10 Beginner Baking Lessons from ‘The Great British Bake Off’
Few baking competition shows offer opportunities for learning moments, but The Great British Bake Off makes room for tips and notes. Because the bakers are amateurs, the judges will frequently talk with them after a challenge about what went wrong and what can be improved. If you’re bad at taking notes, here are a few baking hacks to try in your kitchen courtesy of our favorite big white tent.
1. Let things cool. Always, always wait for your bakes to cool off before decorating. You’ll save yourself so much heartache even if the anticipation is a killer.
2. Time management is everything. Multitasking like a pro is everything if you’re trying to make a multi-tiered cake or multiple baking projects all at once for a big event.
3.Watch your filling ratio. You must to consider the filling-to-cake-to-icing ratios for the most enjoyable bake. Like all good things in life, balance and moderation are key.
4.The drier the fruit, the shorter the fall. When putting fruit into a cake, find a way to dry it before you add to a mix. Otherwise, the fruit will sink — as several unlucky contestants learned in the cherry cake challenge in season one. Toss dried fruit or fresh fruit like cherries in a little flour to soak up the extra moisture before adding them to the batter.
5.Don’t over-knead your dough. Worse even than burning or under-cooking your bread is over-kneading it. Dough that’s been kneaded too much or too long can be flat, hard, and dry on the inside.
6.When in doubt, do the “windowpane test.” If you can see through your dough when stretched out, then you’ve developed enough gluten and it’s ready to proof.
7.Egg wash can throw you off. As one baker learned in season one, egg wash can make rolls appear to be done before they are cooked through.
8.Don’t rush the proofing process. Some bakers feel rushed and will force heat into their dough during the proofing process. Judge Mary Berry says to avoid doing this with certain types of dough like ciabatta, because it can cause it to overproof and then fall flat during baking.
9.Leave room for food to expand as it bakes. Give your cookies space from each other and make room for muffins and rolls to expand. Having your pastries bake on top of each other can cause problems in the evenness of a bake. And then they won’t look uniform when it comes time to decorate.
10.Avoid soggy bottoms. The best thing about pie crust is its flaky and crispy texture. Unfortunately, sometimes fruit-filled pies can make that difficult. If the fruit is overcooked in a pie, it releases too much moisture and makes the crust soggy. Instead, partially bake just the crust before filling it. You also can toss the fruit in a little cornstarch or flour to tie up the water.
Find more baking tips and recipes to pair them with on our Pinterest!
(Photos Courtesy of © Love Productions, worldwide, all media in perpetuity.)
Fall is right around the corner, and we're getting amped up for our next session of Selfmade, Brit + Co's 10-week interactive startup school. Designed to help you create a new business or grow your existing one, this course is personally led by Brit + Co founder Brit Morin and co-founder Anjelika Temple, and supported by more than a dozen of the top female entrepreneurs, creatives, and investors in the country. Students receive personalized coaching on everything from how to get out of your comfort zone to how to scale your business, and everything in between. And now, thanks to Office Depot, even more of you can join the course!
For the fall session, we're thrilled to team up with Office Depot to grant 200 FREE scholarship seats to the course. Scholarships are open to US residents, focusing on women of color, women from underserved and underrepresented communities, and women in need of support to help them trail-blaze. After all, we firmly believe that your support system is a huge part of how you achieve greatness, and we are here to cheer all of you on.
To nominate yourself or someone you know for a scholarship, head to our nomination form right here. The deadline for scholarship nominations is September 27th — it's time to take the leap!
Beyond the scholarship, Office Depot is all about helping you accomplish more. Whether it be the start phase, growth phase or keep businesses going phase, Office Depot offers a full suite of business solutions, including services and products, to help you work from anywhere, organize and save time and help build your brand.
So what are you waiting for? Take a chance on yourself and get yourself one step closer to truly being selfmade. Learn more about the Selfmade program, apply for a scholarship and prepare to be inspired :)