There are an unlimited number of common reasons why a person may fail at baking something. However, in general, all these reasons can be broken down into four common causes for failure in baking: your ingredients, your equipment, your environment, and yourself. If you understand these four key factors, which contribute to all common baking failures, and set measures to prevent them, you will find that your failing rate will go down. I guarantee it.
1. Your ingredients
One of the four most common causes of baking failure, your ingredients are the most important part of the baking process. Why? Because they make up the final product that you get, of course. It is all too often that people jump into baking without understanding what their ingredients are for, what their ingredients do, and how their ingredients affect the baking process. If you take some time to read up a bit about the ingredients you are using in your baking, and get to understand them better, then there is no doubt that you will definitely improve to the point of not making any mistakes.
Sometimes, you may have unluckily gotten a bad recipe. The recipe either gives you the wrong measurement for ingredients, or maybe it gives you the directions but not very clearly. The problems from this too can be avoided by better understanding of the ingredients, their combinations, and the methods required to mix them.
2. Your equipment
The equipment you use is a very essential part of the baking process, but it is so often overlooked. Just like with your ingredients, you have to understand your equipment well. I’m not saying that you have to be an electrician or mechanic, but at the very least you should know the ins and outs of the baking equipment you use in your own home, and the best equipment for the job. Every single thing you use, from the cake pan to the mixing bowl, can affect your baking and cause you to fail.
It would be impossible to mention every aspect, but just for the sake of illustration let us take the cake pan as an example. Different cake pans will lead to different outcomes for your cake. Dark-colored baking pans will require a lower baking temperature than shiny, light-colored ones. Some cakes require you to grease and flour your cake pans, and some do not.
3. Your environment
Your environment doesn’t cause you to fail as often as the other factors, but it does play tricks on you from time to time. Things like the weather and temperature of the air can affect your baking tremendously. The altitude in which you are baking will affect several factors too. Therefore, it is important that you understand how your environment affects the baking process.
In the end, all the three factors above lead to the problem of ‘yourself’. It’s because you didn’t understand how your ingredients, your equipment, and your environment affect the baking process that you find yourself presented with the problem of failure. Sometimes you may have been careless, and not followed the directions specified in the recipe correctly. Other times you may have been in a hurry and done everything in a rush without thinking and preparation.
Once you cover these four bases, you will significantly lower your failure rate. And in the unlikely situation that you fail after that, you will probably understand why you failed, and know how to avoid it in the future.