I've been baking at home since childhood, and my first formalized instruction occurred when I studied home economics at high school over 40 years ago.
While there can certainly be frustrations, there's no doubt in my mind that the positives of home baking far outweigh the negatives.
You control the ingredients and process, meaning that you are able to make food that's customized to your individual tastes and requirements. Your baked food can be made healthier, too, as you're able to use less sugar and additives than the store-bought equivalent.
Baking is also relaxing and fun. It enables you to be creative and it's a great way to involve younger members of the family in the kitchen. Last but not least, you always get to give away or eat whatever you make!
This article lists and looks at seven positives associated with home baking.
7 Benefits of Home Baking
Here are seven advantages of baking at home:
- Full control
- Fun and creative
- Relaxing and satisfying
- Fresh and personal
- Brings kids into the kitchen
I examine each positive in more detail below.
1. You Have Full Control
When you buy baked goods in a store, your options are inevitably limited. Home baking gives you complete control over the ingredients and processes. This means that you can customize your food-making to individual requirements and tastes.
For instance, you can select your ingredients to cater for people with gluten intolerance, adapt a recipe to be vegan-friendly, or maybe just adjust a recipe to include more of your favorite ingredients, such as specific fruits and spices.
2. It's Fun and Creative
Whatever your skill level, home baking can be tremendous fun. There's an enjoyment in finding the right recipe, carrying out all the preparation and baking, and then eating the final product.
Baking also provides plenty of scope for exploring one's creative side. The appearance, taste, and consistency of the baked goods can all be devised or adjusted to promote a particular sensory experience for the eater.
3. It's Healthier
Store-bought baked goods can contain very large amounts of sugar, as well as other unwelcome extras such as food additives. Home baking allows you to keep the sugar levels to a minimum and avoid the use of unnecessary additives.
You can also substitute ingredients to make a recipe healthier. For instance, you can use whole-wheat flour instead of regular white flour. Lower fat alternatives can also be used instead of fattier ones.
4. It's Relaxing and Satisfying
One of the wonderful things about baking is its ability to be both stimulating and relaxing at the same time. Many of the actions involved, such as kneading dough, have a meditative quality. The overall effect can be calming, reducing feelings of stress.
The rewards of baking are also palpable. There's a tremendous feeling of satisfaction when the finished food comes out of the oven. Baking for friends and family can contribute to a sense of connectedness and fulfillment.
5. You Save Money
Baking at home can save you money compared to buying your baked goods in a store. When you factor in that home-baked food is typically healthier, fresher, and higher quality, too, it makes even more sense.
Making your own bread, for instance, can cost you as little as $1.50 per loaf in terms of the ingredients and energy cost. That's way cheaper than buying bread at an in-store bakery.
Many baking recipes are based around relatively affordable and readily available ingredients, such as: flour, eggs, sugar, milk, eggs, and butter.
6. It's Fresher and More Personal
One of the wonderful things about home baking is that you get to create and eat food that is fresh. Store-bought equivalents can't really match that. Even if you buy goods that have been produced by a store's in-house bakery, they may have sat around for many hours beforehand, resulting in a loss of taste and aroma.
There's also just something very personal about food that's made at home by your own hand. It has a magic and sense of intimacy that can't be bought in a store.
7. Kids Can Help
More than any other type of cooking, baking provides an excellent opportunity to involve children in the kitchen. It usually means lots of fun for all involved, as well as making learning about the science and practice of cookery and nutrition enjoyable.
Children love the hands-on experience that most bakery recipes provide and the messiness can be part of the pleasure. There are also often creative opportunities, for example, decorating cakes and cookies. Everybody gets to eat the end product, too.
12 Common Baking Tools
Home baking usually requires access to a variety of tools, gadgets and implements. Here are 12 common ones:
- Hand mixer
- Weighing scales
- Wooden spoons
- Whisks and spatulas
- Mixing bowls
- Cooling racks
- Pastry brush
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Chef's knife
- Sheet pan
- Muffin tin, loaf tin, and other pans
- Stand mixer
© 2022 Paul Goodman