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9 tips to avoid the most common baking mistakes

Because so many people have been baking in the past year, Netflix has given the stars of the baking shows Bake Squad and Nailed It! asked for tips and recommendations to avoid the most common baking mistakes, because if there's one thing we do know about baking, it's that there isn't much room for error.

1. Plan ahead:

Before you bake, figure out the steps to take. If you do, you won't be surprised and it will be a lot easier to move from one task to another. It also means that you are less likely to forget something.

2. Use the freshest and best ingredients:

This applies to everything you do in the kitchen. The best ingredients make it look better because they simply taste better. It is best to use foods when they are in season. If you use strawberries in February, whatever you're going to do with them, it won't be good. So if you're using strawberries, use the best strawberries you can buy. Use them in season. The same goes for everything.

3. Do not mix the salt and sugar:

This seems pretty obvious, but it can (and does!) even the most experienced bakers if they're not paying attention in the kitchen. Making sure your products are properly labeled is an easy way to avoid this.

4. Combine ingredients completely:

Stand mixers are an incredible invention that reduces the workload in the kitchen, but they can't do everything. If you're working with a stand mixer or stand mixer, don't forget to scrape the bottom of the bowl. Whether you're making cookies or a cake, every time you add a new ingredient, grab that silicone spatula and start scraping. You want to be sure that your ingredients are well combined.

5. Do not use a double boiler to heat up chocolate:

Melted chocolate is used in many recipes, and even if you've been baking for a long time, there's still a chance you did this part wrong. People use the double boiler quite a lot, but that creates a lot of steam in the kitchen and that could contaminate your chocolate with more water. That's not ideal, so the easiest way to do that is to just use a microwave.

6. Get to know your oven:

Everyone has a different oven. One person's oven can have quirks and another's oven can be sweet as pie. If a recipe says to bake for 35 minutes, you may need to bake for 45 minutes. So just get to know your oven and see how a particular recipe works for your oven.

7. Be prepared to start over…:

Not everything will go the way you planned, so be ready to adapt. If you burn something or break something, you just have to do it again.

8 … but know when to embrace your mistakes:

Sometimes a mistake in the kitchen can turn into something wonderful. Keep your eyes open, your ears open and your taste buds sharp. You just never know when inspiration will strike.

9. Practice, practice, practice:

Baking is like a muscle. The more you do it, the stronger you will be at it. That's all from measuring your ingredients, mixing, tasting your batter, knowing your oven and being confident, etc. You'll be fine the more you do it.