Be a better baker. It all sounded so easy. I was sure I could conquer yeast, but I’m sorry to say that I hung up my bakers pinny some time ago. There’s not a butter pats chance in hell of me convincing anyone that I have achieved even the tiniest crumb of progress towards “being a better baker”. I did buy a better, bigger, deeper loaf tin in the hope that this simple act of consumerism would magically transform my baking performance. I ended up with a bigger, deeper but certainly no better loaf.
Yet I still yearn to be that rosy cheeked domestic goddess who fills the house with the welcoming aroma of freshly baked bread and who, with one flick of her wooden spoon and a puff of flour, conjures up muffin delights to woo and wow all who pass through the hallowed portal of her kitchen door. Fanning the flames of this desire is a certain show known to the Twitterati as #GBBO and a certain baker by the name of Paul Hollywood. Is it the twinkle in his eye that has me reaching for the flour box once again? Is it his firm yet gentle kneading action that makes me want to prove, poke and rise again? Is it the breaded wonder that is his eight plait loaf that has me slipping into a floral bomber jacket to swap places with Mary “what strong arms you have” Berry? More to the point, should I be disturbed by the fact that this man has the same affect on my husband?
I have yet to turn inspiration into perspiration and test the theory that simply spending my evenings in a dream-like state watching the demi-God of baking in action can really make me a better baker. The new book “How to Bake”, by my new crush Perfect Paul, has knocked the new album, “The 2nd Law”, by my old crush Matt Bellamy, off the top of the Christmas wish list. I’m a fickle woman. Music may be the food of love, but it is the quest for the perfect crumb that gets the blood racing and the heart pumping! Alas, there are still seven and a half weeks ‘til Christmas and the miserly broadband speeds in rural Wales mean I am unable to watch the Great British Bake Off Masterclass episodes again and again. Buffering is so distracting when you’re trying to focus on exactly how those hands are working that dough. So until I can get my floury hands on his book, I shall have to rely on my wine addled brain to recall Hunky Hollywood’s doughy top tips as I throw myself at the mercy of yeast and strive once more to become a better baker.