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Falling Back in Love With Baking and Two of my Favourite Bakes

Growing up, I always wanted to bake, however my baking skills left a lot to be desired. Everytime I baked something, at least one thing went wrong. I would always try and substitute an ingredient I was missing with disastrous consequences, overmix the mixture, or misread the ingredients. As a perfectionist, these failures would frustrate me, and I ended up rarely baking for fear of it going wrong.

My mum is a fantastic baker, and seeing her results of perfect bake after perfect bake during lockdown (banana bread anyone?!), made me eager to carry on the tradition at university. Although I managed to mess up the first bake (and quite a few others), I kept going and have ended up making a variety of different things. Even though baking can be very time consuming and stressful at times, the satisfaction of eating something knowing you made it yourself is amazing. It’s also the best when you share your bakes with others and they like it as well! 

I’ve found baking incredibly therapeutic during lockdown, and even though we may no longer be stuck in lockdown, I’m definitely going to keep baking more. If you have been wanting to get back into baking as well, I’ve enclosed two of my favourite bakes to get you started! They both came out really well, and clearly aren’t too difficult- after all I made them!

Enjoy!

 

Bake #1- Pitta Bread

I will honestly never buy pitta bread from the shops again! I love mine with hummus or lotus biscoff spread.

  • Makes 10-12

Ingredients:

  • 500g bread flour (plain flour also works!)

  • 2 tsp dried yeast

  • 300-400ml warm water

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 1.5 tsp salt

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

 

Steps:

  1. Combine sugar, salt and flour

  2. Add yeast and combine

  3. Add water gradually and bring dough together, then keep adding till all flour has been combined

  4. Add oil

  5. Knead for 10 minutes to create a smooth ball of dough 

  6. Cover with cling film and set aside to prove for an hour

  7. Cut into 10-12 balls (75g each)

  8. Roll each ball onto plain surface to create smooth balls

  9. Cover with tea towels for 30 mins

  10. Dust surface and rolling pin with flour, roll each ball into a small plate

  11. Heat pan to high heat (6) with no oil

  12. Lower heat to medium, add in one pitta at a time and put the lid on. Cook for 20 seconds until bubbles form

  13. Flip and cook for 20 secs

  14. Cover with tea towel as you cook the rest

 

Bake #2- Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Makes 12

Ingredients:

  • 100g white sugar

  • 165g brown sugar

  • Pinch of salt

  • 115g butter, melted

  • 1 egg

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 155g flour

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 110g chocolate chunks

  • 110g dark choc chunks

 

Steps:

  1. Whisk sugar, salt and butter till paste forms with no lumps

  2. Whisk in eggs and vanilla, beat until light ribbons form

  3. Add flour and baking soda, then fold mixture with spatula (don’t overmix)

  4. Fold in chocolate then chill overnight

  5. Preheat oven to 180C

  6. Scoop dough onto parchment paper lined baking sheet, leaving space between cookies 

  7. Bake for 9 mins (take out sooner rather than later as they continue to cook)

 

Helena is a first year at King's College London, studying global health. Though her family lives in New Jersey, she grew up in South West London. In her free time, she loves creative writing, making too much pitta bread and watching true crime documentaries. She loves sunny weather and is always looking for an excuse to head to the beach.
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