Getting onboard this lockdown's baking frenzy

Madeleine Raine attempts to understand the current baking frenzy

Madeleine Raine
30th June 2020
Quarantine has excited our taste buds and encouraged us to take a spoon and mixing bowl and head to the kitchen. No longer are we rushing to cook dinner in the half an hour slot between finishing work, going to the gym, and waiting for our favourite show to start at nine. Lockdown has wiped our plates clean and given us hours upon hours of freedom every day to do what we like. Whilst Netflix is a tough contender to beat, baking has been coming a close second giving Mary Berry a run for her money.

I have never been a baker. Every time I pick up a spoon and decide to bake everything goes wrong. My cakes are undercooked, overcooked, or plain rotten, so I usually cave in and pop to the local shops to satisfy my sugar cravings (which seems to be most nights). Since lockdown however, I finally decided to put my skills to the test and really master the art of baking, or at least learn how to not destroy the oven.

I am quite impatient when it comes to the kitchen. I never let my food fully cook because I am always far too hungry to wait that extra two minutes to create the perfect pasta (yes, it is often only that extra minute or two). Being in lockdown, I decided to change this, beginning with a batch of homemade brownies. This is where I tried the vegan brownies: how hard could it be to undercook a batter without eggs? (How very wrong I was.) Four attempts later and I had finally mastered this simple recipe and it was delicious.

Feeling optimistic, I branched out from brownies and attempted banana bread, cinnamon rolls (albeit a packet mix but no one needs to know) as well as cupcakes. Over the past three months, I have transitioned from being quite possibly the worst baker to someone who actually has a chance of qualifying for The Great British Bake Off (if the most difficult dish we had to bake was a sponge cake).

Despite my initial struggles and messy attempts, lockdown has taught me the importance of perseverance and patience. Never in a million years would I have thought I would ever be able to successfully whip up a batch of brownies in twenty minutes or bake a banana bread seasoned enough to make the taste buds really pop. That’s not to say I will stop popping to Sainsbury's to buy a packet of cookies, but I have learnt to love baking and have begun to stretch myself beyond my comfort zone.

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AUTHOR: Madeleine Raine
MA History student with a BA in English Literature and History. Lifestyle writer and avid traveller who has recently branched out to also cover news articles. Twitter @RaineMadeleine

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