You could choose to spend lots of time in the kitchen, and make a delicious loaf of bread, but as life can be busy, you could conjure up the tastiest freshly baked treat like scones or our Italian cheese scone loaf, in less than half an hour. It doesn’t matter how long you want to spend baking, or how little time you may have, there is the perfect recipe for you. Baking a loaf of bread is a brilliant thing, yes, it requires a little more time and patience but it is fun, interactive and the sense of achievement when your loaf is done is immense.
Recipe books are beautiful resources and are fun to sit and look at together. Why not let your children look at the dazzling photography you find in cook books and think about what cake they’d like for their next birthday, what edible gift they might like to make for someone special, or what they might like to bake together and eat for tea? You don’t always need to follow a recipe to the letter, there is usually room to swap ingredients for something you prefer or that is in season to make the bake suit you better or be more cost- effective.
Baking has lots of processes – be it choosing the recipe, buying the ingredients, weighing out the ingredients, mixing, stirring, lining tins, kneading dough, washing up or simply eating – so there is a job to suit everyone.
Baking is like art and craft, it can be a merry mess-making activity. This is all part of baking but the mess made is easy to clean up, especially when you all do it together. Get your pinny on and make sure you have plenty of space.
Baking doesn’t need to be something very difficult that requires lots of fancy equipment. You can make and bake something with as little as three or four ingredients and as little as a bowl, spoon and your oven. You can choose a recipe that has very few steps, or as your confidence grows you can push the boat out and make something that will take a little longer and use more skill, such as our Scrumptious sweet buns.
We all have baking hiccups and whilst it can be disappointing and disheartening, it really does happen to everyone, you watch ‘Great British Bake Off’, right?! Often a baking flop doesn’t have to be wasted. If your cake hasn’t risen as you’d hoped try making it into a trifle. If your bread hasn’t risen, turn it into breadcrumbs and freeze them or try a bread and butter pudding. Ok certain mishap bakes may be destined for the bin, but the next time you make the recipe, you’ll be certain to correct any errors and be successful!
Whatever you bake and whoever it’s for, the most important thing of all is to delight in the process and the end result. The smiles you will generate in yourself and others may surprise you. Don’t let it make you stressed, let it be a really entertaining escape from all the pressures and stresses of life. Let the kitchen become like the park or the fairground - make it somewhere you can scoot off to for some proper homemade family time.