This Is the Most Important Thing to Do Before You Start Baking...Anything

woman rolling dough

Picture it: It's a rainy/snowy/generally gross day, and all you want to do is stay inside and bake something delicious. Chocolate chip cookies, you think. Classic.

You preheat the oven, and start assembling your ingredients. You mix the butter with two kinds of sugar, add in your eggs and vanilla and...oh no. Just as you're about to start on the dry ingredients, you realize you definitely don't have enough flour to go through with the recipe. Why?!

The easiest way to avoid this disappointing scenario: Read the entire recipe—start to finish—before doing any other prep work.

It seems like a no-brainer, but we’ve definitely found ourselves in a situation where we assumed we knew all of the ingredients that went into a baked treat only to find out that we had about half the required amount of flour (yes, the chocolate chip cookie thing has happened...twice). Ugh. To avoid a mid-cooking grocery-store trip, read the whole recipe before you even hit 'preheat.'

Cooking is a little different, since you have more freedom to improvise without really messing anything up. Baking, however, requires a higher level of precision and adherence to instructions. One slip up and your Chocolate Banana Bread Babka goes from mouthwatering to inedible.

Trust us, pivoting to a recipe you do have all the ingredients to make is way more fun than having to toss a bunch of half-finished cookie dough.

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