What do Duff Goldman, Mary Berry, and Anna Olson all have in common apart from being renowned pastry chefs? They all started as beginners, just like you. Regardless of what you’re doing or where you are in life now, it’s never a bad time to start your baking journey.
We’re here to help! In this post, we share two very simple recipes every home baker should try to jumpstart their baking practice. Let’s get started.
The mention of making bread for someone new to baking may sound like a nightmare, but this recipe makes it oh-so-easy and it’s oh-so-good.
To make it, you’ll need:
- 3 cups of flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons of salt
- half a teaspoon of instant yeast
- 1 ½ cups room-temperature water
Mix the first three ingredients together in a large bowl, stir in the water (adding more as needed to get the dough wet throughout), and create a dough that’s thick and chunky. It’s okay if it doesn’t look that appealing at this point.
Cover the mixing bowl in plastic wrap and let it sit for half a day or more at room temperature (or overnight). As soon as you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 450° F, place inside a 6-quart dutch oven in the oven to heat up for some 30 minutes, then gently transfer the dough from the bowl into a floured surface.
Remember, don’t knead. Just shape the dough into a ball, add a nice amount of flour on the outside, and let it sit on a piece of parchment while covered with plastic while you wait for your pan to finish heating up.
Once the pan is hot enough, take your dough, remove the plastic and parchment, and place your dough inside the pan. Be careful since it’s hot.
Now, it’s time to get baking.
For the first part, you’ll want to cover the dutch oven as the dough bakes for a good 30 minutes. After that, take the cover off and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes to create a crispy, golden brown layer. That’s it!
We suggest pairing your no-knead bread with a delicious serving of arugula salad for a filling meal.
Quick-and-Easy Banana Muffins
There are more than a hundred different ways to make banana muffins, but this recipe is where all budding bakers should start. You’ll need every ingredient on the list below to make it:
- 1 ½ cup flour
- 6 tablespoons melted butter (unsalted)
- 1 ½ cups mashed bananas (about 3 large ones)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 egg (room temperature)
- 2 tablespoons milk
- ⅔ cup of sugar
The first step is, as you probably already guessed, preheating the oven. For this, 425° F should do the trick. Use a 12-count muffin pan and spray it with nonstick spray or use cupcake liners.
Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl with a whisk. Set this aside. In a large bowl, mash the bananas and whisk in the melted butter, egg, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and milk.
The next step is to mix your dry ingredients and wet ingredients, beating or whisking them until you create a nice, thick consistency. If you’d like to add some nuts or chocolate chips, this is the perfect time to put them in.
Fill the muffin pan or liners with the batter using a spoon, making sure they fill all the way to the top. After you’ve filled the entire muffin pan, place it inside the oven for 5 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350° F. Keep the muffins in the oven at this temperature for another 16-18 minutes.
One way to check if the muffins are done is to insert a toothpick. If it comes out clean, you’re good to go. Once you take out your muffins, let them cool for 5 minutes in the pan and voila! You’ve baked your first delicious batch of banana muffins.
Need more ideas for easy baking recipes? Try these out.
Simple Sugar Cookies
These easy-to-make treats aren’t just good for Christmas, they’re perfect all year round. The secret to making them extra delicious is to add a bit more butter.
The Foolproof Cheesecake
Cheesecake isn’t complicated to make. Just make sure to add some lemon zest so you get a little tangy goodness with every bite.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Roll
If you love cheese and pumpkin as much as we do, don’t skip this yummy dessert. Rolls are fun to make and even more fun to eat. Use pumpkin puree, a bit of pumpkin spice, and top everything off with a little powdered sugar—you’ll have your kids begging for another slice.
Home baking is an art
While it’s true that anyone who knows how to follow simple instructions can bake, there’s also an aspect to baking that lets you unleash your creativity. So, if you’ve waited until now to pursue baking more seriously, then it may be time to go all-in so you can also discover your pastry chef potential.