Baking Is Not Just A Process, It’s An Experience.
- 19 October 2020
- Posted by: Namita Ahuja
- Category: Updates
The art of baking is something that most of us have discovered especially during these tough times. The “stuck at home? let’s bake!” is something most of us can relate to. While some of us did manage to bake something that not only looked delightful but tasted good, some of us ended up searching for “ways to fix baking disasters”. Well, we can’t deny the fact that baking does require immense patience. You might have to re-visit the recipe time and again to get it right, after all baking is not just a process, it’s an experience! It has proved to be a great hobby for many and is considered therapeutic too. There are many who claim how they found therapy in a bag of flour.
If you are passionate about baking, the process is something that never fails to fascinate you. But there’s always more to it than just the process. You can get your creative side out in the field of your passion with these basic skills –
Skills Every Baker Should Possess
#1 Detail Oriented – Precision is of utmost importance when it comes to baking. If you are planning on eyeballing the ingredients then prepare yourself for getting a sourdough brick instead of a sourdough bread. Remember you can’t mess with science! Baking relies completely on the temperature conditions and precise measurements.
#2 Organizational Skills – Having your ingredients in place before getting started makes the work smoother. While a recipe won’t give you instructions for organization, planning is a skill every baker must possess.
#3 Creativity – Good bakers always stick with the classics. Ever wondered what a 1920’s cake recipe tastes like?
But great bakers bring out their own creativity in the field. They are someone who aren’t afraid of several failed experiments, after all this whole process involves a lot chemistry and physics. Experimenting with new recipes is where you can put your ingenious creativity into play. Letting your creativity flow will definitely turn you into a great baker as, in a way, it involves expressing yourself in your cake decorations.
#4 Communication – Communication is not only vital in the corporate world but in the kitchen world too. The fast paced environment always calls for good communication skills, while the oven is the reason for the heat in the room. It is the coordination and juggling that makes things heat up in a busy commercial kitchen. This is where you need to have the skills for remaining calm and composed.
“Life was like a batch of biscuits without the baking powder: flat, flat, flat.”Kirby Larson
#5 Patience – Baking, like any other art form requires patience, be it from weighing the ingredients correctly to mixing, whisking, creaming or rolling out the dough. While the process is tedious which would make you want to skip a step for quicker results, chances are the hustle won’t yield good results.Time plays a very important role in baking, one has to know when to let it rest and when to let it work, to make sure that the baked goods turn out to be at their best.
Apart from baking being an art, it’s a science too. The word “science” is probably making you wonder whether you should try your hand at baking or not. Baking does require precise measurement but there’s definitely a tinge of wizardry involved too.
So, let’s dive into the science of baking.
The Science Behind Baking
Baking is like setting up a laboratory experiment. Many consider the kitchen as the oldest laboratory known to humankind. It is a combination of physics, chemistry and biology. The tiny bubbles trapped inside while mixing ingredients to make batter or dough is where the chemistry comes into place. Biology – when baking powder in cake, and yeast in bread plays a crucial role in introducing carbon dioxide into the batter or dough. This is where we let science do it’s magic.
“The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight.”M. F. K. Fisher
I guess we can all agree with that!
The art of making bread is quite, simple but the art of waiting is something you must work on because the yeast cannot be rushed, it needs time to work its magic for you to get a warm risen bread.
Flour is the rising agent in your cakes and over-mixing can cause the gluten to overdevelop. If you don’t wish to eat a dense cake, then keeping a check on the over mixing of your batter would be a wise thing to do. This is where we talk about the physics of baking.
You must have come across recipes calling for “room temperature” ingredients. There are times where you may have not planned ahead and considered using cold ingredients thinking that it won’t make much difference. This not only makes the task tedious but requires extra time and effort because you’ll end up with a lumpy mess. Another method for introducing gases into cake batter is far more laborious that is the creaming method. This is where you prepare yourself on getting an arm workout if you plan on beating that cream and sugar manually.
While mastering the art of baking does come with years of experience, it is a great hobby. There are still quite a lot of professional bakers who find baking extremely therapeutic and in spite of the fast paced environment they find it energizing.