My Relationship With… Baking

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I have been lucky to come from a family where baking was a fun part of growing up. While it did phase out of my household while I was in my teens, there’s a part of me that remembers how good it felt, and tries desperately hard to create and adapt bakes of old and new.

In the wake of another series of the fabulous The Great British Bake Off, I have been avidly searching through my known recipes for inspiration to make and eat before the show. It was always something I would tune in to watch with my mother, with first-week bets on who would win, an important part of my family dynamic. This year will be a lot different, given the filming circumstances and that I’m in a Southern house, but I am beyond excited to have a part of my life restored to normality.

I am that kind of person who is more than happy to try and fail to make the birthday cake of your dreams. I’ve made a cottage, a train, and a Colin to name a few, and every time something will go wrong. My Colin, for example, was a shared effort, but even two minds couldn’t work out that warm ganache is most definitely going to fall off the sides of a roulade. But that’s something about baking that makes it so special. Even if it goes wrong, you’re more than likely going to make something delicious, and isn’t that the point of it all?

Something homemade is often better than anything you can get in the shop (except for pasta and shoelaces) so I adore baking just because any worse-case-scenario will leave you with a bowl full of unmixed delight that can be eaten raw. If someone you know has baked something, there’s a guarantee that they’ll ask you to try it. If I make myself some dinner, I’m going to eat it all. If I’ve baked something, I will leave my stacked plate on the table and encourage other people to grab it and give it a try.

I think I like baking mostly because I am quite a creative person. I made a somewhat silly mistake of forgoing weighing scales when I came to uni and have been decidedly tipping what I have guessed to be the right amount into my mixing bowl. After watching Bake Off last year, I remembered Henry making Kardemummabullar and thought, not only did it sound fun, but they sounded delicious. Delicious if I swapped out the cardamom for cinnamon, which I did, and it turned into something sticky and sweet and very edible. While most people say that baking is all in the measurements, I can confidently say that maybe that’s not the case. Following the recipe is good if you want to make exactly what is on the page, but maybe a couple of grams of flour and an apple out of place will give you something better and unexpected.

My relationship with baking is one that I hold with a lot of fondness as it reminds me of the good in sharing, of delicious tastes and feelings, and making even the most appalling things into something worthy of merit.

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A philosophy student with a penchant for uncertain puns. Pause Editor 20/21, i.e. funny sausage

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