I have always been interested in learning how to bake. Baguettes, cakes, brownies, macarons—I love them all and want to know how they’re made. Unfortunately, I never really had enough time for such a time-consuming hobby due to my work in the corporate world. Hence, for a few years, I allowed that idea to take the backseat so that I could keep on building my career.
Just when I thought that 2020 would be my busiest year, though, the coronavirus outbreak took over the world. A lot of countries, including the US, listened to the experts’ advice that the people would be safest inside the house at this time. They also encouraged businesses that did not offer medical or food services to remain closed in the meantime.
Given that my company provides neither of those services, all of us have been mandated to work from home. Sometimes, I need to complete some paperwork online or attend conference calls. But most of the time, I have nothing to do, and it bothers me.
I only felt like myself again when I rediscovered my interest in baking. Here’s how it has helped me ensure that I will come out sane after the quarantine.
It Is Exciting To Learn New Recipes
Every morning, I tend to spend almost an hour on my phone. It is not to stalk my friends on Instagram or Facebook but to find out what new pastry or dessert I can recreate. I know it sounds a little dorky to admit it, but I do become excited whenever I get to follow the instructions for a new recipe.
This occurrence entails that my body is producing enough happy hormones to allow me to feel this way. Otherwise, I may stay in my room all day long, watching movies that I don’t even care about just to pass the time.
Kneading Is An Effective Stress Reliever
If you have never kneaded dough before, allow me to describe how it feels. Some doughs (say, for doughnuts) are soft and sticky, and it is as satisfying as handling slime. Other doughs (say, for pizza) are drier and denser than the latter, so you need to use your muscles to make it real smooth.
Every time I feel stressed about anything, I start kneading dough. It is a useful stress reliever, in the sense that all your attention will be directed to it. Your brain will then get distracted and prevent you from thinking about your stressors. If you are upset, punching the dough is an acceptable part of the kneading process, so feel free to do it.
Knowing That You Have Created Something From Scratch Is Fulfilling
When I obtain baking supplies, I ignore the boxes of cake or brownie mix on the shelves on purpose. I know what they taste like from childhood; I am aware of how easy my life will be in the kitchen if I get them. However, I have experienced the joy of creating something from scratch, and I will never exchange that for a shortcut.
Indeed, it is rewarding to measure and combine the ingredients by yourself. You can accept all the praises that the folks who like your creation may throw at you because you have genuinely made it. Even if baking is way different from your work, the sense of fulfillment that it offers may be enough to help you endure the quarantine.
Who said that you need to go to a culinary school before learning how to bake? If you have the passion and the tools to make a cake, bread, and other pastries, you should do it. Baking may be the hobby that will let you stay sane while waiting for the quarantine to end, after all.