Poll
Was there ever a time you were completely clueless when it comes to baking?
GOODNESS NO! I was born to bake baby! 1
Not really. I?ve always sort of had a nack for it. 6
There was a time I never really baked much, but once I started I found out how good I was. Never quit since :D. 5
YES! There was a time I couldn?t bake for the life of me...it took some practice, and tons of wasted flour, and voila! 2
My kitchen was infamous for spitting out one disaster after another, untill I finally took baking classes and...WOOHOO! 0
Total Votes: 14
You must be a logged-in member to vote
Very very new to baking…...a true beginner looking for some expert advise ^_^.
Posted: 03 May 2008 06:13 PM   [ Ignore ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  5
Joined  2008-05-03

Hi everyone,

I have just begun to get into baking and have found that, when things actually turn out somewhere close to the way they are supposed to, I get more excited then a 10 year old headed to Disney World for the very first time. I am beginning to love baking, and when I see those gorgeous pictures and recipes of those decadent cakes, breads, cookies, pies and such…..I feel so inspired and so “revved up” but find that…....I don’t really know how to bake :(. Like it says in the title…...I am truly a beginner and am really interested in learning the art of baking from A-Z…....but my only problem is….I have no clue where to get started. :(:(:(

I do not know anyone who can bake anything that doesn’t come out of the betty crocker cake mix boxes (and tastes like aluminum foil) so I don’t really have anyone who could possibly guide me. I was hoping that, since there are so many well educated women here on this forum who obviously can do amazing things with cakes and bakes, maybe I could get some tips on how/where to begin. I’m sure all of you have been beginners some time in your lives right? Maybe you could share some of your experiences here and also help me to avoid some improper ways of baking, or mishaps in the kitchen by possibly guiding me…or giving me a few tips of your own. smile. I am truly a huge fan of baking from absolute scratch….and not going near anything that comes out of a box, carton, crate or the likes. It’s gotta be as fresh as can be for me…..with the exception of flour (organic is a must though wink).

I am really clueless as to where to begin…...if anyone here can possibly help me find some really good books on baking for beginners (waaaaaay biginners wink) that can help me to learn gourmet baking…...anything that can build the foundation, as I am QUITE the creative gal and can do wonders with colors and designs…....but all I truly need is a good push in the right direction so I can begin “using” this creativity for something useful…and DELICIOUS! :D.

Thank you so much, in advance, to everyone who tries and helps…..I am truly grateful :D
Mumtaz

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 May 2008 08:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2568
Joined  2007-11-15

Welcome MumtazG38!!!  Long before I baked for the first time, I gained quite a bit of baking knowledge by watching cooking shows… I also had a love of reading cookbooks… both were very helpful (no internet for bakers at that time).  Of course there is no better way to learn than to actually get your hands dirty and give it a try!  Plus, you have the added benefit of the internet at your disposal… it’s an absolute wealth of information and advice.  The bakers on this site are extremely skilled and very helpful (both women AND men). 

Rose’s books are incredibly informative - you can’t go wrong starting there, even if you are a beginner!  What kind of baking are you most interested in starting with? (cakes, breads, cookies, etc) 

PS - what country are you located in?

 Signature 

Come visit my blog at

http://butteryum.blogspot.com

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 May 2008 08:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  5
Joined  2008-05-03

oops….sorry about that. I meant to say men and women but I guess I…..forgot *shrugs*.  Sorry.

I’m interested in baking gourmet cakes+cheesecakes (have some good experience with cheesecake so far…it is pretty easy ^_^), pies, breads, cookies, pastries and all around creativity in the kitchen when it comes right down to it. I live in the US, Michigan to be exact…...although I will be moving to Pakistan (permanently) in 3.5 months time.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 May 2008 09:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2568
Joined  2007-11-15

Wow… Pakistan permanently… Gee, I don’t know - you might have trouble making US recipes there… you may want to wait until you get there and see what kinds of ingredients and books are available.  Maybe someone else knows more (?).

 Signature 

Come visit my blog at

http://butteryum.blogspot.com

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 May 2008 11:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  5
Joined  2008-05-03

Actually I’ve lived in Pakistan before, in fact many times really. It’s not difficult at all finding ingredients and materials…..in fact it’s usually a heck of a lot cheaper in my experience.  They have really nice superstores that sell very high-end kitchen-ware and loads of fancy gourmet ingredients….usually pre-packaged types and such but most of the time I prefer baking/cooking from scratch and I have always been able to find all the necessary ingredients for recipes I bake from scratch so far too. And as far as the books go…..I’m planning on purchasing the books here, actually soon…..so that I can practice up some before I travel and WOW all my friends when they see me after such a long time ^_^.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 May 2008 11:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  500
Joined  2007-11-24

Hi Mumtaz!

