Why Baking Fails: The 8 Most Common Dough Mistakes

Even experienced cooks have problems with baking – the dough is too runny or very “battered,” the products are very hard, and the ruddy crust is missing. Cooking is a rather subtle science and does not tolerate miscalculations. Here are 8 mistakes that baking lovers often make.

Inaccurate proportions

The dough does not tolerate inaccurate proportions. If you add ingredients “by eye,” you may be out of luck. If you overdo the flour, the batter will be too stiff and clogged, and saving on eggs will turn the pancakes into lumps of batter.

Poorly sifted flour.

For any kind of batter, it is a good idea to sift the flour. This procedure will oxygenate the flour and make baked goods tender and airy, as well as clean out impurities. If you add baking powder to the dough, sift it together with the flour – so it will be evenly distributed.

Incorrect use of baking soda and baking powder

Not all cooks understand the difference between baking soda and baking powder. These ingredients are very important for lifting the dough and should be used correctly. We add baking soda to the dough with sour ingredients, such as kefir or sour cream. And we use a leavening agent in baked goods without dairy products.

Previously, we told in detail what is better to use in the dough – baking soda or leavening agent.

Incorrect temperature of products

For most types of dough, except for shortbread and custard, the products must be taken out of the refrigerator in advance. Eggs, milk, and sour cream should be at room temperature – so they will combine better and bake evenly. Room temperature is especially important for pancakes and pancakes.

Improper Mixing Order

Most baked goods “won’t forgive” you if you just mix all the ingredients together. Follow the sequence of steps in the recipe, or the batter will not work.

For biscuits and muffins, the liquid and dry ingredients are mixed separately and only then combined. If the recipe has whipped whites – add them to the dough at the very end, otherwise, it will shrink.

Unsweetened yeast

For yeast dough, the shelf life of the yeast is extremely important. If the yeast is stale, it will not activate and the dough will not rise, but it will have an unpleasant yeast flavor.

Also, open yeast expires even faster. If you rarely make yeast dough, buy yeast in small sachets so that it doesn’t weatherize.

Not preheating the oven

To make sure products bake evenly, be sure to preheat the oven before placing the dough. If you start baking in a cold oven, the dough will not rise.

Opening the oven.

If you worry about the dough and frequently check its condition in the oven – you can get stiff and fallen baked goods. Baking in the oven really doesn’t like to be disturbed. And for biscuits, fresh air during baking is especially destructive. So don’t look in the oven too often.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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