Baking is a form of art where a person can express his/her feelings through designing and decorating the pastries. But how can one become a better baker? There are a lot of rules to follow in baking, but how does one know how to break the rules successfully? Being a baker takes a lot of time, attention, and especially patience. I like watching shows about baking, and something that I have observed is that different pastry chefs have different baking techniques. That’s why I am interested in knowing what are the similarities and differences of pastry chefs based on their baking techniques?
Every baker has his/her own unique baking technique. I have learned a lot of lessons from the sources I researched about. The first thing is that one should know the importance of the things that are in their kitchen, freezers puts up a huge importance in baking. I personally use measuring cups and spoons for measuring. Now, I know that when one is measuring, he/she should weigh the ingredients, because weighing is the most accurate form of measurement. Another is how fun it is to actually experiment on baked goods.
In books and videos about baking, do we really know what types of sugar, flour, or oil should be used? It is because they have a lot of different types. It is important that the books and videos about baking will have a specific type of sugar that should be used, because the level of sweetness of each kind is different. The type of flour to be used must also be specified. There are flours that are high in protein, and they can only be used in baking breads. Another ingredient that must be specified is oil. A lot of bakers only use cooking oil in baking. Some oils range in flavor from sweet and nutty coconut oil to buttery corn oil to grassy and zesty olive oil. Some oils tend to taste more neutral than their unrefined counterparts.
Sarah Lange, a professional pastry chef was interviewed and gave some tips on baking. Salt should be doubled in baking, as well as in cooking food. I personally don’t like to taste the batter and dough I make because it is weird. But in order to know if something is lacking, one should really taste it. Cookies that are baked in golden brown look really delicious and crunchy. One can think that a baked good is crunchy when is it golden brown, and for me, it tastes and looks better as well. Making more frosting would be better since cakes are better with more frosting. In addition to this, they also have a long shelf life.
Five pastry chefs gave tips about baking. One of them is Ryan Westover, he stated that one should treat his/her baked goods like children, give them lots of love, don’t smother them and be patient. Love is the most important ingredient when it comes to cooking and baking. One should love what he/she does in order to make it taste good. Another is Beverly Bates, she stated that when cleaning a rolling pin, simply wipe it off with a clean, damp cloth. Also, scrubbing of baking sheets is not allowed with scouring pads because the surfaces will get scratched over time and start sticking to everything. Before, I used to wash my baking sheets with scouring pads because I had no parchment paper to use. So my baked goods always stick to the baking sheets and now I always need to use parchment paper in baking.
Joy Wilson, an author, a photographer, and a blogger also gave us some tips in baking. This tip is different because she gave tips in baking for home bakers. One should first prepare all the ingredients so that when an ingredient is lacking, one can buy the ingredient before starting to bake. It is also recommended that one should first read the recipe before starting to bake. Baked goods taste better when the baker is having fun. One should like what he/she is baking so that it will taste good.
Creativity, time, and patience are what it takes to be a good baker. One must have creativity in baking because baking is a form of art also. Designing, frosting, or simply putting food coloring is a form of art. One can also express his/her emotions in baking. Time is important in baking, now I know what time really means when it comes to baking. I always thought that time is simply looking at the clock and just wait for whatever I’m baking to be done. Now I know that timing is when one puts his/her eggs in the cake batter one at a time. Baking takes a lot of time, that’s why patience is also included on what it takes to be a better baker. When baking, it takes a lot of time because there are a lot of batches that needs to be baked, especially if you have a small oven. Being able to wait for around 15 minutes just to make the butter at room temperature is patience. Waiting for 10 minutes for a cookie to be cool after baking is also patience. A person must also be patient in learning from each time he/she bakes. A baker must know that every mistake is a lesson learned and a chance to be better. For you, what do you think are the criteria for a baker to be considered good?