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?


Source 5

What are the similarities and differences of pastry chefs based on their baking techniques?

Source: Joy The Baker

Title: Baking 101: Secrets of a Home Baker

Author: Joy Wilson

Published: December 18 2013

Being a baker is a success. When we step out of the kitchen, we should come out with a masterpiece. Joy Wilson, an author and a photographer shares her tips and tricks in baking at home.

Ingredients should be prepared, softened, melted, sifted, and measured before you begin baking. It’s a great opportunity to check out your ingredients, and make sure you have everything you need before you get started. Baking is science, things need to be precise. We should take our time in reading the recipe first. Creaming butter and sugar means that beating them together, using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment. It is also required that the butter we use is at room temperature. Before the sugar gets creamed into the butter, consider whether or not your recipe has any herb or fruit zest. Rub the herb and/or fruit zest into the granulated sugar, releasing all of the essential oils.  This will rub a different level of flavor into our baked goods. In the same way that we’re making the most of our lemon zest and herbs, we can also boost the flavor of out spices!  Most recipes want us to stir our ground spices into the flour and leavening mixture. If we beat the spices into the butter and sugar mixture, the flavors will be dispersed with the butter. It is also helpful to know a few baking equivalents. Also, always have fun in baking. Everything tastes better if you have a good time while making it.

Source 4

What are the similarities and differences of pastry chefs based on their baking techniques?

Source: The Washington Post

Title: Baking Tips from D.C. Pastry Chefs

Author: David Hagedorn

Published: December 24 2013

The one thing all pastry chefs have in common is organization, so it comes as no surprise that the No. 1 tip offered by seven of the Washington area’s most inventive pastry chefs was to read a recipe all the way through before you begin to bake.

“You have to treat your baked goods like children.” “Give them lots of love, don’t smother them and be patient” , (Westover, Baking Tips from DC Pastry Chefs).

“Always separate your eggs when they’re cold. It’s much easier to do when they are chilled, and it will reduce your chances of breaking the yolk” , (Player, Baking Tips from DC Pastry Chefs).

“Don’t throw out vanilla beans once they’ve been scraped for a recipe. Put them in a small jar and cover them with equal parts rum and vodka. In a few weeks you’ll have a great extract. Or submerge spent vanilla beans in a jar of sugar. They imbue a subtle vanilla flavor that’s great for baking or in your morning coffee” , (Frick, Baking Tips from DC Pastry Chefs).

“If you don’t bake frequently, make sure to throw out old baking powder, yeast and spices. They all lose efficacy over time” , (Chin, Baking Tips from DC Pastry Chefs).

“Bake a cake the day before you want to decorate and serve it. Cool the layers and wrap them in plastic wrap. They will not get stale overnight (the butter, sugar and eggs will keep them moist; that’s their job) and they will set up better and not crumble as easily when you’re icing the cake” “Never wash a rolling pin with water; wipe it off with a clean, damp cloth. Don’t scrub baking sheets or pans with scouring pads. The surfaces will get scratched over time and start sticking to everything. Use a soft plastic abrasive sponge or a loofah” , (Bates, Baking Tips from DC Pastry Chefs).

Source 3

What are the similarities and differences of pastry chefs based on their baking techniques?

Source: Sugar and Charm

Title: Tips for Baking from a Pastry Chef

Published: June 5 2014

Sarah Lange, a professional pastry chef and the owner of top Best New Restaurants by Los Angeles, The Hart and The Hunter, was interviewed and gave some tips for baking.

Some of the tips which I found the most interesting are the following:

  1. Double the salt. Most of the recipes in cookbooks and in websites I look at tend to put a very little amount of salt. Baked goods also rely on salt just like how salt makes savory food more delicious.
  2. Taste your batter or dough before you bake it. Many people find tasting the batter or dough weird. By doing this, the baker will be able to know the taste of the batter and if there is something lacking before baking it.
  3. Try substituting brown butter in recipes that call for oil. When baking muffins and quick breads will get a richer, nuttier, yummier flavor with brown butter.
  4. Always bake to golden brown. Baked goods always look more delicious when they are golden brown. People tend to find this more appealing since it looks crunchy.
  5. Crumb coat your cake. Although crumb coating your cake takes a lot of time and frosting, it will make your cake look and taste better.
  6.  Make enough frosting. Sometimes, bakers tend to be short on their frostings, which causes the cake to be half covered with frosting and the other half with no frosting at all. Because of lack of frosting, there are also times when the cake will only be coated thinly.

