Friday, June 24, 2011

Baking Vs. Cooking

Bread in baking panImage via Wikipedia

Most people have a preference to what they enjoy, either cooking or baking, if they enjoy being in the kitchen at all.
I will right away admit I love baking. I do enjoy cooking a lot, but baking seems to be so much more relaxing and enjoyable. Kneading bread can be so peaceful. Watching cookies bake and the wonderful smell of fresh baked pie fills up my whole home.
With cooking there is a lot of multi-tasking, which I still have not mastered. Having everything taste good I can manage, but being hot and all ready at the same time is something I am still working on. That is not a problem with baking.
Many people say to me that they don't enjoy baking because its simply following a recipe. To that I say "not always." With cooking it can be very easy to change things up, which I almost always do (it is rare I will follow a recipe to a t), but baking is much harder to do so. But even with baking I often do, with very good results. After you get the hang of baking certain items you can try to experiment with different aspects of the recipe. Lots of my experimenting has come when I run out of an ingredient.
Last winter while making my favorite pumpkin cranberry bread I realized I am out of sugar. But I looked hard and found some brown sugar and said "sure why not?" Well I am never making this bread with white sugar again. I got so many complements on this bread, my mistake turned into a success.
While just earlier in the week I was making Blueberry Boy Bait Cake for a breakfast snack. I had everything mixed and put in the pan when I realized I never added the white sugar, just the brown. Since I was making a breakfast cake I didn't worry. I didn't want it to be too sweet any way. Well it came out fine, the perfect sweetness for breakfast or a snack.
I often experiment with adding different types of flour or grains to make something healthier. Adding some flaxseed meal or mixing in some whole wheat flour with the white. My husband is not a whole wheat fan, but with my blend he not once has noticed his white bread is a little brown.
Don't be afraid to experiment with your baking. You can check out several baking books and blend recipes together, or google healthy baking tips for ways to make your cakes and cookies a little healthier for you. But remember what you did and write it down! There is nothing worse then making an amazing cake and forgetting what you did to make it so yummy.

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