Recently, I began to grow my very own sourdough starter. These little fellas are grown from the “wild yeast” that lives in the air we breathe and on places like within our flour bags. Unfortunately, after just a couple of uses, my starter has already deflated and kind of…died. I love baking though, even when it’s stressful or doesn’t go the right way.
I’ve been baking very casually for the last few years. I think my interest started thanks to my dad; he would always cook dinner for our family, and he was excited to experiment in the kitchen.
Lately, though, I’ve been inspired to bake and cook thanks to shows like The Great British Bake Off (or The Great British Baking Show, according to Netflix’s new title for it). If you haven’t seen it, stop reading this blog and go watch at least four episodes from any season. You’ll find it’s a charming competition show that features only the most lovely of people from across Great Britain — and most of them are wonderful bakers, too.
I haven’t tried to recreate their highly intricate bakes in the safety of my own kitchen, though. No, instead, I’ve been trying to just bake basic items. Like loaves of bread to make sandwiches. A couple of really good cakes that don’t require frosting.
Because for me, baking isn’t always about the end result. I mean, in a broad sense, it’s definitely about that, but sometimes it’s about just getting your hands dirty and busy for a few minutes. It’s about focusing on creating something instead of whatever nonsense the internet wants to yell at you about. It’s a way to unwind and make your house smell amazing, all at the same time.
Self-care can come in lots of different flavors, and baking or cooking just happens to be one of mine. And while I haven’t totally figured out the perfect loaf of sourdough bread (yet), I’ve almost perfected Molly Yeh’s challah bread recipe. And that’s plenty to be proud of.
Baking tells me I have room to grow, learn, experiment and eat. That’s exactly what I need to hear sometimes.