Read more Tips for Baking from a Pastry Chef

Source 2

What are the similarities and differences of pastry chefs based on their baking techniques?

Source: Brit + Co

Title: 25 Essential Baking Tips and Tricks for Beginner Bakers

Author: Cortney Clift

Published: June 18 2014

There are 25 baking tips and tricks in baking.

How to bake a cake? When baking a cake, one should first separate the eggs. Allow the egg whites to be at room temperature for 30 minutes. And then butter the pans, and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper by placing the bottom of the pan over the parchment paper and tracing it with a pencil. When mixing the batter, stir first together dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients with an electric mixer, and add egg whites all at once. Add flour mixture one at a time in the batter. Pour the batter mixture in the pans and bake.

How to frost a cake? The secret to perfect frosting is to apply a “crumb coat” and let it chill before slabbing on a second layer. This will keep all those pesky crumbs from getting mixed up in the frosting. When frosting a cake, make sure that the icing is at room temperature.

How to serve a layer cake? We all know that it is very hard to serve the perfect layer cake. Here are some tricks to serve the perfect layer cake. To remove a cake from a cake pan, run a thin knife along the inside edge of the pan. Keep the knife against the pan side so you don’t cut into the cake. Place a cooling rack upside down on top of the cake. Holding the cake and cooling rack together, invert them and set the rack on the work surface. To slice a cake into layers, hold a ruler up to the side of the cake base and, using toothpicks, mark the midpoint at regular intervals around the cake. Using a long, thin serrated cake knife and a sawing motion, split the cake horizontally into even layers. To fill a layer cake, Using a pastry brush, coat the cake layer with a simple syrup. Mound the filling in the center of the layer and, using an icing spatula, spread it to the edge. Flip the other layer over onto the filling, cut side up. Then brush the top layer with cake syrup.

How to prepare a cake pan? We are all having a hard time to remove the cake from the cake pan. What one should do is to butter the bottom of the pan with about a teaspoon of unsalted butter. Tear off a sheet of parchment paper wide enough to span the cake pan. Use another teaspoon of butter to butter the top of the parchment round and up the sides of the pan.

Salted and unsalted butter. Unsalted butter is usually called for so that you have complete control over the amount of salt in a recipe.

Types of sugar. How are different types of sugars different? White sugar has had all of the naturally present molasses refined out. It is the sugar that is most commonly used in baking. Confectioners are granulated sugar that has been finely ground and mixed with a small amount of cornstarch to prevent caking. This is the sugar that we commonly use for frostings, glazes, and for that snowy covering on doughnuts that no doubt is all over your face and hands with the first bite. Coarse sugar has a much larger crystals than regular white sugar. The larger size of the crystals makes the sugar stronger and more resistant to heat. Sanding sugar is another large crystal sugar. It is between white granulated and coarse sugar in size. Brown sugar is white sugar that has had cane molasses added to it. Superfine, ultrafine, bar or caster sugar, these sugars have the smallest crystal size of white granulated sugar. It is generally used in making delicate or smooth desserts such as mousse, meringues or puddings. Turbinado sugar is light in color, usually has a large crystal, and is slightly lower in calories than white sugar due to the moisture content. Muscovado sugar is very dark brown in color and has more molasses than light or dark brown sugar. Demerara sugar is a large grained, crunchy sugar that hasn’t had all of the molasses refined out.

Types of flour. There are a lot of flours that are used in baking.


Types of oil. When baking cakes or brownies, do we really know what oil to use? What are The best oils for baking?

The basic supplies we use in baking. One should have measuring cups and spoons in order to separate wet and dry ingredients. Mixing bowls of varying sizes, so that it’s easy to work with as well as use the right type of bowl. A sifter is important so the mixture doesn’t clump. Spatula: A flat, metal one for leveling ingredients and a rounded one for frosting. Rubber scraper: For scraping off the sides of the mixing bowl. A mixer is to mix dough and batter, stand mixers are good for thick, heavy dough, but handheld mixers tend to be easier to clean. Use a cloth cover sprinkled with flour on the rolling pin, so that it doesn’t stick to the dough when you are rolling it out. Dough cutter is to cut dough, it should be sharp especially when cutting thick dough. Wire rack is needed to place the baked goods there and this allows air flow all round the baked good so that it cools evenly.

