Foolproof Baking Tips

Momofuku Milk Bar's Christina Tosi shares essential advice for home bakers
Baking can be intimidating. Exacting measurements, yeast (it's alive!), frosting, creaming properly… It can be a little stressful, especially if the results aren't what you hoped for. But baking shouldn't be viewed this way. As Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar puts it, "You're baking because it's something that brings you joy and pleasure. Just keep your cool."

Click here to see the Foolproof Baking Tips Slideshow

While that might be easy for someone who is one of the most loved bakers in New York City to say, it will soon be the mantra you share with your newbie baking friends after following Tosi's helpful tips below.

Click here to learn How to Make the Perfect Brownie

The cookie and dessert queen shares some of her delectable, buttery, and insanely addicting recipes from her new cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar, plus advice on how to be a better baker (and it doesn't involve going to culinary school).

Momofuku Milk Bar's Christina Tosi demonstrates the steps to the chocolatiest of cookies:
Video: Momofuku's Chocolate-Chocolate Cookie

Momofuku Milk Bar's Christina Tosi demonstrates the steps to mastering her infamous Crack Pie
Video: How to Make Crack Pie

© Istock/seandnad© Istock/seandnadDon't Rush the Churning Process
For cookies, if they're not fluffy, then you need to keep mixing the butter and melted chocolate mixture. This process is important for good dough. Make sure to mix slowly, otherwise cookie dough will taste bready and not fluffy. And, that way you can avoid any dry ingredients flying up and creating an I Love Lucy moment in the kitchen.

© Gabriele Stabile© Gabriele StabileWax Over Foil
At Milk Bar, the cookies are baked on waxed paper instead of foil because foil conducts heat and might burn the bottom of the cookies. For more advanced bakers, purchasing a Silpat is a good idea.
Quick Tip: How to know when cookies are done? First, the smell (hopefully you've experienced the intoxicating scent of freshly baked cookies). Second, there will be a little crack on top.
Click here to see the Chocolate Chocolate Cookies recipe (pictured).

© Istock/Bloodstone© Istock/BloodstoneKnow Your Oven
"You can have any type of oven, you just really need to know it." Tosi believes that this might be one of the most important things to understand about your kitchen. Every oven has a different cold or hot spot and this is something you will get to know over time so that you can ensure the best baking possible.

Also, the temperature inside your oven might not accurately reflect the number you set it at. Check out the next slide for her thoughts on oven thermometers.

© Istock/YinYang© Istock/YinYangEssential Tools
Tosi recommends a stand mixer, particularly for recipes in this book, as opposed to a hand mixer. She uses a Breville mixer that has a retractable cord so it doesn't take up too much counter space. Other items? A really heavy-duty sheet pan that's good quality. Otherwise, if it's too thin then it might bend and you won't get an even bake on your cake or could end up with a lopsided cake. Lastly, a heat-safe spatula is great to have because a lot of baking includes homogenous batters, doughs, and mixtures.

© Istock/airmj© Istock/airmjImportance of Using a Scale
Baking is such a scientific process, so everything is measured to the gram at Milk Bar - especially because there are multiple locations and Tosi wants to make sure that there is consistency in the products sold at each store. However, because most home cooks use tablespoons and cups as measurements, the cookbook includes these as well. To be really accurate, she recommends using a scale.

Click here for 4 More Foolproof Baking Tips

- Yasmin Fahr, The Daily Meal

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