Baking can be really relaxing to someone who has mastered their skills, but for beginners baking can be quite intimidating and with good reason. Baking is nothing like cooking, you must stick to the recipe and you must properly measure your ingredients. For beginners, this isn't always easy because they may not understand several techniques that are important when it comes to baking, such as properly measuring ingredients. The following tips are meant to help beginners overcome their fear of baking so that they can create delicious desserts, breads, and so much more.

Beginner's Guide to Baking Tip #1: Choose an Easy Recipe
Beginners should choose a recipe that is very easy. A complicated recipe will only discourage you. Don't start out with a recipe that has twenty ingredients and takes all day. Instead choose a recipe that has around 5-7 ingredients and simple directions. This will help to set you up for baking success.

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Beginner's Guide to Baking Tip #2: Check Your Pantry
Nothing is worse than being really excited about a new recipe only to find that you don't have the proper ingredients. After you have found a recipe, check to make sure you have all the ingredients on hand. If you don't, choose another easy recipe.

Beginner's Guide to Baking Tip #3: Check the Dates on Your Ingredients
You must check the dates on the ingredients you are about to use. Being a beginner to the baking world, some of the ingredients you'll need may not get used very often. Ingredients that are expired can set you for failure, especially yeast. You may follow your bread recipe exactly, but the dough doesn't rise because the yeast was out of date. Check the dates on everything before you start.

Beginner's Guide to Baking Tip #4: Get Out All the Ingredients You Will Need
A lot of beginners find baking frustrating because they don't take the time to prepare before they begin the recipe. Before you do anything, get out all the ingredients you will need for the recipe. This makes baking so much easier. When all of the ingredients are right there, it saves you several trips running back and forth to the pantry, which can lead to mistakes. You may glance at your recipe and grab the wrong ingredient or add the wrong amount of that ingredient.

Beginner's Guide to Baking Tip #5: Read the Recipe Several Times
When I first started baking, I would read the recipe once and plow ahead only to have my recipe turn out wrong. This was because I didn't read the recipe several times. Reading your recipe several times will ensure that you put in the proper amount of ingredients and that you don't skip any steps.

Beginner's Guide to Baking Tip #6: Measure the Ingredients Properly
When it comes to baking, ingredients must be measured properly. For example, brown sugar should be packed into the measuring spoon or cup. When it comes to measuring flour, loosely scoop the flour into a measuring cup using a spoon and then level the measuring cup off with a butter knife being sure not to pack the flour down. This tip will ensure that you get the proper amount of ingredients into your recipe.

Beginner's Guide to Baking Tip #7: Follow the Recipe Exactly
Following a recipe exactly is very important when it comes to baking. If the recipe says knead the bread dough for 8 minutes, then do so. If recipe says to stir only until combined, do so. If you don't follow the tips exactly, you will end up with a loaf of bread that doesn't have the proper crumb structure or a dessert that is tough.

Beginner's Guide to Baking Tip #8: Use the Proper Pans
Beginners should also use the proper pan size. You may think it would be okay to bake your recipe in a pan that is larger or smaller than the recipe calls for, but this will lead to failure. Your recipe will either come out underdone or overdone.

Beginner's Guide to Baking Tip #9: Use a Timer
Don't just assume that you'll remember to take your recipe out of the oven. More times than not, you'll become busy doing something else and your recipe will burn. A timer is a baker's best friend because it allows them to work on other things while the recipe bakes. A timer also ensures the proper doneness of the recipe.

Beginner's Guide to Baking Tip #10: Don't Get Discouraged
Even seasoned bakers have recipes that don't turn out quite right. It could be the altitude, the humidity, etc. Don't let this get you down. If the recipe didn't turn out, think about what could have gone wrong. Did you follow the recipe exactly? Did you skip any steps? Learning from our mistakes is what's important. Just remember to try again and to not give up.

(Article taken fromYahoo Voices)

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