I love Rose’s books, of course—they have lots of helpful information. Here are some other books you might find useful—I have read them and like them.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Baking / Emily Nolan
Basic Baking / Lora Brody
I’m Just Here for More Food : food x mixing + heat = baking / Alton Brown
Cookwise / Shirley Corriher

You could also see what cooking videos or DVDs your local library carries, and get out any that involve baking! Julia Child, Jacque Pepin, America’s Test Kitchen, or whatever else you can find. It can be a great help to actually see what the dough/batter looks like, and how it handles.

I love my local library! Using it lets you “test read” books, videos or DVDs before buying them.

From what I hear, recipes can work very differently when you are in a different country. All the ingredients are just a bit different. The butter may have a different fat or salt content from US butter, flour is very often different, eggs may be a different size, and so on….

This is another great reason to buy one or more of Rose’s baking books. They all have a lot of information about ingredients, and they have tables that show you how much ingredients weigh. You’ll be able to use that information even for other recipes or cookbooks. And there are lots of folks on this site who have “international baking” experience and will be able to help you.

I do hope you are able to find a local “baking advisor” once you move to Pakistan. At any rate, enjoy your experiments and adventures!

 Signature 

Please visit my blog:
Bungalow Barbara

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 May 2008 01:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  2
Joined  2008-05-04
MumtazG38 - 03 May 2008 09:13 PM

Hi everyone,

I have just begun to get into baking and have found that, when things actually turn out somewhere close to the way they are supposed to, I get more excited then a 10 year old headed to Disney World for the very first time. I am beginning to love baking, and when I see those gorgeous pictures and recipes of those decadent cakes, breads, cookies, pies and such…..I feel so inspired and so “revved up” but find that…....I don’t really know how to bake :(. Like it says in the title…...I am truly a beginner and am really interested in learning the art of baking from A-Z…....but my only problem is….I have no clue where to

get started. :(:(:(

I do not know anyone who can bake anything that doesn’t come out of the betty crocker cake mix boxes (and tastes like aluminum foil) so I don’t really have anyone who could possibly guide me. I was hoping that, since there are so many well educated women here on this forum who obviously can do amazing things with cakes and bakes, maybe I could get some tips on how/where to begin. I’m sure all of you have been beginners some time in your lives right? Maybe you could share some of your experiences here and also help me to avoid some improper ways of baking, or mishaps in the kitchen by possibly guiding me…or giving me a few tips of your own. smile. I am truly a huge fan of baking from absolute scratch….and not going near anything that comes out of a box, carton, crate or the likes. It’s gotta be as fresh as can be for me…..with the exception of flour (organic is a must though wink).

I am really clueless as to where to begin…...if anyone here can possibly help me find some really good books on baking for beginners (waaaaaay biginners wink) that can help me to learn gourmet baking…...anything that can build the foundation, as I am QUITE the creative gal and can do wonders with colors and designs…....but all I truly need is a good push in the right direction so I can begin “using” this creativity for something useful…and DELICIOUS! :D.

Thank you so much, in advance, to everyone who tries and helps…..I am truly grateful :D
Mumtaz

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 May 2008 01:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  2
Joined  2008-05-04

Hi there,

To give you quick hand, I’ll tell you how I learnt all the do’s and dont’s. When bitten by the baking bug, I also had no one who baked well so I went off to a specialist cooking shop here in Sydney and spoke to a very seasoned baker. I asked her the quickest way to learn to bake and she gave me a few very good baking books as well as some baking text books. Once I had read them all I discovered that what you dont do is nearly as important as what you do do. Anyway, this is what I learnt that proved invaluable. Firslty, make sure you have an electric scale that measures as little as 1 gram. Buy an oven thermometre. Make sure you have a very good stand mixer. The quality of your ingredients will show in the end result. NEVER deviate from the recipe until you become confident. ( Im a little guilty of this ). An the best advice I can give you is read read read. I have so many baking books but I have never come across a question that I cant find the answer in the Pie and Pastry bible. I use it for everything as it lessons can be used for cookies pies and breads as well as pastry making. Another thing I can tell you is always check the measurement pages in any cookbook. Being from Aus, our tablespoons and cup measurements are different so it will pay off to do this first. TRUST ME, it’ll save you so much time and grief. Also being from Aus our temperatures are usually higher and can be more humid that other countries so understanding flour and moisture content is also good. As your going to Pakistan you, when your making pastry, have to do what I do and put your pastry in the fridge to cool many times so the butter wont melt.

