Have you ever felt frustrated, overwhelmed, or even stressed out when you’re baking?
First of all, I want you to know that these feelings are completely normal! As someone who struggled with cooking and baking at first, I understand the frustrations that can come with developing these skills.
If you asked my mum how I reacted when I first started cooking, she’d probably tell you that I was a hot mess.
I stressed out over cooking times, I was terrified of spitting oil, and I always panicked over whether chicken was fully cooked through.
Dread would set in every time it was my turn to cook dinner. I remember one particularly stressful evening that I begged my mum in tears to take over, because I was too overwhelmed with everything. She wouldn't let me quit; she calmly told me to take a breath and keep going.
It took me months before I began to feel comfortable in the kitchen. And a few more months before I realised that I no longer ran away in fear of oil splatter or was worried my veggies wouldn't be done at the same time as my protein.
Because I was forced to consistently practice cooking, my skills improved. I became confident in the kitchen. And cooking actually turned into one of my favourite things to do.
(Full disclosure: I still overcook chicken because I’m a worrywart.)
The One Thing You Need: Patience
If you're feeling discouraged and want to improve your baking skills and confidence, you’ll be pleased to know that you don't need the fanciest equipment or the best ingredients to be a better, more confident baker.
The one thing you do need? Patience.
Not only will you need to be patient with yourself as you take the time to learn and improve your skills, but baking itself also requires a large amount of patience. You can’t speed up rising bread dough any more than you can pipe the perfect swirl of frosting on top of a cupcake right out of the gate.
If you expect perfection the first time you try to bake, you’ll end up quitting before you even give yourself a chance.
So how can you develop patience and improve your baking skills? Here are some tips to get you started:
When you're first starting out, you want to start small and focus on the basics. Choose simple recipes that don't require a lot of time or fancy equipment, like brownies or cookies. This will build your confidence and allow you to get comfortable with the process and basic techniques of baking.
Follow the Recipe
One of the biggest mistakes that beginners make is not reading through or following the recipe closely enough. Baking is a science, and even small deviations from the recipe can have a big impact on the final result. Make sure you read through the recipe carefully before you begin and follow the instructions exactly as written.
Don’t go rogue until you know what you’re doing! That’s just flirting with disaster.
Practice, Practice, Practice
You knew this was coming. Like with any other pursuit – football, painting, public speaking, origami – the more you practice, the better you'll become. Make time to bake regularly, even if it's just once a week or twice a month. This will help you develop a routine and build your skills over time. Little steps = big growth.
Be Patient With Yourself
Remember that baking is a journey, and it's okay to make mistakes along the way. Don't be too hard on yourself if a recipe doesn't turn out perfectly the first (or even the fifth) time. Instead, use it as an opportunity to learn and grow.
Instead of beating yourself up, switch into investigator mode. Ask yourself what went wrong. Did you follow the recipe exactly or did you miss a step? Can you research or watch a tutorial on a technique you were unfamiliar with for better results next time?
Soak Up Knowledge from Experts
When I first started baking, I explored every opportunity to learn from people with more experience than I had. I watched baking shows, reviewed online tutorials, asked my grandma for guidance, and even took classes.
If you’d like a headstart on developing your baking skills, consider taking my FREE email course for beginner bakers, Start from Scratch.
This course will teach you the very first steps to mastering the art of home baking and gaining confidence in the kitchen.
Over a quick 4 days, you’ll learn:
The must-have baking tools you should have in your kitchen
The 10 ingredients to have on hand to bake ANY recipe
How to decode baking jargon and terms so you can read any recipe and know exactly what to do
Plus, I’m sharing 5 of my best tips and hacks to save time and create delicious baked goods every time!
Whether you want to start baking as a hobby and understand everything you need to tackle your first recipe or are dipping your toes back in after a long hiatus, this free course is for you.
Finally, it's important to remember that baking should be fun! Don't get too caught up in the details or the end result. Enjoy the process and take pride in your creations, no matter how they turn out. YOU MADE THAT!
Over time, you’ll be shocked at how far you’ve come and will surprise yourself with how much more confident you feel.
And remember: next time you're feeling frustrated or overwhelmed in the kitchen, take a deep breath and remind yourself that patience is the secret to becoming a better baker.