Know (Part 1)

Becoming an experienced baker myself over the course of two years I have learned a lot about baking and what it can teach any curious soul willing to try it out. Many of these lessons I've already written on in past posts but have decided to combine all those lessons in this one post to make it an easy one stop read through for any reassurances or tips fellow bakers may be interested in hearing or knowing about. From one baker to another- this is for you:

The Rules of Bake Club:

1. Do it for yourself because it is something you enjoy and want to share (not for other's approval): This could probably be considered a common lesson in many of my recipes but especially those that I've tried out for the first time on family and most recently. I've always enjoyed the process of baking- it's very therapeutic to simply follow along and come out with something delicious after trying a new recipe but somethings it can be hard not to look for that confirmation/approval from others (extra specially if you are new and still unsure of your baking abilities). However if you wait for others to approve of your baking you could be waiting a while and get stuck in a needy approval place. Hint: It's not pretty or healthy. Do it because it's something you genuinely enjoy and are open to learning how to do it. This way it will always be fun, easy going and a success.

2. The only thing under pressure should be the baking (not you): If you are forcing yourself to do it when you're not up for it or for a challenge to see how many recipes you can fit in (like I did in the beginning), quickly the fun will be out of it and you'll feel like the activity becomes a chore. That's never where baking should be. To me, it's something I do when I feel inspired or want to inspire myself to try something new. I'll find a new recipe and want to test it out. By doing so and not forcing myself to bake every weekend I've been able to find the fun in it again and continue to enjoy my favourite pastime. *I'll note: this goes nicely with the point above, of why you should do this- volunteer to bring dessert if you genuinely want to share with others (approval free). 

3. Don't expect perfection on the first or every try: Baking is one of those things that takes practice- and lots of it- especially if you are trying new recipes and techniques, or even if you are trying a recipe for the second time. There is no guarantee that it will turn out exactly the same as the first time. So it's best to accept that, and as I recently learned not make a huge fuss over it. You could have over-mixed it, under mixed it, used a different pan, the oven could be different that day. There's often so many variables to consider when trying a recipe out that impact your outcome- and each you can learn from if you are open to less than perfection the next time.

4. Don't judge a recipe by it's description: I've learned this trying recipes from many different sources (okay maybe it was only a few), but still an observation I've come into is that not all recipes are written equally, and for equal skill levels. So be sure to closely read each potential recipe to see how the steps are written, whether it's one suited for your skill level and how many ingredients are involved. Sometimes but not always more ingredients equal more steps- be sure that you have time to do each and when starting out work your way to more complex recipes. Two of my first recipes were making cookies and sugar cookies, eventually making my way up to cakes and brownies.

5. Be patient with yourself and your baking: This really is a good lesson for all of us impatient bakers who might like me always anxiously await for our baking to finish. You have to be patient while you learn how to chose recipes and follow them on your own. Baking is learning something new, which like anything you might not be perfect at right away. So don't get discouraged if it doesn't always turn out like the picture- that too takes practice. Keep at it, and you'll learn with each recipe it gets a little easier and a little more nerve wrecking for the final result. Don't stress if it's messed up or if you are uncertain. Keep calm and bake on!

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