‘The Great British Baking Show’ Wants You to Stop Making These Common Baking Mistakes

The Great British Baking Show entertains and teaches viewers about baking. Contestants know all the tricks of the trade and want everyone to stop making common baking mistakes. Stop making these mistakes with tips from the show, ahead.

Stop using old ingredients

Great British Bake Off

Fresh ingredients taste better. | The Great British Bake Off via Facebook

There’s a reason fresh ingredients taste better. Quit using brown sugar that’s hard as a rock or baking soda that’s been sitting in your fridge for months. “Baking powder, soda, and yeast all have a shelf life and can be affected by humidity, so if you can’t remember when you bought them, there’s a chance it might be past its prime,” Edd Kimber, the winner of the show’s first season, told BuzzFeed.

Hint: Don’t forget about this important seasoning.

Going light on the salt

Salt shaker

Salt brings the flavor. | Sebalos/iStock/Getty Images

“Baking is still food, so seasoning the dish is important,” Kimber said. “A little sprinkling of salt on a chocolate cookie, or in a chocolate cake batter, can add a little bit of magic.” Next time you’re baking, remember to season properly.

Hint: Using measuring cups is wrong.

Measure improperly 

measuring cups with baking ingredients

Measurements are key in baking. | cheche22/iStock/Getty Images

Baking requires exact measurements. When using cups to measure, the amount can vary. “The biggest thing you can do to improve your baking (if you currently use cups) is to buy a cheap kitchen scale — nothing more than $15,” Kimber said.

Hint: There’s a reason why chefs on TV prep their ingredients.

Baking without reading the recipe first

woman reading cookbook

Ignoring the instructions could be a recipe for disaster. | Motortion/iStock/Getty Images

Reading a recipe before beginning the baking process can be a recipe for disaster. ”You won’t end up starting a recipe you don’t have time for or bake a recipe you don’t have the ingredients or equipment for,” Kimber told BuzzFeed.

Hint: Avoid this baking disaster by following one simple rule.

Decorating without cooling

Big pink wedding cake decorated by fresh flowers

Almost everything must cool before you can decorate. | Sergey_Ko/iStock/Getty Images

Let a cake or cookie cool completely before frosting. Otherwise, decorating will be a disaster. “Almost everything in baking needs to be cooled down fully before you start decorating,” according to Food52.

Hint: Follow directions to avoid disaster.

Don’t take many liberties with a recipe

chocolate chip cookie dough

Adhere closely to the recipe. | iStock/Getty Images

Follow a recipe as follows. Sure, add more chocolate chips to cookie batter but don’t stir batter too much if the recipes says not to do so. For beginners making caramel, follow the recipe exactly, according to Food52.

Hint: Easily make a pastry with this trick.

Putting dough in the oven at the wrong temperature

setting the oven temperature

Preheat that oven. | iStock/Getty Images

Stop thawing puff pastry. Stop right now, according to Nadia, a contestant on the show. She learned on the show that “butter will melt out of the dough if it goes into the oven warm,” according to Bon Appétit. Chilling the dough will result in flaky, airy layers.

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