baking 101

Perfect Baking 101 (Lesson Four) :: How to bake things in the oven

Now that you’ve got your rack in the right place, your oven set to the right temperature (lesson two) and your oven preheated correctly (lesson three), we are ready to put something in the oven!!

Unless otherwise stated in your recipe, your should always be baking on the middle rack—directly in the middle of the oven. If you have an odd-placed oven-rack, and it must either be above or below the middle, always go lower. Though there is a second oven rack available, it’s not recommended to do two-tiered baking (baking on both racks at the same time) for home kitchens.


  • Uneven cake layers (one side bakes higher than the other)
  • Uneven baked cookies (some well-browned, others raw)
  • Uneven browning of quick breads (one side browned, other not)


  • Make sure you have mastered lessons one – three
  • After goodie is in the oven, set time for 60% of the minimum suggested baking time (i.e. recipe states to bake for 20-25 minutes; 60% of 20 minutes= 12 minutes)
  • When timer beeps, open oven door and quickly reach in and rotate the baking sheet (or what-other container), so that the left-side of the pan is now on the right-side of the oven, and vice versa; do this very gently as to not disturb the air bubbles that are gently leavening your baked goods
  • Set the timer for the remainder of the minimum baking time to continue baking

Voila! No more half-baked unfortunate goodies!

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