''A recipe has no soul. You, as the cook, must bring soul to a recipe.” ― Thomas Keller
More and more people are getting behind their ovens and making tasty treats. Some people think baking can be difficult but the truth is, even the easiest kinds of stuff can be difficult to some. The one thing we can tell you is that with the right mindset and determination, no skill is difficult to become better at.
Popular Shows like Knorr taste chef and the next African chef reality have proven that a lot of Nigerians enjoy cooking and baking. These shows are where aspiring or professional Nigerian bakers and chefs go to showcase their skills to win a grand prize. There are also many popular content creators bakers on youtube in Nigeria who showcase their skills to everyone to learn from. So, you see that if you become a better baker, you are one step away from becoming known for your consistency and creativity.
If you are interested in seeing other peoples skills in baking, then the annual Naija Bakers Cake Exhibition is a free enter cake show you can attend. It is designed to help promote and project bakers. You can also check their websites to view other peoples creations or can even register with them to showcase your own work there.
Baking is interesting and fun to do. However, while at it be sure not to make common baking blunders discourage you from following your dreams. This is the reason Superprof has compiled some tips that will help you become a better baker in no time. Continue reading to learn more of what you probably already know or haven't heard before.
Be Passionate About Baking
If you do not like or love what you do, you probably will never go far in it. Passion has to drive you to become better and a professional. Working with passion is the best way to get good at cooking and baking. Your passion will lead to increased knowledge, growth and business success for those who are in the business of baking.
Having a passion for what you do is an excellent way to reduce stress. It is your passion that will enable you to put in the extra effort and to be creative and innovative.
To get started, you should probably try a few things at home like some simple oats cookies, banana bread or waffles, vanilla mousse etc. There’s no need to be a popular chef in Nigeria to make some tasty pastries or cakes. Turn your free time into your baking days.
Learning While At It
Unlike some types of skills, you do not need a degree to start learning how to cook or bake. You can teach yourself and be learning while baking and trying out simple recipes.
There is no age restriction to learning all about baking, you can start at any time. Unlike music, where it’s better to have started at a young age, you can start baking later on in life and get better while at it. Once you start with some easy recipes and go a level up by baking for some of your family and friends, you’ll see how quickly you can start learning and growing.
Start by researching what you would like to make, tips and tricks to the recipes and then putting it to actual practice. The more you practice these recipes the better you will become. In short while at it, you will learn some things no one even bothered to talk about or explain.
Practise Practise Practise
Just like anything you find yourself doing in life, you can also improve by trying and practising regularly. If you are passionate about baking, I can assure you that practising will not be a big deal. Without any push, you will want to master a recipe and be good at it.
Baking at home is a great way to relax, too. We recommend that you start with something simple.
Making a dessert cake can be a little trickier than making a pound cake. By upgrading from mastering simple recipes to trying out difficult ones, is a sure way to becoming a pro baker. If you are scared of trying out challenging recipes, then you cannot become a professional baker. Toss your fear, wear your confidence and try something different from what you are used to.
Great chefs are a soothing source of inspiration. Start checking by checking out their creations, listening to them and taking some of their advice. It is not all the time that we should learn from our mistakes. Start learning from other peoples experiences to accelerate your growth.
Remember practices makes perfect.
This is one of the most important tips for anyone who wants to become a good chef. If you are not patient with yourself during your growth process, how can you be patient with a 3-hour recipe in the oven? Seriously, patience is really needed if you want consistency in your results.
Don’t ever ignore how long something has to rest for, how long you have to cook for, and how long something has to sit for. You do not want to underbake a recipe and of course, you don't want to bake something for too long as you can burn it!
Always take your time while baking. If the recipe says to leave it for 1hr30mins, there is definitely an experienced reason for that. While you do not want to underbake, you also do not want to overbake. Be reasonable with your timing.
Enjoy The Process
How can you be happy and an expert baker if you do not enjoy baking? You absolutely do not want to be doing what stresses you out. Whether you’re doing it as a hobby or for business, baking has to be a pleasure, not a chore.
If you don’t enjoy it, we wouldn’t recommend doing or learning it. You tend to be more creative, relaxed and happy when you’re having fun. You will feel happy to put in the extra hours and efforts if you find yourself enjoying the process of baking.
Studies have shown that people who enjoy their jobs are more likely to be optimistic, motivated, learn faster, make fewer mistakes, and better business decisions.
Study And Go For A Training
The more that you read, the more things you will know, the more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”– Dr Seuss
Taking a course or training online or in the four walls of a school is a good way to improve your skills. Professional training or studying is often the best way to become a better baker. There are certain skills you will need to acquire to become a pro baker or a famous one. There are plenty of courses and training out there you can enrol for. In short, you can learn from another chef in another country from the comfort of your home. Start researching courses today.
“The learning process continues until the day you die.” – Kirk Douglas
Weigh Your Ingredients Carefully
The only way to achieve the simple recipe you are trying for the first time is to weigh your ingredients. Precision is very essential when it comes to baking. It is strongly advised and recommended that you should weigh everything in your recipes including eggs, flour, butter, sugar, water etc. A measuring cup just doesn’t cut it anymore; you need a kitchen scale preferably the digital one that measures to the nearest gram.
It is always important to follow the steps and instructions of a recipe whether you’re prepping, baking, or serving. This is especially true when it comes to the flour you use or the temperature of the oven. The dough can even be too hard or even too soft. Follow the instructions properly. Weighing your ingredients also help ensure baked goods consistently turn out the same for each batch. You don't want someone liking your baked products today and disliking the taste tomorrow. Weighing ensures consistent in baking
Get the Right Equipment
The right equipment in baking makes your work easier and faster. It saves you a whole lot of stress too. That said, it’s not the tools that will make your baking amazing. The steps, how you measure, the ingredients used and how you make your recipes is what will make it amazing. However, the right equipment can help you achieve an amazing texture and taste too.
Some of the baking equipment that you will find most useful are:
- Wooden spoons
- Rolling pin
- Kitchen scale
- Cake Tins
- Muffin moulds
- Food processor
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring spoons and cups
- Hand mixer
There are also more you can buy have you become better and try new recipes.
Get the Right Ingredients
Whether you are completely new to baking, already a baker or are just interested in creating delicious desserts and baked goods, it all starts with one thing: Ingredients. Your choice of ingredients matters a lot in baking. There are different types of flour, sugar, butter, baking powder etc out there. Some work for some recipes and not for others.
Flours come in different varieties and give structure to baked items. The sugars, in various forms, include honey and syrups and contributes sweetness, moisture and tenderness to a baked product. When baking any recipe, every ingredient listed is important. If you are not so sure of a certain brand do your research and ask questions. The quality of ingredients is also what makes the right ingredients.
Finally, creativity is very key to becoming a better and pro baker. Growth is when you are confident enough to try new things you imagine in your head. At some point, you will have to stop following every recipe to the latter. Many pastries we are enjoying today came out of someone trying something different. Many innovations come from not following the rules.
It’s important to try new things, ingredients, and methods once you've got the hang of the basics.
We truly believe that with the right tools, regular practice and the right ingredients, everyone can become a better baker.
Thanks to the internet, by using a computer, tablet, or smartphone, you can get a tutor from anywhere in the world to teach you at any time of the day or you can watch free baking videos and read up on recipes and how to make them.
If you would like to learn how to bake or improve your baking skills, you can get in touch with one of the many talented and experienced private baking tutors on Superprof.
The platform that connects tutors and students