5 Tips for Following a Recipe

Why do so many of us try to take shortcuts, substitute ingredients and still expect a recipe to work the way it was intended? I am not a recipe developer, but Elizabeth is a very experienced one. All of the trial and error Elizabeth and other recipe developers go through to ensure a recipe works perfectly saves me time and money. To help prevent failure, here are our top five tips for successfully preparing a recipe:

1. read thoroughly

The most important rule is to read the entire recipe before starting. Sometimes recipes have unexpected steps. Nothing’s worse than getting into a recipe only to realize it requires longer than you planned or a kitchen tool you don’t have on hand.

2. measure first

After reading a recipe, do all prep work first. Chop the onions. Measure out all the small ingredients. While this step sounds more labor intensive than measuring as you go, it actually saves time.

3. No substitutions

We all have different dietary restrictions, but changing the ingredients in a recipe can cause it to fail. This is especially true for baked goods because not all gluten-free flours work the same. For example, using coconut flour in place of all-purpose gluten-free flour won’t work. It’s best to find a recipe that uses ingredients that fit your needs.

4. order is everything

Recipes have a flow, so follow the steps in the order they are written. We all want shortcuts; however, following the correct order of a recipe ensures success.

5. tweak and tinker

After you’ve made the recipe once, it’s time for experimenting. If you don’t first prepare the recipe as written, it’s hard to gauge what needs to be tweaked. Jot down some notes. Does it need more seasoning? A few more mushrooms? Write down what you loved and what you would like to change. Then make one change at a time. Soon you’ll have a recipe that’s perfect for your palate.

News Editor Jennifer Harris is a gluten-free consultant and blogs at gfgotoguide.com. Recipe developer Elizabeth Barbone is a cookbook author. She blogs at GlutenFreeBaking.com.

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