Baking 101

So I’ve started to feel a little better, but I am still working on building strength in my voice.  It’s been a very tedious process.  I have to be honest, I’m getting a little bored and getting very tired of being sick.

I got so bored the other day I decided to try to bake. Yes, bake.

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Now, I can “cook” and I think, with plenty of practice, I’ve become pretty good at putting together meals.  I enjoy coming up with my own recipes and sharing them on the blog.  With cooking you can add a little of this and that.  You can take out things you don’t like and add other ingredients without too much fear of “ruining” the meal.

Now “baking” is a different thing entirety.  It’s almost a science.  Measure exactly.  Don’t leave anything out.  Don’t confuse baking soda, baking powder or corn starch.  Pay attention!

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I don’t normally bake.  I have trouble following the rules.  I’m usually perfectly happy buying just 1 or 2 cookies from the bakery.  Fewer sweets around the house mean healthier eating for the hubs and I.

But I got bored enough to give it a try.  And now I’m curious.

My first attempt; Banana Coconut Bread from my good friend Sommer’s blog- A Spicy Perspective.  This recipe is ridiculous.  You must try it. HERE is a link.

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Verdict.  The recipe is perfect.  My skills are lacking.  I accidently added the sugar at the wrong time and didn’t leave the bread in the oven long enough.  It actually was still very good, but wow do I need a lesson in baking.

Cream butter and sugar?  Which mixer tool do I use to do that?

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Can I substitute a stick of margarine for butter?

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How do I keep the bread from falling in the middle?

What can you add to a recipe without messing it up?  Are chocolate chips fair game?  What do you have to keep to make the recipe “work?”

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What does baking soda do to bread?

I feel like I could really benefit from Baking 101.  So will you help me?

What is your favorite baking tip?  What are the rules you follow to create the perfect cake or cookie?

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By | 2017-08-15T14:04:32-04:00 March 19th, 2013|Fun, Personal Updates/ Top Monthly Posts|11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. […] may remember that I’m not much of a baker, so I was determined to learn all of her tricks.  I wanted mine to turn out  as close to hers as […]

  2. Annette cocke March 21, 2013 at 3:10 pm - Reply

    Julie,
    Ever hear of “practice makes perfect”? It really applies to baking. Even if you know how to bake and have baked a lot over the years but then decide to stop baking for a while, when you start back it’s terrible. You’ve got to relearn all over again. Once you get the hang of it, just keep your hand in. Just keep trying different things. You’ll be a pro in no time. Keep us posted!
    Annette

    • JulieWunder March 21, 2013 at 8:49 pm - Reply

      Very true! I used to struggle to make anything in the kitchen and I’ve come so far!
      I’ll have to keep trying! I can’t let the fancy mixer my Dad got me for Christmas to go to waste!

  3. Ann March 20, 2013 at 10:52 pm - Reply

    Julie please don’t buy margerine. It is bad for you.

  4. Wendy March 20, 2013 at 6:24 pm - Reply

    I have learned, the hard way, of course, to simply exchange the amount of similar ingredients when making substitutions or additions. For example, when adding honey to my cornbread, I found that I must decrease the amount of the ‘other’ liquid, in this case, milk, by the amount of honey that I’m adding. What you are adding doesn’t seem to as important as how much you are adding. I also like to use applesauce as a substitute for butter, eggs and oil. This works well with many recipes, especially cakes and soft breads.

    • JulieWunder March 21, 2013 at 8:52 pm - Reply

      Good tips– I want to try to lighten up baking recipes- like I do with dinner. Applesauce is a great tip.

  5. Kim @ Cooking in the City March 20, 2013 at 5:39 pm - Reply

    When I was in high school my best friend and I made chocolate chip cookies… and we forgot the flour. Definitely don’t forget the flour!

    Other than that, when I’m baking I try to stick to the recipe the first time I make it, and then variate on subsequent tries. That said, chocolate chips and nuts are pretty safe additions! I would be cautious substiting butter… I’ve tried a few recipes with Earth Balance and it changes the texture quite a bit. Shortening is a pretty safe swap, but I tend to avoid it because of the ingredient list.

    Looking forward to seeing some baked goods!

    • JulieWunder March 21, 2013 at 8:54 pm - Reply

      Great tips– Thanks.
      I think my bread had double sugar– woops.
      I’m going to try again… with chocolate chips 🙂

  6. Gerald Reiser March 20, 2013 at 3:37 pm - Reply

    I don’t often bake but when I do, I wear a pair of surgical gloves. My wife, Shirley, is a master baker and she has told me that I need to spray the gloves with Pam when I am working with sticky dough. It makes clean up of your hands very easy.

  7. Annie @ What's Annie Making March 20, 2013 at 1:50 pm - Reply

    That bread looks delicious! When I first started baking I felt like I had to follow every recipe step by step. Now I’m a little more adventurous but I have a lot more failures too. I have a few “base recipes” for bread/muffins/cookies… and I usually make small changes to them to invent “new” recipes. The best tip is to just have fun with it! Hang in there Julie. I hope you are feeling better soon 🙂

    • JulieWunder March 21, 2013 at 8:56 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much Annie. I really appreciate it.
      I’m going to keep trying– You should absolutely try the bread. It’s awesome. I made it w/o the nuts– the hubs and I were not feeling nutty 🙂

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