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4 Poor bad Baking Habits You Need to Get Rid of


four Bad Baking Habits Professional Recipe Developers Say You Should Break

To ensure that the recipe will work for anyone who makes it, we tested all of our recipes on both gas and electric stoves and by at least two recipe testers. First and foremost, make sure the recipe you are following has been created by a professional recipe developer or is from a reliable source. If, however, your baked goods still don't turn out the way you had hoped, you may be guilty of one of these errors.

Using Baking Time as a Guide Rather than a Visual Indicator

We always include a visual cue to let you know when your food is ready along with timing when we write a recipe. You'll also see that the visual cue appears first. For instance, "Bake the cake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until it is lightly browned around the edges and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean." This indicates that it took the cake 20 to 25 minutes in our tests to lightly brown the edges and turn out clean when a toothpick was inserted in the center. However, since every oven operates a little bit differently, it's advisable to trust the visual indicator rather than just the time.

Using Substitutions That Don’t Work

Everyone has experienced starting a recipe and realizing they are missing an ingredient. There are times when there are substitutes that work just as well, such as yogurt in place of sour cream or milk infused with lemon juice in place of buttermilk. Sometimes, though, you try to omit the ingredient entirely or you don't have anything that even comes close to what the recipe calls for. The recipe might, just might, work. However, it is not the fault of the recipe if it doesn't. Unless you want the recipe to turn out badly, make sure to substitute ingredients only when necessary.

Leaving Out the Salt from Your Baked Goods

Although it may seem strange to add salt to something sweet, salt balances sweetness in food and improves its flavor. However, there is a sweet spot—yes, I meant to pun this. If you use too much salt, your baked goods may taste, well, salty. However, too little salt can give your baked goods a bland flavor. If salt isn't called for in your recipe, start with a pinch (or, if you want to be more exact, about 1/16 teaspoon) and see if that's sufficient.

Using a Baking Pan That Is Too Small

A well-written recipe will specify the exact size of baking pan you need to use, such as a Bundt pan or a 9-inch cake pan. Your baked goods will probably turn out differently from the recipe if you don't have that specific type of pan, but it might still work out depending on what you're making.

Using a different pan is probably acceptable if you're making brownies or a cake. The batter will be thinner and cook more quickly if you use something larger than what the recipe asks for. Alternatively, it will bake more slowly because it will be thicker in a smaller pan. In either case, you should rely on those indicators of doneness rather than clock time. But there are some pans that cannot be substituted, like a popover pan, madeleine pan or a tube pan for your 

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