If you know me, you know that I don’t bake. It’s not that I don’t like baking. Actually, scratch that. I’m not sure I like baking. But you know what? I’m not sure I like being in the kitchen a whole lot anyways. And for someone who doesn’t like being in the kitchen, I sure spend a whole lot of time there.
But this post is about baking. (In case the title was not clear.) I have never been a baker. I did not grow up in a baking household. I didn’t even eat a whole lot of baked goods growing up. Our oven was always pristine. I only remember using it for the timer for when I practiced piano. Well, no. Once in high school I baked something for school. And some people came over and made lasagna once too. But besides that, no oven-ing. Everything I learned about the kitchen was on the stove top. Now, while the stove and I aren’t the best of friends, at least we have some kind of mutual understanding.
The oven on the other hand… I am learning is a whole different beast.
Baking to me always seemed very stressful. Kitchen-ing in general is stressful, and baking so much more so. Which is weird, because I know tons of people who bake to de-stress. That will not be me. Definitely not at the rate that I’m going. The reason baking is stressful for me is because you need to be so precise about measuring everything. At least, that’s what I’ve heard. I imagine that if one practices enough, one may become familiar enough to realize that you can substitute this for that and you really don’t need as much of x as the recipe calls for and etc. But I am not there yet.
I guess people may feel that way about cooking. I guess I’ve gotten to the point where I never follow a recipe strictly. Well, almost never.
Since I have had the alien, however, I have been wanting to eat more baked goods than I ever have in my entire life. That is rare for me. I usually avoid baked goods. It’s weird, but true. I even dreamed about baking a cake. And it was a really fancy one. And so I’ve baked some. And then wanted to bake more. And then I’ve been thinking about different other things I can bake.
The alien is taking over my brain.
And while I’ve been baking more recently, I’ve learned a few things that no one has ever bothered to tell me. Or no recipe ever mentions that you should be sure to do. So I have compiled a very short list that some one else who is as much an amateur baker as I might find helpful. And those of you who are not amateurs have permission to laugh.
- If a recipe calls for soft butter, do not throw a stick of butter right out of the fridge. It will not mix. No matter how hard you try.
- The same goes for coconut oil. If you do not melt the coconut oil, it will be clumpy. It will not mix well.
- Baking powder does go bad. Your (read: my) muffins will not be light and fluffy as imagined. They will be dense. Like a bagel. But not chewy like one.
- It’s okay to not bake all your cookie dough at once. They can sit in the fridge. You do not need to have 834872384 cookies at one time to attempt to eat in one sitting. Not that I tried.
- If you want to pour batter into a cupcake liner, make sure the liner is in the pan. Otherwise you will have a sticky, gooey mess on your hands as the batter oozes out of your liner.
Speaking of cupcake liners, I want cupcakes.