Baking isn’t just about getting your hands dirty in the kitchen.
While flour, butter, and sugar all play major rolls in your growth as a baker, the art of baking isn’t confined to the kitchen. Nothing grows in a vacuum- and you won’t either. In order to become a better baker, you have to analyze and share your results!
What does that mean?
Well, it means sharing photos of your cookies! Text images to your friends and family. Post pics on social media. Invite someone over to taste test your creations. Bring a plate full of your homemade dessert to work with you. Get other people involved in your baking endeavors!
Because feedback is the best way to improve your skills.
And that’s not just baking advice- that’s straight up life advice.
Think back to high school science. Remember the scientific method? If not, you might be surprised to learn that I’m asking you to use it right now! While I’m not going to rehash the entire process, the part you should know about is this: We need other people to confirm and corroborate your success, in order to be sure that it was, indeed, a success.
This same idea applies to becoming a better baker.
If you make a batch of cookies and eat them all, then no one else can confirm or deny that they were tasty. Maybe they were. Maybe they weren’t. And of course, you can say they were tasty- but are you a believable source? Aren’t you biased? After all, you put a lot of time and energy into them. You could be lying. The best way to definitively prove they were fabulous is to get outside opinions!
Simply put, in order to be a bomb baker, you’re also going to have to be part scientist!
But science shouldn’t be the only reason you share your homemade goodies. There is a joy that comes from the act of sharing itself. A rush from being able to visibly make someone else’s day better- simply by giving them a sweet.
And, of course, the compliments don’t hurt either.
On the flip side, if your cookies don’t taste good, your co-workers will tell you that, too. And that will sting. Trust me- I’ve felt the bitter pain of recipe failure. It sucks. And it hurts every single time it happens. But as painful as it is, it’s also a normal part of the learning process. And literally everyone who has ever tried their hand at baking has been there. Because no one is born an expert baker.
But your failure will define you.
It will be these moments that will decide whether or not you’re serious about becoming a better baker! If you can be resolute and not get overly discouraged, you’ll go far.
If you give up, you will never get better.
And I don’t want that for you. I want you to be the best you can possibly be.
So do us both a favor and get back in the kitchen. Try and sleuth out what went wrong. Did you add the wrong amount of something? Misread a step in the directions? Did the recipe lead you astray? If you’re lucky, you can discover what went wrong on your own.
If not, that’s when you look for help.
Ask a friend what they think of your first batch- just be sure to warn them first. Even saying something as simple as “I don’t think this tastes quite right. Can you taste it and tell me what you think?” will go a long ways towards preserving your friendship. Because nobody likes a yucky surprise disguised as a delightful dessert.
If you don’t have a friend you can turn to, you’re not out of options. Not by a long shot.
Find a message board online full of other baking enthusiasts who can offer constructive suggestions. Borrow a book from the library. Google search solutions online. If you found the recipe online, go back to the website and see if other people left comments underneath the recipe complaining of similar results.
Hopefully, one way or another, you can problem solve your mistake and grow from it.
However, if you can’t for the life of you understand why it failed, try picking a different recipe. Because sometimes- and this is rare- but sometimes it’s the recipes fault. Now, that should never be your baseline assumption. But occasionally, it’s the truth. So see if a fresh recipe can’t change your luck.
Otherwise, all I can say is be best way to improve is by practicing!
So jump back in the kitchen!
Whether you’re excited to conquer another recipe or you’re nervous about remaking a failed experiment, I promise you this: as long as you keep trying, your baking skills improve. And the better you get, the more fun you’ll have.
And that’s all I want- for you to have fun in the kitchen!