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Krista Stucchio
Life > Experiences

The Wonders of Baking (For the Mind and the Stomach)

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

Baking is an interesting hobby in the sense that pretty much everyone can do it to some extent. Can everyone make five-star macarons and three-tier wedding cakes? No … but can mostly everyone take a package of pre-made cookie dough and bake it in the oven at 350℉ for 10 minutes? Absolutely. If you’re reading this and are convinced that you are the type of person to burn water on the stove, I am here to tell you to have patience and take interest in baking, because there are a plethora of amazing reasons to bake. You don’t have to be a natural to start baking, all you need is practice! 

As someone who baked their first cake at 11 years old, visually, it was really nothing special to look at: a simple vanilla cake with store-bought frosting that I smeared across the surface to add a splash of color. Three years later, my best friend made me some cookie dough from scratch, only for it to be full of salt since she mixed up the salt and sugar. Even though we have had our ups and downs with baking, we were able to learn from our mistakes and not give up after the first setback. 

In that sense, baking can teach you many life lessons. Baking requires patience and perseverance, since hardly anyone can get something perfect the first time. This is especially the case with more difficult concoctions. You also need to dedicate time. Bread takes hours, sometimes days to prepare, in terms of letting it rise, “feeding” it, shaping it, and then baking it. Even a cake requires you to let it cool before you attempt to frost it, or else the frosting will melt right off the freshly baked cake (I learned this the hard way). It’s all about having self-control, since baking is a very precise art. 

Baking, unlike cooking, requires every step to be perfect. One teaspoon more of a certain ingredient, and the whole product could be ruined. While this may be stressful to some, it personally has brought me some peace. Being alone in my kitchen, playing music while carefully measuring each ingredient and mixing to the right consistency brings about a certain calmness. There are many things in your life that you cannot control. Honestly, almost everything in life is out of your control. However, your baking is completely within your control. You have the power over every step, and you can guarantee a delicious goodie to feel proud of. At home when I was stressed, baking was my go-to because I found baking to be a stress reliever. The product at the end being a sweet treat definitely helped with the stress too!

One of my favorite parts of baking is being able to share my work and effort with the people I love. My family members are the first people to shower me with compliments for my treats, even if I feel like I didn’t do such a good job. The same goes for sharing with my friends, or even strangers. There is a bond that you can form with the people you serve your food to, and it’s an instant confidence boost on your abilities. Food is a way to bond with people, and it means extra when it was prepared by your own hands. 

Now, the obvious reason for why you should bake would be the end result: the baked good itself. Not only will the people in your household thank you for the food and the aroma that circulates, but your stomach will thank you as well! I mean come on, who doesn’t love a good brownie, or maybe a crème brûlée if you’re feeling ambitious. Not only will it probably taste better because it’s fresh rather than store bought, but the effort that you put into making it would allow you to feel like you earned the right to eat it. 

Baking is a hobby that anyone can start doing at any age, and in my opinion, has numerous benefits. The mental stamina that it can provide you, the life lessons it can teach you, and the end result that will keep your stomach happy. This is your sign to start baking!

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Ankita Goswami

U Mass Amherst '27

My name is Ankita! I am a biomedical engineering major who loves writing.