I don’t know what it is about the kitchen, but whenever I step in there to bake or cook, I lose some of my typical behaviors. Organized? Nope. Detail-oriented? Nope. Perfectionist? No way.
It’s not like I’m lazy about making food in general. I love food and making food from scratch, at home. I am constantly dreaming up complicated plans of things to create in the kitchen. When I’m cooking, my laid-back style is (usually) not a problem. Soups can handle a little extra spice here and there. Any dish can handle a few more vegetables than is called for.
Baking though…being a science of its own right, requires some planning and rule following. If you want a successful outcome at least.
You know what makes a good baker? Someone who plans ahead. Someone who ensures they have all the ingredients they need for a recipe. Someone who carefully measures out the correct amount for each ingredient. Someone who reads the darn recipe to start with.
So even though I love making food and dream big when it comes to baking, I am not a natural baker. I’m working on it! I now (almost always) read the recipe 2 or 3 times before I get started. (No, reading it once wasn’t enough…you’d be surprised!). I check my cupboards for all of the ingredients before I start mixing. I pull out the kitchen scale and the right measuring devices each time. I do not concern myself with how many dishes I am dirtying to follow each step of the recipe as written.
There’s still been some hits and some misses lately. Pumpkin muffins = success. (I followed this recipe. I don’t have a doughnut pan, so I made muffins instead).
My mom’s Cocoa Pink Cuplets = less successful. The first round turned out super flat and full on tiny holes on the surface. They tasted fine, so I covered up the visual issues with some butter cream frosting. I added some additional flour before baking the second round of cupcakes, which fixed the rising problem.
I plan to continue working on my baking skills this fall. I’ll just keep some frosting on hand to cover those imperfections that arise from time to time.