10 Tips for Baking

  1. Read the recipe through completely before you start to make sure you have everything you need and to get a general understanding of the whole process.
  2. Set the oven to the correct temperature before you start. This means it will be at the right temperature as soon as your bake goes in.
  3. Use good quality ingredients. Butter tastes richer than margarine and caster sugar gives a finer result than granulated.
  4. Avoid a soggy bottom - don't use a ceramic dish to cook pastry. Metal tins conduct the heat and therefore cook more efficiently.
  5. Always follow the instructions for using yeast. Yeast is a living organism and you need to nurture it (before you kill it!) to give you well-risen bread.
  6. If you need stiffly whisked egg whites, sterilise your bowl and whisks with some boiling water. Dry well with a clean tea towel.
  7. Use a large metal spoon when folding in flour.
  8. Use baking parchment/cake liners/baking sheet liner – much quicker and less faff than greasing and flouring the tin.
  9. Avoid opening the oven door before at least half the recommended cooking time has elapsed as too soon can cause the cake to sink in the middle
  10. When baking bread, pop a small metal dish of water/ice cubes into the bottom of the oven when you turn it on. This will create steam and encourage a soft crust on your loaf