7 Days of Baking
by Kerry Cordy
If you are going to be cooking in the kitchen, first and foremost you must be aware of how to do so safely, especially if you are working with kids. From proper hygiene to safe knife skills there is a lot to learn if you plan to start cooking. Check out our post for 10 Safety Rules for Kids in the Kitchen.
Bake a Cake
Day 1: Bake a cake from scratch and from a mix. Which do you like better? Which is healthier?
Baking is as much a science as an art and relies on precise measurements for quality results. There is nothing more frustrating than a cake that refuses to rise or cookies that come out like hockey pucks. Ingredients that are measured correctly can literally make the difference between a perfect baked good and a disappointing mess! Bob’s Red Mill has a fabulous article that will not only make sure you understand all the measurement equivalents, but will give you tons of tips for making sure your measurements are accurate and consistent as well.
Bake a Main Dish
Day 2: Bake a main dish such as a chicken pot pie. Visit the Betty Crocker website for a wide variety of baked main dishes.
Have you been in the mood to bake something and you realize the recipe you are using calls for something you don’t have? In many cases there are some simple substitutes that will let you keep on baking without a quick trip to the store. Using a baking and cooking substitution chart like the one found at What’s Cooking America can keep you in the kitchen with very little alteration to your recipe.
Day 3: Bake muffins. Muffins are the perfect thing to bake when learning about substitutions. Sally’s Baking Addiction has one simple recipe can be used to create hundreds of different muffins simply based on what you put in them.
Day 4: Cookies, cookies, cookies! Who doesn’t love cookies? So many varieties to choose from. Whether it is a traditional chocolate chip cookie or an fancy cutout gingerbread cookie, there is a cookie for every occasion and every taste bud. Did you know there are 8 different types of cookies based on how the dough is handled? Try making one of each!
Day 5: Today is all about bread. Quick breads, yeast breads, flat breads…all of course must be baked! Challenge yourself to bake a bread type that you have never made before. While a simple banana bread is much like making cake, a yeast bread will take much more practice. Try starting with one of the beginner bread recipes TheKitchen.com.
Day 6: Pie makes everyone happy. Afterall, who doesn’t love a good pie? Springtime is the best time for baking pies as the fruit is fresh and plentiful, though you can’t go wrong with nut pies, pumpkin pies and chocolate pies as well. If you are new to pie baking, try one of these easy pie recipes for beginners from The Frugal Girls.
Day 7: Try out a “twice baked” recipe where an item is actually baked twice in two different steps to get the texture and tasted desired. While twice baked items include things like croutons and biscotti, my favorite is twice baked potatoes.
As you learn more about baking and want to try more advanced recipes, understanding common baking terms is a must. What is the difference between a frosting and a glaze? What does it mean to beat, blend or cream something together? Take the time to learn some baking vocabulary and take your baking to the next level.