It’s The Recipe’s Fault – Compound Steps

This mistake started about 3,600 years ago with the first recipe the experts have found. It was written in paragraph form. That makes for easy reading, for sure, but it also makes it easy to lose your place. Have you ever stepped away from the recipe to take care of something on the stove, then step back only to return to a different part of the paragraph and miss an entire step? It’s very easy to do. It’s also very easy to solve. Separate the paragraphs (compound steps) into individual steps and show one at a time. Sometimes, it’s not too bad if the steps in the paragraph are related to each other and frequently done together (making a béchamel sauce, for example). Other times, it’s not so good. Some recipe writers are notorious for limiting themselves to only 3 or 4 or 5 steps. That’s fine if there’s only a few things to do, but most recipes require more things to be done. Some recipes even have as many as 30-40 steps that have been combined into just a few paragraphs.

It's The Recipe's Fault - Compound Steps

With the advent of the computer, tablet, and mobile device, the printed page (and costs associated with printing) are no longer an issue. Why not give the steps the space they need (and even include photos for each one)?