So apparently it is National Baking Week this week (15th - 21st October, 2018). Here at the Enchanting Bakery, we tend to bake pretty much every day. This doesn't dampen our enthusiasm for it though! There is nothing better than getting a few simple ingredients together and letting some magic happen!
It is fairly widely documented that baking is good for our mental health and wellbeing. Just google it, and see how many links you get. This article from the Independent seems to sum it all up. One quote that sticks out for me is "The predominant emotion evoked in respondents when baking, according to the study, is happiness followed by a sense of calm and focus." Who doesn't want more happiness and calm in their lives!
Whether you like to bake for mindful reasons, or just because you like biscuits, you cannot beat the feeling of seeing flour, butter, eggs and sugar be turned into something that really does spread joy to other people. And as a mother, there is nothing like an afternoon where we bake together to create something tasty, and then let the kids loose on the icing shapes and cutters. It keeps them occupied for hours, and gives them such a sense of achievement at the end, with the ultimate benefit (to them) of being able to eat it!
Even though I now bake for a living, I want to pass my passion for baking and cooking onto my children. I highly recommend it as a brilliant way to spend good (screen based!) time together, get your hands dirty, and sit and scoff together at the end.
As part of the Enchanting blog, we will be looking to share more recipes here including those chosen and baked by my children. In the spirit of National Baking Week, let's start with something really simple that you won't believe can taste so good....!
There are lots of different recipes for shortbread including using rice and/or cornflour, plain flour, flavourings etc. However, for simplicity and as a gentle introduction, this is our favourite shortbread recipe. It works every time, uses only 3 ingredients and tastes....AMAZING!
125g room temperature butter
50g caster sugar
180g plain flour
Cream the butter and sugar together (with a hand held or stand mixer if you have it, if not with a bit of elbow grease!)
Mix in the flour until you have formed a dough
Roll the dough out between 2 pieces of baking paper to your desired thickness (about the thickness of a pound coin is good)
Cut into fingers, or your chosen cookie cutter shapes.
Place on a baking tray in the fridge and chill for 20 mins
Pre-heat your oven to 180C
Bake for approx 12-18 mins (ovens can vary) until starting to go golden around teh edges.
Allow to cook on the baking tray.
Eat and enjoy!
lots of love,