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Old 02-04-2010, 06:50 AM   #1
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Baking for the First Time.. HELP!!

I'm trying to bake (cookies) for the first time ever.. However I encountered some problems which I wonder if anyone here can help me:

1. How to preheat the oven correctly? For example if i set the temperature to 325 degree (as required by the recipe), the timer to 15mins, and once 15mins is over the heating power will be off. The temperature of the oven will slowly drop..

Should I worry about the oven not maintaining the temperature at a constant of 325 degree before I insert in the things that I want to bake?
Usually how fast should you insert in the tray once the oven has been preheated?

2. Should the oven's tray remain in the oven during preheating? Or should I only insert in the tray (together with the cookie dough & baking sheet) after preheating has been done?

3. My oven has a heating coil at the top and at the bottom. Usually to bake cookies (ort anything) on a tray, do you just on the top heating coil, or do you turn on both the top & bottom heating coil?

By the way, my cookies always get over cooked (burnt) when I use the heating coil at the top.

4. The cookies that I baked, turns out to be crispy on the edges, and softer in the inside.. is there a way to make total crispy cookies, likes the ones on supermarket's shelves?

5. Finally, I would like to know usually what will happen to cookies if we added in more flour than what is required by the recipe?

Please help me. Thanks!!! :) :)

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Old 02-04-2010, 07:16 AM   #2
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1. Your oven should maintain the temperature you set it at within a 5 degree range. The burner turning off and then cycling back on every now and then is normal.

2. Do NOT preheat the cookie tray. Recipes take into account a room temperature tray.

3. Use only the heating element at the bottom for baking. The top element is only used for broiling.

4. For totally crispy cookies, use a crispy cookie recipe, or you could try baking them on the lowest rack setting in your oven.

5. More flour means a drier cookie, and one that will tend to fall part easier.

You might think about going to your local book store and ask about Baking Books. There are some very nice ones out there that aren't expensive and have easy instructions and good advise.

Good Luck!
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:12 AM   #3
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If I set the oven to 15mins to heat up (or preheat) the oven in the beginning, won't the oven turn off once the 15mins period is over? How can I make the oven to maintain the same temperature by itself? Or do I have to quickly push the tray (with the cookie dough) into the oven and reset the timer again?

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Originally Posted by Selkie View Post
1. Your oven should maintain the temperature you set it at within a 5 degree range. The burner turning off and then cycling back on every now and then is normal.
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:30 AM   #4
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I use a kitchen timer with a magnet on the back I stick to the side of my oven, and use it instead of the oven timer.

Of course, the easy way to pre-heat is to simply look at the clock on your wall, or at your wrist watch, and take note of the time and add 10 or 15 minutes to it, and then use your oven timer only for baking.

Pre-heating is not critical, so 5 minutes, more or less won't make any difference. And with my oven, temperatures less than 400 degrees only take about 10 minutes to heat up. It also has a "beep" when it has come up to temperature.

Oh, and try to relax. Have fun and try not to drive yourself crazy or you WILL make mistakes.

On the Muppets, there's a Swedish Baker who is always humming or singing to himself. Actually, that's not a bad idea.
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selkie View Post
Oh, and try to relax. Have fun and try not to drive yourself crazy or you WILL make mistakes.
And remember that sometimes the best creations come from mistakes!

Knightrised,
Does the recipe say to pre-heat the oven for 15 mins? I've never seen an oven the did a timed pre-heat then cooled down as you describe. Just heat the oven to 325, and throw the cookies in there! With cookies I always check them about 2-3 minutes before the recipe recommended cooking time has elapsed since I like them soft and gooey.
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Old 02-04-2010, 08:14 PM   #6
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On most ovens you set the temerature, let the oven preheat and the set the time when you put the food in the oven. On yours you set the temperature and then set a timer? Is that correct? That sounds like how my counter-top oven works (sot of like a toaster over but larger and is convection as well)
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