I am a novice baker. With the arrival of my oven five weeks ago, I’ve embarked on a wonderful baking journey.
Baking brings me joy. I think it’s the whole process, from preparing the ingredients and trays, mixing the ingredients, putting them in the oven, and then tasting and sharing what I’ve baked that gives me happiness. Baking can be a bit tedious but I find it relaxing to do. It’s been one of the ways I de-stress these days.
As someone who’s new to baking, I never expected that I would be learning so much. I get excited with all the science involved in making bread, cookies, and cakes. All the measurements need to be precise or you won’t get the picture-perfect outcome. On the other hand, baking also taught me many things about my self and about life.
1. Eat your mistakes, learn from them
I attempted a seemingly easy recipe for fudge cookies that I saw on YouTube. They looked immaculate! I tried it out and mine looked like dry pancakes. Despite preparing everything to a tee my cookies didn’t turn out as beautiful.
I still ate my cookie pancakes even if they weren’t perfect. Later on, I learned that I should have weighed everything in grams instead of relying on cups. The way I baked cookies after that have only gotten better. Don’t give up on your mistakes they make us better as long as we learn from them.
2. Put your body in it
For me, the hardest part of making bread is kneading it. My first batch of pandesal was under kneaded. Good thing there’s a lot of tutorials on how to knead bread on the internet. The trick was to put your body in it and respond to what the dough tells you. Just the right amount of force.
As you put the hard work in you’ll end up with a smooth, springy dough. Go all in and you’ll get good results.
3. Good things take time to rise
Baking has a lot of waiting. For bread, some recipes would require you to wait an hour for the first rise so you can shape it, and then an hour more before putting it in the oven – where you wait again for it to bake. When we rush this process, we won’t get the best bread even if we put all our efforts in.
Waiting will reward you with delicious bread filling your house with its glorious aroma. Be patient, good things take time!
4. Don’t shy away from heat
Heat is necessary when baking, without it, all your hard work in preparing, and mixing won’t pay off. Heat wakes up the ingredients so that the needed chemical reactions will take place. A beautiful transformation takes place to your baked goods when they get in and then out of the oven.
When it gets hot and crazy, expect that you’re going to emerge much stronger and more beautiful once everything cools down again.
5. Always finish what you’ve started
Once you start on a recipe, you have to follow it through to completion. You can’t just leave things half-prepared and half-baked (unless the recipe calls for it). There will be times that you need to do a lot of waiting. There will also be times that you have to be quick in action.
Regardless of how long the in-betweens are you need to finish it. Once you start, commit to finishing no matter what.
6. Appreciate your own efforts
It’s become a habit that I take pictures of what I baked as they come out of the oven. One of the most amazing things about baking is that you never really get the same exact result per batch. Each baked piece will have their own shape and characteristics. Each piece has experienced the hard work you’ve put into making them, even if they don’t come out picture-perfect.
Celebrate your own hard work especially if you’ve put your all in it. You deserve your own appreciation.
7. Share your joy with others
The first cheesecake I baked was for my mom’s birthday. It may not be the best-looking or best-tasting cheesecake but it’s still the best one for my mom. Anything that brings joy when shared is joy multiplied.
Sharing my baked goods with friends and family brings me joy especially if they also liked it. Don’t be afraid to spread your joy with others who appreciate it. Everything you give will eventually find its way back to you.
Baking can teach us many things. We not only learn about sciency-chemistry stuff but also learn many things about life in general. Maybe what we all need right now is to add sugar, butter, flour, spices, and everything sweet, comforting and savory into our lives to make it better. Bake your own life into whatever you want to be with the finest ingredients you can find.
Always Keep Safe and Happy Baking!