I've heard many people say that ''I can't bake.'' Honestly it's not that it's a difficult thing to do—it's like once you know the basics of it, the whole subject just becomes easier. Here are a few rules to bake perfectly.
Always read the recipe through to know what you're getting yourself into. Reading the recipe through is a major step—please don't forget to do it. Baking from scratch is really so you can control the amounts of sugar you eat and the sodium level in the dish.
There are many different textures to baking. There is the dense texture such as pound cake. It's dense because there is no rising agent in it. There is the sponge texture. This texture comes from baking powder or baking soda.
Baking powder is a form of acid with baking soda in it. Because it's an acid, it reacts with other ingredients and forms bubbles and it causes whatever you're making to rise and become fluffy. Baking soda is just a powder that is activated by liquids and acids (such as lemons, limes, oranges).
Having room temperature ingredients is super important. If it is not room temperature, it won't mix properly. It also will cause the batter to break, which means the butter will separate and won't bake properly. If the recipe is using oil not butter then it's fine because they do not need to be room temperature.
Time to talk about cookies. If you are looking for soft and chewy texture use brown sugar. If you want a crunchy but chewy texture use a mixture of brown and white sugar. If you want just a soft and crunchy texture use white sugar only. People ask what is the difference between light and dark brown sugar—the only difference is light has less molasses in it. Dark has a lot more molasses in it. So use what you like.
To see if something is done stick a tooth pick in the center and if it comes out clean, it's done. To bake it properly, always use oil or butter the pan. If you're making a cake cut some parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan. One placed, grease that too. Greasing the pan will ensure you get a crispy outside out the cake. To release it run a butter knife between the cake and pan and put a plate on top and flip it over. Gently shake the cake and pan side to side to help release, then slowly lift the pan. Peel the parchment paper off the cake.
When people say cream the butter and sugars together they mean whip it. For about five minutes or until you feel it and you can't feel the sugar so much. By creaming it you're allowing air into you batter. This is perfect for pound cake. Be sure to scrape the side through the entire process. Be sure to slowly add in your eggs or the mixture will split. By slowly I mean one at a time every minute or so. Be sure each egg is mixed well before adding another one. (The sugar and butter can only take a certain amount of liquid at a time.)
Never over mix the flour or it will form too much gluten and become very tough. To be sure this doesn't happen as soon as you see no more flour in the batter, it's done. You can use a spatula to make sure it's mixed well.
Always preheat your oven to the the ensure a nice even bake.
These are simple and the perfect ways to bake. Hope it works for you.