Home Baking: Tips for the New Home Baker, Part 3

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By now, you have produced at least one successful project out of your oven (I hope). But what about resources? And of course, I wanted to address a few last minute thoughts to help keep you on track. So read on, friend, and prepare to be armed with even more information!

Don’t you forget..

Buy at least one cookbook.

Yes, I know the Internet contains a wealth of information. And yes, the library is free. However, just one book on the basics, or on a specific baking method, will be needed. The first time you spill something on that library book, or can’t read the helpful additional info on that recipe (which is in the original cookbook), you will wish for a cookbook. And there are some fabulous ones out there, ready for the reading. The Joy of Cooking, by Irma S. Rombauer, is an all-purpose cookbook that contains a large section on baking, including wonderful sections on breads, pies, cakes, and candy making. And of course, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Baking, by Emily Nolan, is another book worth purchasing.

The Internet is your friend.

While a cookbook in hand is wonderful, once you have the basics mastered, you will want to expand your recipe collection. There are some great websites out there to help you, and contain truly worthwhile recipes to try. Here are a few to get you started:

Verybestbaking.com

Kraftfoods.com

Cooks.com

A conversion chart is a great tool.

While most U.S. recipes are in Standard Measurements, if you find yourself faced with a recipe using Metric Measurements, you will need to convert it. Many cookbooks contain these conversion charts, but check online if you need one. Don’t be afraid to try something new just because you’re not familiar with the measurements (if you bought The Joy of Cooking, you will find one in the back of the book, by the way).

Keep it going.

Every once in a while, I hit a wall. I get tired of baking all of the time, or I just feel like everyone has tried all I can produce. If you find yourself in this predicament, don’t stress. You may need to step away for awhile, and refocus. But here are a few ideas that worked for me. Get your kids (or the neighborhood kids) involved. The kids get to learn a recipe, and you can see the joy of baking through their eyes. Or, you can find a women’s or homeless shelter, and send some baked goods there. If you feel confident enough, give a demonstration at a local church or Boys and Girls Club. There are options out there, just keep it going.

I hope you have found some ideas and tips to give you the confidence to prepare home baked goods. You can be a success, and truly enjoy it. By knowing the basics and keeping your expectations realistic, you will cultivate a love for a craft that will never go out of style.

While you’re here, be sure to check out our kitchen product reviews!

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