How to bake Stress-free

How to Make Baking a Stress-Free Experience: Top 10 Tips

Baking feels like therapy to me. I’ll admit, I’m not a morning person by any stretch. You won’t catch me leaping out of bed for early workouts or sunrise meditations. But when there’s fresh bread to prepare or sourdough to bake, you can bet I’ll be up with the birds. There’s something truly magical about the aroma of cookies or muffins baking in the oven—it’s an instant stress-reliever. I’m sure many of you can relate to the calming effect baking has. However, I understand that for some, it can feel like a daunting task, even exhausting at times. But fear not, fellow bakers, I have the perfect solution(s) to make your baking experience as smooth as butter.

Baking can feel like quite the undertaking when we encounter challenges like complex recipes, disorganized kitchens or workspaces, missing ingredients, or simply feeling burned out during the process. But fear not, there’s a simple solution to all of these woes: planning ahead. Now, I know what you’re thinking—after a long day of making lists and planning our lives, the last thing we want to do is create another plan for baking. But trust me, it’s worth it in the long run.

With just a bit of planning, preparation, and organization, I can assure you that baking won’t feel like such a daunting task. In this post, I’ll be sharing 10 tips to help make your baking sessions a stress-free experience!

Why is Baking a therapy?

Before diving into the tips, I want to highlight why baking can be therapeutic for you. There are several reasons why baking can have a therapeutic effect:

1. Mindfulness: Baking requires your full attention, from measuring ingredients to following instructions. This mindfulness can help distract from stressors and promote relaxation.

2. Creativity: Baking allows for creativity in flavors, decorations, and presentations. Engaging in creative activities can be deeply fulfilling and provide a sense of accomplishment.

3. Sensory Stimulation: The process of baking stimulates multiple senses, including touch, smell, and taste. These sensory experiences can evoke positive emotions and memories, contributing to a sense of well-being.

4. Immediate Gratification: Baking often results in a tangible, delicious product that can be enjoyed immediately. This instant gratification can boost mood and provide a sense of satisfaction.

5. Therapeutic Routines: Following a recipe and methodical baking process can create a sense of structure and routine, which can be comforting, especially during times of stress or uncertainty.

6. Sharing and Connection: Baked goods are often shared with others, fostering social connections and creating opportunities for meaningful interactions, which can have positive effects on mental health.

Overall, baking provides a combination of sensory experiences, creativity, and social connection that can be deeply therapeutic for many people. Now that we know why Baking is a stress reliever rather than stress giver, let’s see the ways in which you can make baking a fun activity.

Top 10 Tips to Make Baking Stress-Free!

Now we know that baking can indeed be a relaxing and enjoyable experience with the right approach. Here are some organization and preparation tips to make your baking endeavors stress-free:

1. Plan Ahead, Read the Recipe

Read the recipe

It’s fantastic if you can remember recipes off the top of your head, but having pen and paper nearby is always a smart move. Especially if you’re using an online recipe, jotting it down and pinning it up at your workstation can be incredibly helpful. This way, you’re not constantly darting around to check the recipe from other sources.

2. Make a shopping list

Make a shopping list

I speak from experience. Running my own home bakery for quite some time now, I’ve lost count of the occasions when I had to drop everything mid-process just to rush out and buy an ingredient I’d run out of. I’ll admit, I got a bit lazy with my ordering, and I paid the price for it—delayed baking, late orders, and plenty of unnecessary panic. Trust me, it’s not worth it! So, take the time to check and double-check your pantry and store, scan through your recipes, and you’ll ensure a smooth baking experience every time.

3. Organize Ingredients

Organize Ingredients

Once you’ve read through the recipe, you’ll have a clear idea of what ingredients you need and in what quantities. Some recipes may specify softened butter or room-temperature eggs, for example. By organizing your ingredients according to the recipe, you ensure that everything is measured out and at the proper temperature before you begin. This level of preparation leads to a smoother baking process overall, with everything flowing seamlessly from one step to the next.

