Getting back to good with baking

Confession: I hate baking.

It’s Monday. I’m just coming off of spring break. I’m thinking of dozens of reasons why NOT to go to baking class today. The first and biggest reason is because I hate it. Literally, no bones about it. I loathe going to baking class. I regret putting it off until my last semester. And my stomach is in knots thinking about having to measure/bake/clean/measure/clean/bake/clean/clean/clean this afternoon.

I love the chef instructor — he’s fun, good at his job and all that. But I hate the baking process. Pouting as I write this, I’m also using my psych-101 course experience to analyze why I hate it so much. Why?

I finally realized, after about 30-minutes of soul searching, that I hate baking because I stink at it. I’m terrible, awful, no good at baking. And it dawned on me that we enjoy the things at which we are good, and don’t enjoy things at which we are bad.

For whatever reason, this smart girl can’t seem to get her head around the ratios of baking. And yes, I even have Ruhlman’s Ratio book. I get the science behind baking, but if you asked me to throw together a cookie or a cake without a recipe, I could certainly guess the correct ingredients, but would stumble over the amounts of each and mixing methods. Perhaps it’s because I don’t do it often enough?

I love cooking though, and can’t get enough of it. I’m good at it. I love making sauces. I’m good at it. I love braising and pan searing and poaching. I’m good at it. I love mixing spice blends and creating flavor profiles. I’m good at it.

I just wish I could get back to good with baking so I might like it better one of these days. In the meantime, I have 36 more hours of baking class left to the semester. Tick, tock…

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