i was seduced by the beautiful pictures of baking

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by clairelv, Jun 2, 2015.

  1. clairelv

    clairelv

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    i saw some pictures of you put here . so great and look so yummy ! i think i must to learn how to bake . i am a terrible baker .really really !  totally a greenhand .so .what should i bake for my first time ? i hope it is easy . i will show you when i finished it . does anyone will help me ? tell me some tips about this .

    thank you very much .
     
  2. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Three things you'll need:
    1. A scale, much more accurate than using cups to measure things. 

    2. by Ruhlman.  He makes basic recipes soooooo simple.  Start with this book, please, so your mind doesn't get cluttered with every recipe in those other huge baking books.
    3. And a single book on baking like
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 3, 2015
  3. chicagoterry

    chicagoterry

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    A scale is great for accuracy and Ratio is a wonderful book but I think it can be intimidating if you have never baked before.

    That said, I bake a lot using old-style volume measurements, using recipes, for the most part.

    The King Arthur book suggestion is a good one. Rose Levy Barenbaum's Baking Bible is good, too.

    You want a reputable book/author and you want to follow the recipes in that reputable book exactly as written. Unlike cooking, baking is science and, until you have a very, very good feel for proportions and the order of operations that different kinds of recipes follow, baking is not a place for improvisation.

    Bread is an entirely different animal than other baking. I do that by feel but to learn how to make bread, I would suggest the Bread Baker's Apprentice or Crust and Crumb by Peter Reinhart. 
     
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  4. fablesable

    fablesable

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    If you are baking for the first time, try something incredibly easy like cookies (chocolate chip or shortbread). This will be an easy and fun way to get your foot in the door. Baking is definitely a science so you will have to master the little things like creaming the sugar and fat together and adding eggs properly before you jump into some of the other more complicated items in the baking world. As @ChicagoTerry  has said, bread or yeast products are a whole different animal and require you to be somewhat comfortable in a baking kitchen. So it is something you can work towards. 

    I would suggest looking online first at some recipes you might like trying so that you can try a couple and see if your are ready to jump into baking full stop before investing in some of the great books suggested above. 

    I hope you give it a whirl and have fun while doing so! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
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  5. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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         For me, Rulmans Ratios' book was a tremendous help. After taking the requisite pastry program in my culinary school and years of poring over numerous baking books, I found Ratios to be an excellent analysis of how it all works and from my perspective I'd also recommend you start with this one. Not so much for recipes but for understanding the role the different ingredients play and how they work together. 

         As everyone has pointed out, Baking is pretty precise. So a scale is most helpful. Paying attention to the details in a recipe is of utmost importance. If the recipe says to let the dough rest for twenty minutes, then let it rest for twenty minutes. Techniques are also important for specific items. So in one recipe you cream the butter and sugar together first, in another it's the eggs and sugar. 

    Make sure your oven is calibrated so if the temperature dial says 350 degrees, the oven in actually 350 degrees. 

         Most important, don't' beat yourself up if what you make doesn't come out exactly. A poor cake is still cake and makes a great snack, especially when frosted.  All cookies go well with a glass of milk. 
     
  6. mtullius

    mtullius

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    You don't need to spend a hundred dollars on books and a scale before you can bake your first thing.

    Make a few simple things with tried and true recipes using standard measuring.

    Nestle's Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies- the recipe is on the bag.

    Yellow cake- http://www.cheftalk.com/t/45372/finally-that-perfect-homemade-yellow-cake

    If you enjoy it and want to progress, then start looking at books and a scale.
     
  7. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Scales are more accurate and consistent to use.  WHen using a scoop and measuring cup to measure flour, sometimes the amount of flour scooped is more compressed than others.
     
  8. clairelv

    clairelv

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    thank you !
     
  9. clairelv

    clairelv

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    ok , thank you ! i am a little bit exciting 
     
  10. clairelv

    clairelv

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    i worry about if my family or friends don't like what i baked .  need to be brave doing this /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif!
     
  11. clairelv

    clairelv

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    thank you so much ! actually i am tying and hope it is not so terrible............/img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif
     
  12. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    clairelv-   You may already know this but I thought I'd mention it.    Be objective. Don't rely on others in your family to tell you whether or not something is good. A compliment is nice but criticism is, or should be, an objective analysis of what you did or did not do. You can do that yourself. 

     If your family and others enjoy what you made, simply say Thank You. 
         You will know that you did not add enough sugar or that the dough should have rested longer or you didn't melt the butter like you should have.

    You need to be honest with yourself about that but mentioning it only makes others doubt they should be enjoying your product. If they like it, accept their compliments sincerely and graciously.  Then get back in the kitchen and do better next time. 

    That's the great thing about baking. You can always do it over. Enjoy the process. 
     
  13. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Baking is largely, as another member mentioned elsewhere at this forum, an experience consisting largely of observation (visual) and textural qualities not to mention flavor.  And books therefore recipes can convey only so much.  That's statement is the reason that the pastries and baking threads only have one fourth of the posts that the main threads have.  With baking, you gotta' be able to persist, to bounce back from failures.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2015
  14. panini

    panini

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    @clairelv

      I just want to throw this in the mix.  When you first start out, I would measure and prep all the ingredients before you start to put the recipe together. Try using a scrap paper to write the ingredient weights and check them off as you go.  Keeps your expensive books clean.

    This is going to take you a little longer but it will eliminate one of the big problems in baking. " Gosh! did I forget or did I put in the salt?"  Keep your ingredients as stated in the recipe. If things are to be room temp or kept cold, make sure you do that.

       Just picture, the baking race. The recipe is catching up to you. If you try to catch up to the recipe, mistakes are made. For example, you're supposed to whip eggs for 3 minutes. As they are almost done, if you don't have the next ingredient ready to go in, you start to rush to get them prepped and weighed. That's usually where bakers make mistakes. You forget things and don't weigh properly.

     Last but not least, if you are going to double or cut a recipe in half. Always calculate and write the recipe on a different piece of paper. Try not to do things in your head for now. As you get better and comfortable with baking you probably won't have to do all the things I mentioned.

    Most of all, have fun!