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Dutchess_III's avatar

When you use a recipe, is it more of a guidelines and suggestions thing, or do you follow it to the letter?

Asked by Dutchess_III (46938points) May 7th, 2019

The first time cook using a new recipe I’ll follow it pretty close, but subsequent cookings I start adding my own touch.

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14 Answers

jca2's avatar

With baking, I follow the basic ingredients to the letter, because baking is like chemistry. So flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar, etc. I will be precise. Maybe something like if it has nuts or raisins, I’ll eye it or throw in some extra, depending on what I like.

chyna's avatar

To the letter. Each time. I’m not a cook, so I’m afraid to experiment.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I started my banana bread with a recipe from 1945. I quickly modified it to add one more banana than it calls for and also, vanilla. I also only use bananas that I threw in the freezer when they started getting over ripe.

I switched up a bread recipe and use beer instead of water or milk. I do measure my yeast, but I just pour honey in till I’m satisfied. I also use 2 eggs instead of 1. When I was growing up this German lady, who was a friend of my mom’s, used to send over this home made bread that was to die for. About a year ago I reconnected with her daughter and I asked her if she knew the secret to her mom’s bread. She said it was probably eggs. She always added more eggs to everything.

Zaku's avatar

I follow the instructions. After I have some experience with the recipe, I tend to modify some things. Sometimes I rewrite the recipe the way I can do it so I can follow that, because it helps me to have the steps written in order (to not forget things, do things at not the best time, etc).

Zaku's avatar

My mom however is a great cook and she usually just takes all recipes as suggestions or inspiration, measures almost nothing, uses the ingredients she has on hand, experiments, etc.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Same as you, first time or two, by the book, after that I add or subtract as needed.

jca2's avatar

Sometimes I will use liquor in addition to, or instead of, vanilla extract.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What kind of liquor, @jca2? Like Boonsfarm or Jack? Or rum? Or vodka? Oh, I know! Everclear!

jca2's avatar

Like a brandy or if it’s something citrusy, then Cointreau.

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Kardamom's avatar

With baking, I always follow the recipe, because the time, temp, and ingredients will work, or not work, if you change it up. I still fail with baking, and don’t enjoy it as much as other cooking.

I have 2 friends who are master bakers and I let them do the baking, although I like to be the sous chef, and/or watch the magic.

When doing other cooking, I start with a recipe, then improvise as I need to, or switch up ingredients when I feel like it. My results are usually positive.

JLeslie's avatar

Cooking it’s a guideline. Baking sweets about ¾ of the time to the letter, but ¼ of the time I reduce fat or cholesterol.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I use All Recipes for about 99 % of what I make. In those cases, I read the reviews and adjust based on recommendations that make sense or fit our tastes. If it is a family recipe, I stick to it.

dabbler's avatar

I almost never follow a recipe closely, and that works fine most of the time.
But that is also why I am a lousy baker, “more-or-less” doesn’t work with baking apparently.

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