Part Two: Obey
Being a rather grave sort of girl, I have always enjoyed a bit of gravitas in the kitchen. It is for this this reason I like my recipe books to have the word “Bible” in the title . It seems only fitting that instruction in matters most important and miraculous to me should be contained in a volume that portents to be a final and serious authority: one fitting of my most earnest obedience. Obedient you must be if you are to learn to bake. There are all kinds of techniques to be mastered and many these are not easy. You must find some authority to whom you can submit and let them show you how to bake.
Even with the best instruction its going to be hard work. I have met people that claim to find their new found hobby of baking relaxing. The liars! Or, if not liars, they are bound to be doing a shoddy job. If your are not suffering from the equivalent of road-rage in your kitchen then then you probably aren’t learning to bake. All kinds of the most appalling things will happen in your first few weeks: You will burn your sugar syrup, you will overwork your pastry, you will under-prove your bread and you will, almost certainly, at some point forget to add the eggs. Oh, the trauma! When these things occur you must prepare yourself for fits of rage and frustration. You will find yourself covered in flour, banging your pots and pans about the kitchen and using all kinds of filthy language that you didn’t know you knew. The more closely you obey instructions the less this will happen, but it will happen.
It is going to be frustrating but it is also going to be fulfilling. Wipe the mascara from your cheeks, Novice-Baker, and feel contented. Your apple and walnut cake might have sunk in the middle but you probably now know why and knowing this, makes you just a little bit better at baking. And being just a little bit better at baking means,as we all know, that you are just a little bit better at living.
Have a look at the first part of this series here:
Disclaimer: I am probably poorly qualified to tell you how to learn to bake. My only credentials are the few unwanted kilograms I carry around my waist and the fact that my hair is always matted together with icing. This is how I learned to bake. It might work for you it might just make you fat and scruffy-looking.