10 silly reasons why I would choose making and having bread over cakes
I have been baking since school days and everything I’ve learnt is self-taught. I’ve not attended any class and mom doesn’t know how to use the oven because we didn’t have one back in the days.
My first cake was a Philadelphia Cheese Cake. I got the recipe out of the cream cheese box and decided to try it out. It was an easy start and I got hooked to baking since. Unfortunately I didn’t make a career out of that first try; maybe I can dream about it. Anyway, to cut to the chase, as I was baking this Focaccia bread this afternoon with the kids, it struck me that I love baking breads over cakes. I am not an expert or a guru in the culinary world, but in my little space, I’d like to share my thoughts:
- I love the smell of freshly baked bread. It makes me feel like I’m in a country side; it makes me take a moment to stop all that I do and just smell the air.
- The long table that I work on, kneading the bread. It’s just the expanse of space having the flour scattered on the worktable, that feels so luxurious and zen like. There tends to be a lot more clutter around me and in the kitchen when I make a cake.
- Kneading is so therapeutic. It’s the motion and the texture. It is just so sensory. I know why my kids love kneading and playing around with the flour. They get the smell, touch, and it changes the dry ingredients mix with the wet ones. It is also a small workout if you are hand making the bread.
- The ingredients are so basic and you don’t need essence to create something flavoursome. Adding spices, chocolate, herbs, nuts, cheese, sun dried tomatoes, etc brings out so much smell and texture to taste buds.
- Baking bread takes a lot of time. You need time for yeast to proof, time to knead, time to rest, and another time to rest and sometimes, a third time for the bread to rest. It gives me a break in between to do other things and anticipate.
- Watching the dough rise. It’s so scientific, I love watching the dough rise and wonder how amazing it is.
- I get my excuse to punch something and not hurt my fist. I don’t mean to say that I am violent, but the kneading and punching actions provides an outlet for any angst and frustration that I have that day.
- No fancy pans needed. Breads come in various shapes and sizes. Even using a flat pan would be sufficient. Cakes on the other hand almost always require some sort of baking dish or mold.
- I can take my bread as a meal but a cake just can’t cut as a meal. So just rationally and economically, I’d rather have bread than a cake.
- Breads as starters and cakes as desserts; so bread will always be the first at the table and if and when there’s more room after the main course, then the cakes are needed. Needless to say, I almost always end up eating too much bread with olive and balsamic vinegar before my meal starts and come dessert, I might be a little reluctant to have one.
For years, we have been having freshly baked bread in the morning, thanks to our Panasonic bread maker. I time it so that it’s just done before we wake up. One of my to do this year is to attempt to hand make bread at least once a week with the kids and my mom. They enjoy the process and it also gives them the satisfaction that they helped and they are more than happy to consume the bread they made. If you have always procrastinated baking bread, let me encourage to you give it a try. Find an easy recipe to try and would help build your confidence.
Good luck and thanks for reading.