Good luck, hope it helps.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 May 2008 03:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  865
Joined  2008-03-09

Hi Mumtaz, I suggest that you give some thought to your preferred learning style. If you think back over your life when you were really successful at learning something, it probably involved some strategies that worked especially well for you. Some people are “hands-on,” learning best as they experiment. Others enjoy reading, preparing, planning and only then, executing. Maybe you like to hear the instructions? Or you prefer reading. Or watching somebody do a demo. Some do better in groups, some on their own. Etc.

I love books, especially Rose’s books which have lots of detail about the whys and wherefores of baking chemistry, etc. I suspect many of us here fall in that category because we’re big fans of Rose’s, but we’re also different from each other in some respects. For example, risk takers or happier following a plan. And that can vary over time as you get more experience and develop your skills. If you’re a book lover, btw, check out the forum thread on other members’ favourite books: http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/index_ee.php/forums/viewthread/35/

In other words, there’s a way for YOU to succeed. Just pick the strategies that work for you, and adjust them as you gain confidence.  I think you’d do this intuitively, but it never hurts to bring more awareness to the process as you’ve already done by asking for advice. Good for you for not being afraid to adopt what the Buddhists call “beginner’s mind!” In my opinion, that’s a fantastic way to learn! Happy baking and good luck in your new life, when you move.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 May 2008 08:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  253
Joined  2007-11-29

the cake bible has given me all the confidence I need to make great cakes! rose’s straightforward descriptions and encouragement are wonderful. however, the only recipes I use from it are the buttercream recipes. I created my own cheesecake recipes and have ha a lot of success with liv hansen’s “whimsical bakehouse cookbook” . The Wedding Cake book by dede wilson also has good recipes, they are similar to rose’s. it is my experience that the information in rose’s cake bible is the most valuable because it tells so much about how baking works. after that, you can learn to use any recipe successfully.

get in the kitchen and experiment. try, try and try again. when something doesn’t work out come to this forum with the particulars and a lot of people will be glad to offer advice.

2 tips—always use fresh baking soda (less than 3 months old) and don’t be discouraged! all but the worst cakes are gladly eaten by a greatful family!

jen

 Signature 

http://www.ellavanilla.com

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 May 2008 09:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  5
Joined  2008-05-03

It is such a great feeling to know that I’ve found such an amazing group of people here at this forum to discuss my interest in baking with…..I truly am very thankful.

Well…..it’s a done deal guys, I just ordered myself a copy of Rose’s cake bible and am awaiting its arrival quite impatiently. Hopefully, like all of you have already mentioned, it will give me all the do’s and don’t of baking plus some really good information and a semi-scientific approach to baking. That’s actually the best way I learn….by acquiring as much knowledge as possible….and then experimenting. :D

Thank you guys so much for all of your help and support!
Mumtaz G

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 May 2008 08:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  5
Joined  2008-05-03

Well….It’s been quite a while since I received Rose’s Cake Bible and I have read a few chapters here and there. Mainly through the back of the book where she explains things more detailed and gives explanations to alot of the things she says and means throughout the book. So far, I’m loving how this book is so jam packed with info…..it’s….just wow. smile.

Only thing I’m worried about is…..since I’m moving to Pakistan for such a long time I was just wondering how I could substitute cake flour without losing any of the tenderness and softness of the cakes I bake? It does say in the book that even if I used corn starch it would still be quite incomparable to actual “cake flour” and I was wondering if anyone could possibly give me any tips on how to make the “incomparability” less….well…....noticeable? I think I will be able to easily find bleached all purpose flour….but all companies and brands tend to have different formulations and what not….so if anyone could please help me out seeing as I will be practicing a heck of alot of my baking skills in PK now…...smile.

Thanks you guys, you were so helpful before I just couldn’t help coming back for more. :D

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 May 2008 03:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  767
Joined  2007-11-15

Hello Mumtaz, I’ve just been catching up with your posts about learning to bake and while not being able to offer much advice about books for you to buy in the US I can offer something for you to look for with regard to your question about substituting cake flour as I have had some problems as I live inthe UK and we don’t have bleached flour here at all , it is banned!  If you do a search on Rose’s website you will find some information on some experiments done by Kate, it is now known as Kate flour. Kate lives here in Gt. Britain and she has been doing experiments microwaving various flours to find something that works as well as cake flour with Rose’s recipes.  The best thing I can advise is that you read up as much as you can about her work.  She also has her own blog, , you will find details of it on the main page if you click on Rose’s Blog. Good luck with your move to Pakistan!

Profile
 
 
   
  Back to top