Can Baking make you happier?
I’ll start with a caveat, I am not a doctor!! But what I do know is losing yourself in an afternoon of baking can lift your mood and it doesn’t have to be the whole afternoon. Brownies can be ready in 25 minutes, pancakes in 10, or take your time to make something more elaborate. Whatever you choose to make, there is nothing more rewarding than taking your bakes out of the oven and saying, ‘I made that!’
Baking for others can be very rewarding and therapeutic, the smiles and the oohs and aahs can be priceless.
Baking can take you to a level of mindfulness, the measuring, whisking, cracking eggs and lining baking trays can lift you out of those daily worries.
If I’m short of time (with visitors imminent), my favourite thing is to make a batch of cheese scones. I can have them in the oven in 5 minutes, although to reach that speed you do need to think ahead. TOP TIP – whenever you have cheddar cheese that may have passed its best or you weren’t able to resist that bargain in the supermarket, grate it, bag it in 3oz portions and freeze it (or 75g for those who know nothing of imperial weights). One bag is just the right amount of cheese to make 6 scones without having to get the grater out.
If I have time to indulge in a whole afternoon of baking, I can think of a hundred ways to lose myself: chocolate cake with ganache, cupcakes decorated with fondant, iced sugar biscuits, shortbread, jam tarts, banana cake with cream cheese frosting, red velvet cake, flapjack, lemon meringue pie, muffins, gingerbread, carrot cake, swiss roll, brownies, chocolate eclairs, cheesecake, gingerbread men, cookies … the possibilities are endless. Just pick one or two and get baking.