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Baking Precision

Pam R

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I have friends to whom I give recipes and usually they say it didn't turn out the same. I would like to be a fly on the wall when they make the stuff because I KNOW they are changing things and just not telling me about it (or perhaps they don't realize just how much they are changing it).

I've found that to be exactly the case, as well. For instance, when a recipe calls for say, butter, some people will think it's fine to substitute EVOO. Or instead of cake flour they'll use bread flour. I like to measure fairly precisely but I realize that it's hard to be so precise while working in such an uncontrolled environment as most home kitchens. That said, when a recipe calls for a particular ingredient I try my best to use that ingredient unless I'm positive leaving it out or substituting for it will have no adverse effect on the finished product.

Edited by sheetz (log)
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I guess I'll have to speak for those of us who are precise.

I am precise.  I take pride in it.

I rarely forget where I am because I create a mise en place in order and follow it.  Once in a while while I am measuring cups of flour I forget and I remeasure them.

I don't think dip/level/pour is precise enough.  I spoon the flour into the cup, level and pour.

I like this about baking, very much.  I don't like it if my results aren't at least close to perfect.

I like washing the dishes, too.  I have pretty bowls.

But I don't do this for a living, and if I did, I wouldn't do it the same way.

I've always found the precision extremely relaxing, like yoga.


I couldn't agree more! I love the precision, the consistency, the order, the zen of baking. I always set up a mise en place and measure dry ingredients level and in measuring instruments designed for dry ingredients. I measure liquids in instruments designed for liquids. I like everything I bake to turn out perfectly every time. I find the entire process to be incredibly calming. I can get lost in an afternoon of baking.

I think most people who have bad luck baking just do really stupid things.

When I teach classes it amazes me that people disregard the instructions I give about measuring, then are disappointed when their baked goods don't turn out like mine. They are very cavalier about the entire process, yet expect success. It doesn't make sense to me, but, whatever.


Eileen Talanian

HowThe Cookie Crumbles.com


As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists. ~Joan Gussow

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was reminded of this thread today. One of my coworkers (a dear friend), who's a great cook but always says she hates baking and is horrible at it because "it's too hard", decided to make some madeleines yesterday and brought them in to work to share. I tried one of the chocolate ones, and while it tasted good, it was kind've an odd chocolate flavour. I was wondering what was in the recipe, so were chatting about baking madeleines and comparing recipes, and she confessed that she didn't have cocoa powder, so she used powdered hot chocolate mix (what, that's cocoa, right?). And then she couldn't understand why they didn't rise properly. ::sigh::

I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?

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