I used to hate baking. Even now, I'm not very good at it. It seems like most people find baking challenging and time-consuming. And this has a way of making the process a little less enjoyable. Here are the five reasons I think you hate cooking. I offer thoughts for how to enjoy—maybe even love—baking. Read more to find out!
Why is it that some of the best-tasting things we can make are also the most challenging and time-consuming things to make?
This seems to be true at least generally.
It seems especially true in the case of baking. Baking really is like a science. This is probably why I’m not that good at it, and also why it can be so difficult for people. Theres a lot going on in baking.
Once I tried baking a loaf of bread. That’s the end of the story. I tried...I did not succeed.
I’m happy to say, however, that my wedding registry has pretty radically shifted my overall experience. As is the main theme of this blog, it turns out that having the right tools—especially as they relate to baking—will determine how much you love or don’t love baking.
Absolutely key to any project, whether it be cooking, baking, house construction, running a business, etc., is having the right tools.
If you have the wrong tools, you’ll likely ruin the experience of the project you were trying. Like trying to cut potatoes with a dull knife. It’s a horrible experience.
And if you have no tools, then you won’t even start the project—rather than cut the potatoes, you’ll go order some french fries from In N’ Out or something (not always a bad idea.
Both cases were sort of true for me. I both lacked tools I needed and then had some which weren’t a great fit for the baking and cooking projects I tried out (hence the bread-baking fail).
And then they arrived: Rachael Ray’s Cucina Non-stick Bakeware Set. This was the first set of tools, in addition to Ray’s pots & pans that I received, which gave me hope that I could once again try out baking.
Having tools matters. Having the right tools matters even more. I’ll say more about these particular tools in a bit.
But why else might you hate baking?
Ah, alas. This is probably the most classic obstacle. And it makes perfect sense. The right tools can be quite expensive at times. It’s honestly sort of frustrating how expensive nice tools can be.
Have you heard of Kitchen Aid mixers? Perfect example. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one of these for less than $200.
I will say, though, that using one is quite nice. My mentor and my mother both had one; I used it whenever I had the chance. Even in cases where it’d be more efficient to not use it. That’s how awesome they are.
Here’s what I want to say: add all the tools you want to your registry. I talk about the importance of that here.
Not getting married or already married? Seriously, check out Rachael Ray’s line up. At the time of writing this, her cookware and bakeware is incredibly well-priced.
We all know this struggle. Baking is time consuming. You’ve got to preheat the oven, you’ve got to mix all the ingredients, then you’ve got to bake the thing, and then you have to let the thing cool.
Almost always takes at least an hour. Minimally.
The best advice I can give here is to seek out recipes which fall under the time constraints you’re under. What’s so beautiful about the world we live in now is that you can find so much of what you need.
Need 20 minute cornbread?
Need 15 minute chocolate chip cookies?
Google has got you.
Generally, though, what can make these processes so much longer than they need to be is not having the proper equipment to mix. Mixing can take a bit of time. And wouldn’t it be nice if you could throw all your ingredients in one bowl, hit a button, and then boom, it’s done for you?
The mixer can do this. Kitchen Aid is one of the best out there. Add this to your registry. It’s a must.
Baking does require some patience. Especially when you’re learning to bake; this is usually when people make the most mistakes.
You know, like adding salt instead of sugar. This hasn’t happened to me, I’ve just heard of it happening...
Here’s what I recommend for the patience-less people out there: don’t bake unless you have more time than you need.
Running late for a party, but you said you’d bring some home-made cookies? It’s okay. Go to the store and buy them. You bake under pressure, you’ll come to hate baking.
If you don’t want to hate baking, then don’t bake under pressure. Give yourself more time than you need. If the recipe claims it only takes one hour to bake, double it.
Always double the amount of time a recipe suggests, at least when you’re starting off.
Have you ever met someone who does enjoy doing dishes? I certainly haven’t. It’s my least favorite part of cooking and baking.
I do my very best to “clean as I go.” I’m a bit neurotic on this point, I admit—perhaps even clinically so. Anyway, I’ve got two suggestions for those of you who can’t bring yourselves to bake because you hate doing dishes.
Suggestion number one: learn to clean as you go. Done with the eggs? Put them away. Done with that whisk? Rinse it off and throw it on the drying rack. Spill some oil? Wipe it up right then and there.
Suggestion number two: bake with non-stick bakeware. You’ll be amazing at how easy the cleaning process becomes when using quality non-stick items. In fact, in some cases there is no further cleaning to do; you simply just have to let the bakeware cool and it’ll be good to go.
That’s how it has gone for me.
I hope my comments on the five reasons why you probably hate baking have given you hope for your baking future. I, too, once hated baking. To be honest, I still do at times. But implementing my own advice has helped me enjoy baking more and more.
My goal is to bake a good loaf of bread.
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