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Preparation tips for stress-free baking

Being attentive to the preparation stages when baking can make or break your cake. Find out how to breeze the prepping process with hints from The Hummingbird Bakery.

Far from coming together in the final stages of a recipe, baking actually begins long before your cakes reach the oven.

For airy sponges, chewy-to-the-bite cookies and perfect pastry, preparation is every bit as important as your baking techniques.

Buy quality ingredients You might not realise it but a trip to the supermarket to gather your ingredients is as much a part of the baking process as weighing out the flour, sugar and eggs.

Investing a little time in sourcing the best quality ingredients you can afford will go a long way towards producing beautiful baked goodies.

Organise your work area Having a clutter-free space where you can mix, whisk, fold and roll to your heart’s content is essential. Bring out your bowls, mixers and equipment before you start so you’re not rummaging through the cupboards between recipe stages.

Organising your kitchen will help you to remain unflustered and you’re less likely to make mistakes with everything you need to hand.

Read the recipe This may seem obvious but many cooks hazard little more than a passing glance at the instructions before ploughing headlong into a new recipe.

Even if it’s a recipe you’re familiar with from other books, always read through the stages involved and check you have all the ingredients you need before embarking on your next bake.

Smart baking preparation really comes down to attention to detail. Taking a little extra time to prep before you bake will help you to stay on top of things and let you get on with enjoying your time in the kitchen.