Those of you who follow me on social media have probably seen at least one of my recent experiments in baking. Since I owed my blog a post this week, and I’ve been meaning to talk a little bit about baking, this seems like a good time.
I’ve been a casual baker for a few years now, but with my recent move to full-time writing I decided I should take it more seriously as a pastime, mostly because I needed something to replace writing as a hobby. I’ve always liked baking, far more than cooking. I think because it feels like chemistry. You mix all the things together, apply heat, and watch what happens! There’s definitely a science to baking, and I look forward to figuring it out and making my own recipes someday. Right now I’m cribbing recipes from famous names and trying to learn.
Oh, that brings me to the reason behind my baking resurgence: The British Baking Show. If you haven’t seen it, you definitely should. Here in the US it airs on PBS or you can see the first season on Netflix. It’s a beautiful show and I recommend it highly, both for fun and for inspiring you to bake. There are so many different deserts that I’ve never heard of, and I just can’t wait to try them all! I’ve made a few recipes from the show so far, and I think my favorite is the Victoria Sponge, although I love the Tea Time Scones too.
I’ve tried a few breads so far, and my favorite was French baguettes courtesy of Baking with Julia. Just a perfect, lovely French loaf. Unfortunately it takes two days for the genuine article, but so worthwhile. There’s also a one-day recipe which is not quite so lovely, but still very fine. I’ve tried several of the recipes in this book over the years, and I highly recommend it if you’re going to buy just one baking cookbook. Julia knew her stuff.
I’ve even used my yeast-harnessing powers to make complete dinners! This red onion and homemade ricotta pizza is just to die for! Fresh pizza crust really makes all the difference. I think it’s going to become a dinner staple at our house.
In the coming weeks I’m going to refine my technique, and hopefully start producing some prettier things, they’ve all been delicious, but not necessarily beautiful. The chocolate cake I made last week was a frosting tragedy for example, but boy was it yummy! I also had an ice cream failure two days ago that was equal parts hilarious and gross (vanilla-scented scrambled eggs, anyone?). So I’ll keep trying, and keep learning, and maybe someday there’s a baking cookbook in my future. Or maybe a story with some kind of baking magic. That one seems more likely.
Hearts and puppies,