Creating a recipe is not only fun but it Is extremely satisfying. Today I am sharing my five tips to create your own recipes. I think you will be surprised how easy this is to do.
I get a lot of satisfaction from cooking and baking. I love sharing good food with our family and they seem to enjoy it too. For the longest time I was armed with a cookbook anytime I “tried a new recipe”. Finally, I threw out the “cookbook crutch” and started making my own recipes. I have fine-tuned my recipe creation process and I now use it every time I create a new recipe. Today I am sharing my five tips to help you create your own recipes.
Creating a recipe is a lot easier than you think.
It is also freeing, fun, and very gratifying.
I have a five-step process I use to make my recipes and it works really well. You should use these same five steps every time you create your own recipes.
There is a common saying that in order to make a recipe your own, you need to make at least three changes before you can call a recipe your own. The changes need to be substantial but I think that’s boring.
Why not come up with a way to create a recipe that allows you to really make a recipe your own?
Try these five steps and I think you will be happy with the outcome.
Tip #1 – Do Your Research Before You Create Your Own Recipe
Let’s say you want to make a bread that has a citrus flavor. If you google lemon or orange bread you will find a lot of recipes. No, more like a gazillion recipes. With so many recipes online, maybe it’s time to think harder. And be more creative.
What about making grapefruit bread? Or what about a Lemon Coconut Bread, which has two of my most favorite ingredients? Or how about an Orange Lemon Coconut Bread. See how you can and should think out of the box?
Next, you need to see what kind of recipes are on the internet for Lemon Coconut Bread. Looking at lots of different recipes will help you find common ingredients, missing ingredients, and the proportions used for the ingredients.
(If you like the canisters I made, click on my DIY blog post here.)
Tip #2 – Make a List of the Ingredients you Think You Want to Use
Start making a list of the ingredients you want to use. You will find a lot of items in the recipes on the internet. You should also look for these things.
If all of the recipes have the exact same ingredient then there is probably a reason for it. This doesn’t mean you have to use it, it is just a heads up that perhaps you want to use lemon and lemon zest and/or coconut milk and coconut oil.
A Missing Ingredient
There might be some ingredients listed that you hadn’t thought of and you think are missing from the recipes. If you want to add another ingredient, such as yogurt or sour cream, this might make your recipe different and better.
At this point, you really need to push yourself. There are some things that you can add to any recipe. But what about Lemon Coconut Bread? For this recipe, I might add honey, basil, jalapeno, chili pepper, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, or ginger. Of course, you do not want to add all of these, perhaps just one or a few. You also don’t have to add a large amount. Just perhaps enough to give your bread some kick.
Tip #3 – Create Your Recipe
Now that you have your ingredients, how do you know what proportions to use?
The book is called Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking. The codes in the book are the ratios that exist in most recipes. For example, think about a vinaigrette or salad dressing. As explained in the book, the simple ratio of the main ingredients is 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. As long as you use that ratio, you can make any salad dressing with any type of olive oil, vinegar, and some fresh herbs. So rather than memorizing one recipe you just need to memorize the ratio to use to make your own vinaigrette. Isn’t that the best cooking tip?
As the author states, “When you know a culinary ratio, it’s not like knowing a single recipe, it’s instantly knowing a thousand.” How simple is that?
If you are thinking this is what chefs use to create their recipes, then you are right. It’s all about the ratios.
In the book Ratio, the ratio for quick breads and muffins is 2 parts flour to 2 parts liquid to 1 part fat to 1 part egg – a 2:2:1:1 ratio. The author claims that, as a template for quick breads, the working parameters are: to use about equal parts, by weight, of flour and liquid with half as much each of fat and egg.
When it says “fat” the author is referring to butter, shortening, margarine, or oil. The liquid can be just about anything such as milk, water, orange juice, sour cream, or whatever. It’s up to you. You get to choose and that is my favorite part!
So how do you measure? The most accurate way is to measure by weight. You will need a food scale to measure by weight which has become a must in my kitchen.
To make your recipe you have to taste as you go. The ratio includes the primary ingredients and sometimes doesn’t specify things like sugar. You likely need to add some sugar or honey or syrup for a more pleasing taste.
Tip #4 – Write Everything Down
Before you start this nest step, put your cookbooks away, and close your laptop. You can, of course, keep the book Ratio open. Now is the time to create YOUR recipe.
As you are creating your recipe, you have to keep track of what you are doing. So when you add ingredients, make sure to write it down. You can also use your phone and videotape how to create your recipe.
Start with a small amount of each ingredient, because this is still an experiment.
If you are making a quick bread, I recommend that you mix the batter together first, then separate it into muffin size parts before you start adding fruit or flavorings. Use a different colored cupcake liner and write down which one is which. Taste the batter and bake it and decide which one you like!
Tip #5 – Make the Final Recipe
Once you bake your recipes, or in this case muffins, it is time to taste them. This is when you get to decide which you like the best. Go back and finish your recipe (don’t forget to adjust the proportions) and you will have your own recipe.
Ideally, you might want to make the recipe one more time before you share it, just to make sure you have all of the ingredients exactly how you want them.
Doesn’t this sound amazing? And fun?
I shared two Pumpkin bread recipes earlier this week. They are so delicious. How do I know? We have been eating them all week.
Here is the best part about creating your own recipes. The easiest way to start out is to make basic recipes. Basic cookie dough. Basic quick bread. Basic cake batter. Then you can start with one of your basic recipes and alter it to make it flavorful and fun. With the basics, you can create almost any recipe!
Next week I will create and share a recipe for Orange Lemon Coconut Bread. (There is a chance there might be some grapefruit instead, so stay tuned!) I can’t wait to create a new fun recipe. Because who knows where it might take me.
Maybe I will make Lime Orange Lemon Grapefruit Coconut Bread? Just kidding.
Feel feel to create your own recipe and make something yourself. Share it on Instagram and tag me @my100yearoldhome. I will try to share your photo on my Instagram stories!
Links to Recipes Pictured in this Blog Post
Pin the image below to your Baking or Recipe boards on Pinterest (just click the Pin button in the top left corner). You can also follow along with me on Pinterest!