Separating eggs. There are a million different techniques to separating eggs. You can use your hands, a slotted spoon or transfer the yolk back and forth in a cracked shell.

How to melt chocolate? There are a lot of methods in melting chocolates. Microwave method is when one can just chop chocolates into chunks then just place it in a microwave for a minute. The other method is the double boiler method. Chop chocolate into uniform chunks, so it melts evenly.Heat some water in a saucepan until it begins to simmer.Place a bowl over saucepanAdd chocolate to the bowl and stir frequently. Remove from heat before it’s fully melted.

How to proof yeast? Store dry yeast in a freezer. A small amount of room-temperature  water works best to activate yeast. Let it sit for a minute or two and then stir it with a spoon or a fork until the yeast is completely dissolved. You do not need sugar to activate the yeast.

How to make pie crust? Use cold ingredients to make a pie crust to the crust will be crispy.

There are a lot more baking tips and tricks that you can do.

Read more: 25 Essential Baking Tips and Tricks for Beginner Bakers

Source 1

What are the similarities and differences of pastry chefs based on their baking techniques?

Source: Woman’s Day

Title: 10 Baking Tips from the Pros

Author: Mandy Major

Published : January 13 2014

When is comes to baking, timing is everything.  For most people, timing is simply looking at the clock. When in fact, it is when you put eggs to a cake batter one at a time.

One should pay attention to the butter’s temperature. A butter’s temperature is very important. Most of the pastries we bake requires a butter to be at room temperature. A butter should not be too hard nor too soft. When making pie crusts or biscuits, it is important to use a cold butter. Using cold butter when making  pie crusts or biscuits so that they will be crispy.

Freezers are also important in baking. It is good for cookie doughs to be put in the freezer first before baking. Shaping the cookie doughs and putting it in the freezer is also allowed.

Knowing the flours that should be used in baking is a must. There are a lot of flours that are used in baking. When baking breads, flours that are high in protein should be used. The higher the protein the stronger gluten it builds. When baking cakes, cake flour is recommended because it is low in protein. Flours that are low in protein are softer. For cookies, all-purpose flour should be used.

Less is more when it comes to dough. A baker’s worst nightmare is when his or her dough is overworked. Overworked is when a baked good is stretchy and sticky. Your workplace should be cool before handling the dough. Always use your fingertips in handling the dough because they are cooler than your palms.

Using these tools makes baking a lot easier. Parchment paper is important for bakers. It is used to line cookies and cake pans. Baked goods are easier to remove when using parchment paper because the baked goods will not stick on the paper. “The best way to cook everything in pastry is with parchment,” (Payard). Other useful tools in baking include disposable plastic pastry bags for piping and decorating ; an off-set spatula for icing cakes or mixing doughs ; and cling wrap for rolling out dough.

Your oven’s temperature changes over time. Ovens should be checked first before baking. This should be done because the inside parts of the baked goods can be uncooked because of the change in temperature. One way to check if your oven’s temperature is right is to place a 1/2 cup of 70°F tap water in an oven-proof measuring cup on the middle rack of a 350°F oven and allow it to bake for 15 minutes. If the oven is accurate, the water will be 150°F after 15 minutes.

Weighing is the most accurate form of measurement. Most people use measuring cups and spoons in measuring wet and dry ingredients. But pastry chefs say measuring is best done with weighing them.

When short on ingredients, make them. Jai Kendall states that when short on cake flour, buttermilk, brown sugar, or olive oil there are a lot of different ingredients in order to make them.

Experiment on baked goods. When you are tired in making the same baked goods, try to experiment with them. Experimenting can ruin or make the baked goods better. Vincent states that she “used to sift dry ingredients for a variety of recipes at one time and place them in individual freezer bags. Then it was just matter of creaming butter and sugar,  adding the eggs one at a time then pouring in the dry ingredients—one messy floury cleanup instead of three or four”.

Brits On Baking vs Buying

Why do the British prefer baking breads and pastries rather than buying?

There are benefits to baking your own breads and pastries rather than buying them. First, you will be able to control the ingredients that you put into whatever you are making. Next, it actually costs less money to make them than to buy them. Lastly, by making it, one will be able to experience the fun of baking and also get to share the joy with others.

