Baking


Baking is the technique used for the preparation of bread, cakes, pastries and pies, tarts, quiches, cookies and crackers. Such items are sometimes referred to as “baked goods,” and are sold at a bakery.
Baking is so much fun but the best part is afterwards, when you are done and share the delicious treats with your family and friends and receive all the compliments and appreciation. Not only that, you can start your own home business!
It may seem very tedious and time consuming, but trust me it isn’t. Once you have got the hold of it, baking will become second nature and the demand from your family and friends will just motivate you even more to experiment with various treats.
So if you have always wondered how cakes are so delicious or how cookies are so tempting, then why not learn how to bake yourself!

Yes, you can do it. First of all join the Super mum’s BAKING group. By doing this you will have access to recipes submitted by other members, information, tips and how-to’s and most importantly you will be able to share your knowledge with others too. You can also upload pictures of your baked goods and showcase them to other members if you want.
Now, it would be easier for you to start if you attend a one day basic baking course. However, if you are one of those who can’t find a course or simply can’t attend one then i suggest check out some online videos. By doing so you will get the confidence of taking the first step. There are loads of other good websites that can guide you. Investing in a good step by step book is also advisable.
Right, so now you are ready to experiment and attempt baking on your own. But before you do so you will need same basic baking equipment. Below is a list you may want to consider.

Equipments:

Measures : The success of all baking depends on the ingredients being in the correct proportions, so a set of accurate measuring spoons, a weighing scale and a measuring jug are all vital.

Bowls: A set of different-sized, heat-proof deep bowls for mixing, beating and melting ingredients is invaluable for baking.

Sifter: A large sifter will be necessary for sifting dry ingredients such as flour and castor sugar; and a small one for sifting icing sugar over the tops of baked cakes.

Spatula: A flexible plastic or rubber spatula can be used to scrape the last little bit of mixture as well as smoothing the top of cakes level before baking or creaming the cake.

Hand-Held Mixter: I would recommend getting one of these as they are excellent for beating eggs, mixing in dry ingredients as well as making butter cream frosting.

Tins: There are a variety of tins like cupcake tins, muffin tins and cake tins of various shapes. I recommend starting with a basic round cake tin and a cupcake tin.

Piping Bags and Nozzles: These are useful for piping butter cream, icing or melted chocolate onto cakes, cookies and muffins. A basic 7 piece set is sufficient for beginners.

Cutters: There are various shape cutters available for cutting cookies as well as for cutting fondants for cake decorations. You can start with some star or floral cutters.

Paper Cupcake and Muffin Cases: Optional but can save you washing up and will keep cupcakes fresh and make packing up easy. A variety of designer cupcake cases are available.

Now, once you have the basic equipment ready, you can jump into baking anytime provided you have the necessary ingredients, check out the list below.

Ingredients:

Flour: Mainly two types are used, plain flour and self-raising flour. The main difference is that you need to add a raising agent like baking powder to the plain flour whilst self-raising flour already has it. You need to add 1 teaspoon of baking powder to every 100 g of plain flour. If using self-raising flour, check the use-by date as raising agents gradually deteriorate. Other healthier versions like wholemeal or cornmeal can be used alternatively however, as their gluten level is higher they give a heavier result.

Raising Agent: Baking Powder is commonly used as a raising agent when using plain flour. It is a mixture of cream of tartar and bicarbonate of soda, and releases carbon dioxide bubbles when it comes in contact with a liquid.

Fat: Butter has the most effect on flavour and texture, so use the best one. Usually used for making cakes and butter cream. Margarine blends well and is usually used for making Cupcakes.

Eggs: Use Medium size eggs at room temperature for best results.

Sugar: There are many different types of sugar, each with it own distinct characteristics. Castor sugar has fine grains and is most commonly used for creamed mixtures. Granulated Sugar has large granules and is mostly used for sprinkling over baked goods. Demerara sugar has a deep golden colour and a toffee-like flavour. Icing sugar is ground to fine powder. It makes smooth icing and frostings and can be used as a dusting.

Add-ins: Both fresh and dried fruits can be folded into a mixture or used for decoration. Desicated coconut is another popular add-in.

Flavours: Vanilla and Chocolate are the most popular flavours and are used both in making cakes as well as frostings. There are other flavours available as well like strawberry, banana, etc. Ginger and Cinnamon work well in sweet recipes too. Spirits such as rum and brandy,sherry and liqueurs are sometimes used in small quantities to add flavour.

Decoration: You can find a variety of decorations on the supermarket shelfs like sparkling crystals, chocolate chips or dots, sprinklers, etc. You can also used regal ice to create various shapes for decoration. Royal icing tubes are available for writing on cakes. Besides, you can use your piping skills for decorating with coloured frosting or royal icing.

Now, as you have a better understanding of the equipment and ingredients required for baking, I presume you will give it a go!
All the best, Happy Baking!!