-Reincarnating Art as Baking.
Some say its art. Some say one needs to learn and observe, while the rest aren’t interested in objectifying either as the only monotonous focus seems to be filling their growling stomachs with warm indulgence of that, which soothes their soul and pleases their belly. Baking is subversive, with its birthing hype and diversification comes an unknown yet, fulfilling metamorphosis which is inexplicable nevertheless, an evolution.
My Grandma was always a virtuoso at everything, maybe she never did anything she was mediocre at or maybe it’s the genes. She told me about her endeavors with baking back when she was an adolescent, although her struggle was always accomplished with enormity hence, the awry seemed vague to her. “Happy times,” she would say as she recalled her contemplating hours for a bread loaf. As unorthodox as it may sound to people of the 21st Century – before the invention of ovens and its productive essentials; people in the 80’s used to bake goods in the depths of the heated sand or soil. Naturally, the process took hours with no erupting electricity bills to pay but only perfectly moist delicacies to devour.
Some say its preferred cold, some say warm but from what we’ve tasted and desired, baked goods- sweet or savory are both equally worthy in the highest tier. As easy as it may seem in cooking channels and Youtube videos, baking standardizes a certain parameter of patience which the baker needs to absorb within his nature.
As diversifying as it is, a simple chocolate cake may need to be in different temperatures during the process – warm in the oven, cooled down at room temperature, chilled in the fridge before the frosting is slathered on and then put back in the fridge depending upon the texture and outcome. A lot of work goes into baking that special confetti birthday cake however, rarely mentioned and talked about.
In this era of rapid transmutation and adaptability, there are alternatives to everything in the world of baking starting from eggs to milk. In the medieval age, however, baking was a luxury that only a few were blessed with in the form of wood-burning stoves. It was rather a niche activity that the riches would satiate in with exotic colored baked goods while the poor remained grateful for their chicken pie. By the approach of 16th-17th century, people started encountering globalization and plummeted economic growth, which eventually sky-rocketed baking chores. The 18th century, however, is when baking really took off with emerging cook books, innovation of baking appliances and of course, the brains of those individuals, trying, failing and succeeding in various recipes.
While biscuits, breads, cakes and pastries are always close to those with a sweet tooth, it took a little more than three decades for chefs and home cooks to take baking into new found heights. Now, with the generosity of delivering, baking techniques passed onto generations, self interest in food and curiosity about recipes – the growth of baking has served and received happiness in both opposing poles.
Starting from baking competitions, fair, exhibitions, classes and shows, it is rather an expensive industry flourishing and thriving with optimistic riders. Although, France will always be the heart of baking, cheese and expensive sugary goodness; it’s widespread taste has reached millions all over the world dejecting no soul in the process of winning hearts and bellies, because as they say;
“If there’s a whisk, there’s a way”.