As we all know, Britain has become more of a stay-at-home nation, with consumers’ prioritising home-based activities as part of their efforts to cut costs, has allowed more men to discover the joys of baking. In fact 68% of British men surveyed say they have baked at home in the last year, and 22% say they bake more now than they did a year ago.

Forty-one million Brits or 79% of adults say they enjoy baking at home, and 22% of home bakers claim to be baking more now compared to a year ago, according to Mintel survey results. Baking at home has increased in recent years as people preferred to save money at home by getting their own hands dirty. The Great British Bakeoff and Masterchef have also contributed to the resurgence of interest in baking. According to Mintel’s survey, 44% of British bakers said they had been inspired by cookery shows to bake more, rising to 54% among the under-25s.

Learning More About Baking

Can baking improve one’s mental health?

After a lot of researches done, I found out that baking can in fact improve a person’s mental health. This is because baking is a meditative, creative, and nourishing activity. It stimulates one’s senses and makes people happier.

First, baking is meditative because it takes your attention away from other things. By just doing the basic steps such as weighing out butter and sugar, it creates space in the mind and it eases negative thinking. Secondly, designing the frosting, decorating the cupcakes, and shaping cookies requires one to expose his/her creativity within. Next, baking can stimulate the senses by feeling the flour, by hearing the blender, or by the smell of the final product, this results to the releasing of feel-good endorphins. This leads us to the next reason – baking makes people happier. By baking, the baker can share his/her happiness with others too. This is through giving whatever one bakes to others. Preparing food such as baking is nourishing due to the fact that when one makes what he/she eats, he/she would be able to control the ingredients that goes into his/her food.

Curious Nyela

“Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning.” – William Arthur Ward

          There are many things in life that makes me think very deeply about. My parents told me about how curious I have always been ever since I was a little girl. As the quote mentioned above says, I believe that the first step of learning about something is by being curious about it. I love seeing new things because this means I would have more to think, explore, and learn about. In this entry, I will be sharing with you three of the things which I would want to know more about.

  • Make it or Bake it


Source: IVH Yellow Pages

          My family and I have always been fond of food. We always make sure to eat out every Sunday if possible. I, together with my mom and my sister, am always looking for recipes online and cook them for the family. However, I have always wanted to learn how to bake. Recently, my sister and I have been trying to bake the perfect chocolate chip cookies (as shown in the image below)  but we can not seem to find the perfect recipe for it. This is what made me want to explore more about baking. Someday, I would like to learn how to bake not only the perfect cookies, but also the perfect cakes and cupcakes.
          I, personally, think that baking is a form of art where a person can express his/her feelings through designing and decorating the pastries. This is something that everyone must try because it will help one to become more patient and challenge one’s creativity.

  • Wonders of Wandering


Source: Rebloggy

          Traveling has got to be one of most favourite things that I love doing. As cliché as it sounds, my ultimate goal is to be able to travel the world.
          For me, travelling is not only about exploring places, it is also about exploring people and their culture. Getting to know more about how they do certain things and being able to taste their food. I want to be able to experience life as a local of the place that I am in. Discovering new places, meeting new people, and experiencing new things are only some of the reasons why I love to travel. I have been to some places but my dream destinations would be Paris, Tokyo, Greece, Seoul, London, Maldives, and Italy.
          When I grow up and am able to earn enough money, I would definitely travel the world and I advise you to do so, too. We must spend more on experiences rather than material things because material things usually just go out of trend or be broken but the memories of the experiences we had will last.

  • Hush Little Baby

52_resize          Just about four months ago, God blessed us with an additional member of our family. Since then, I felt that our family became closer and happier because of Baby Nate. We all love him very much and we even constantly fight about who will be carrying him. I am pretty sure that when he turns six months, we will be fighting over about who will feed him.
          When he was just born until his second month, all he did was sleep and cry. Whenever he cries, we, especially me, always panic. I always wonder what he feels, I do not know whether he is hungry, tired, or needs his diaper to be changed. But when he turned three months old, I think that he already recognizes everyone. I am very happy because until now, he always smiles whenever he sees me. He also knows how to laugh already when we make funny faces or sing and dance for him. He is also starting to learn how to mumble some words. And I can’t wait for him to say his first word!
          Recently, I have always wanted to learn more about babies because of Nate. I have always thought about what they think about, what they feel, what they dream about, and more. I personally find this interesting because there are so many things that he develops each day.