Time for a confession. My name is Chelsea and I am an emotional baker. That's right, I said it. Whenever I get stressed, sad, angry, or super happy that apron comes on and I turn into an unstoppable baking machine. I discovered my love for baking about seven years ago when I landed a job at a bakery. It was one of the best jobs I've ever had. Who doesn't want to get paid to bake and scarf – I mean, taste test copious amount of baked goods? I've always enjoyed baking - I just wasn't always very good at it (just ask my friends about the "magic bullet muffins" incident). But working at that bakery definitely helped sharpen my skills. Unfortunately, the bakery closed and I went home and bawled my eyes out while making a lemon curd sponge cake.
Over the years, I have definitely noticed that there are many benefits to baking at home. And I'm not talking about the Betty-Crocker-cake-mix baking at home. I'm talking about time consuming, completely-from-scratch, baking at home. The kind that leaves your sink full of dishes and is sure to leave flour in places that flour should just not be left.
Here are 10 reasons why you should bake at home!
10 The Smell
Nothing, I repeat, NOTHING can make a house smell better than freshly baked goods. Sorry Febreeze. It is the smell of pure comfort and happiness and is actually proven to improve moods. Real estate agents are on to something when they bake cookies during open houses...
9 It is Completely Customizable
Love banana bread but don't love the walnuts that your local grocery store puts in theirs? You don't have to put them in yours! You can always sub in or out ingredients when you bake at home so that the final product(s) suit your personal tastes.
8 You Know Exactly What You're Eating
There are so many yucky preservatives and ingredients that I can't even pronounce in many store-bought goods. When you bake at home, you know what's in there. You'll never find a recipe that calls for disodium ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid.
7 You Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
We don't often think of the environmental impact made from industrial food processing. Think about it: the food has to be manufactured, packaged, transported to a distribution facility and then distributed to various grocers before it ever makes it into your home. Most baked goods require staple ingredients that you most likely already have in your pantry.
6 You Save Money
Baked goods have one of the highest mark ups in grocery stores. If you bake a sheet of 50 chocolate chip cookies, the average cost is 0.08 per cookie whereas a package of store bought cookies is in the range of 0.12 per cookie. A bakery will easily charge you $2 for virtually the same cookie. Hey, a penny saved is a penny earned!
5 The Fresh Taste
A straight-out-of-the-oven taste cannot be replicated. The warm, ooey gooey-ness of a fresh chocolate chip cookie or the crackle of breaking open a fresh loaf of bred. Drool. Burned tongues are an occupational hazard in the field of home baking.
4 It Brings People Together
Whenever I bake, I think back to when I would "help" my grandmother in the kitchen as a kid. Baking is a great way to bring people together. It can be split up into tasks so everyone has something to do. You can teach kids or SOs the basics and make new traditions. A family that bakes together, stays together.
3 It's Simple
Baking is a science. And it follows the same basic rules: if you follow this formula you will get this result. We all have to start somewhere and trust me when I say that there will be a couple of flops. But don't give up! Start with some basic cakes, then work your way up to the more complicated things.
2 It's Fun
It gives you a chance to tap into your creative side and getting your hands goopy and messy is oddly satisfying. You can decorate your masterpieces however you want and when everything is done you can stand in the middle of your kitchen with your hands on you hips with a triumphant smile on your face... Until you look at the state of your kitchen...
1 It's a Form of Therapy – Seriously.
Baking has been proven to reduce stress as well as improve depression and anxiety. According to huffintonpost.co.uk, "A survey found that one in three of those asked say they feel more stressed than they did five years ago, with 80% taking up baking to help alleviate the pressure." Great news for us! We can reap the benefits without having to lie on an uncomfortable couch and dole out 150$ per hourly session.