How to get into baking

We’ve all gone baking mad haven’t we? Or have we? The latest series of The Great British Bake Off pulled in vast numbers of viewers, but were most of us just idly watching (Tesco’s Finest chocolate Eclair in hand) – and not actually baking anything? Is watching a series like GBBO enough to inspire us to get into the kitchen and whip up a wonky but delicious homemade treat for the family?

Quercus Living got in touch to ask me just this question, pointing me to their own article on this topic. In the aftermath of another insanely successful Great British Bake Off series, it’s a great time to reflect on ways we can actively promote baking, not just to kids, but to adults too.

My regular readers I think are pretty familiar with cooking and baking. Then I have other people who come across my blog for the first time – and maybe some of you guys don’t actually cook or bake. If you feel you need some more inspo to get going, then I’ll try my best to give you a few tips.

Here are 5 nuggets from my noggin to help you get into baking:

1. Start simple
When I say baking, it doesn’t have to actually involve an oven. I know that sounds contradictory but stay with me… a lot of the nice stuff I whip up doesn’t get BAKED. There are lots of easy throw together recipes where the only heat involved is a bit of melting. See this recent recipe for Triple crunch krispie squares or these Salted chocolate crunch bars.

Salted chocolate crunch bars

2. Get a classic baking cookbook that’s designed for beginners
I have a huge collection of cookbooks. It’s almost embarrassing. But I like to think that many of them have made me the cook I am today. Mary Berry’s Baking Bible is an absolute classic and contains pretty much most items you think of when it comes to baking – or a good old Be-ro baking book. These are the type of books you should start with if you are a baking rookie.

My well-thumbed edition of Mary Berry’s Baking Bible

3. Bake with your kids
The key here is to keep it simple. And to get all the ingredients out ready first as the measuring bit is very boring for them. Choose something like these Blueberry and lemon curd cupcakes. Yes, it’s a bit messy. And I know, it’s quite hard not to be a control freak when they are icing them like THAT… But the only way for them to get into baking is if you actually do a bit of baking with them!!

Beatrix helping me in the kitchen

4. Get a few essential items
OK here is my how to get into baking essential kit list (it’s a bit long but if you are serious you’ll have to get most of the following): a spatula; a wooden spoon; about 2 or 3 different sized glass or plastic bowls; a glass or plastic measuring jug; an electric hand mixer (or just a hand whisk); a medium loaf tin; a square brownie tin; a fairy cake tin; a muffin tin; a round springform cake tin; a measuring spoon set; some scales (I like electric). Lakeland have a great selection. If you’ve got these things you are pretty much good to go.

Just a few of my essential kitchen items

5. Build (over time) a kitchen that you want to cook and bake in 
This is really important. But obviously this is something we all have to build over time. Not many of us can just create our dream kitchen when we want it. When we were starting out in our first rented flat we couldn’t have the exact kitchen we wanted, obviously. But I always knew the type of items I would eventually have in my dream cottage kitchen, and I have some, if not all of them now. I like wood, and one or two separate, freestanding items that give a farmhouse feel. Check out Quercus Living’s range of sideboards which are great for storing cutlery, plates, and bakeware. Or, even better, why not think about a dresser – the ultimate country kitchen item. Lastly, for me, a dining kitchen is a must (we don’t have that luxury now but when the extension is done we will – SO excited!): check out these dining sets.

My little kitchen

The thing you need most when starting out in baking though is a desire to please others. If you have that, then you have the most important ingredient of all.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for Quercus Living. As such I was paid to write it but all opinions are my own.

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