4. Prep your workspace

Having a clear countertop not only helps keep you focused on the task at hand but also prevents a cluttered mind. Another helpful tip is to take plenty of photos and videos during the baking process. Not only does this ensure that you have a clean and tidy workspace, perfect for sharing on Instagram, but it also helps minimize unnecessary clutter. Even if you don’t plan on sharing them, documenting the process in this way can help maintain organization and clarity throughout your workstation.

5. Follow a baking timeline

It’s true that one of the most common sources of stress in baking comes from not achieving the desired results. Often, this disappointment stems from not adhering to the necessary timeline for baking. That’s why it’s crucial to follow a timeline diligently. Following the timeline means allocating specific time slots for prep work, baking, cooling, and any additional steps like frosting or decorating. For instance, cutting into a hot loaf of bread or decorating a freshly baked cake without allowing it proper cooling time can yield disastrous results, leading to a stressful baking experience. By sticking to the timeline and allowing each step its due time, you can greatly increase your chances of success and enjoy a smoother baking process overall.

6. Use kitchen gadgets

If you only bake occasionally, you might not feel inclined to invest in all the gadgets and equipment. In that case, manual work is your only option. However, if you’re an avid baker or bake frequently, I highly recommend investing in a few basic gadgets that can make the process much easier. While it’s satisfying to do everything by hand, even heroes need a sidekick from time to time! Let these tools and gadgets assist you in making baking a fun and enjoyable activity rather than a chore. They can simplify tasks, save time, and enhance your overall baking experience, allowing you to focus on the creative and enjoyable aspects of the process.

You can check out my post on ‘Must have tools for a baker’ (thank me later) which is a valuable resource for anyone who bakes regularly.

7. Clean as you go

During almost a month of my four-month industrial training, I dedicated my time to learning the ins and outs of cleaning the bakery, organizing ingredients, and maintaining a tidy workspace. Working alongside senior chefs, I realized the immense importance of cleanliness in a professional kitchen. Keeping your workspace tidy by promptly cleaning up spills and ensuring that ingredients and equipment are stored away as you progress not only prevents clutter from accumulating but also significantly simplifies the cleanup process. It’s a simple yet essential practice that contributes to a more efficient and enjoyable baking experience.

8. Stay organized

I always make it a point to measure out every ingredient and arrange them neatly on a tray or platter before starting to bake. For instance, I’ll place all the dry ingredients like flour, salt, baking powder, and cocoa powder in separate bowls, and then place those bowls on one tray. To keep everything organized, I often write the name of the dish on a sticky note and place it on the tray, indicating which set of ingredients corresponds to which dish. You can adopt this approach or come up with your own method that works best for you. After all, it’s your baking process, and the goal is to make it as comfortable and stress-free as possible!

9. Double-Check Measurements

Often, our ingredients are past their prime, which can pose problems in baking, especially with items like baking powder, yeast, and flours. It’s essential to carefully check the expiration dates of your ingredients before adding them to your bakes. Additionally, accurate measurements are paramount for achieving perfect bakes every time. In baking, even the slightest variation—be it a teaspoon more or less—can significantly impact the appearance, taste, and texture of the final product. Therefore, it’s crucial to double-check your measurements to ensure the success of your recipes.

10. Take Breaks

Baking is meant to be therapeutic, not an additional source of stress. Having baked professionally for 7-8 years, I’ve come to realize that baking brings me joy. While there may be occasional moments of heavy workload and stress related to specific orders, it’s crucial to take small breaks during extended baking sessions. Personally, I’ve made it a priority to maintain balance in my baking endeavors. If I ever find that baking becomes more stressful than relaxing, I’ll reconsider my passion for it. Taking short breaks to rest and recharge keeps me centered and energized. So, remember not to overextend yourself by baking for long hours—prioritize your well-being above all else.

To Conclude

So, there you have it—my top 10 tips to make your baking experience stress-free! Remember to plan ahead, create that shopping list, organize your ingredients, prep your workspace, follow a timeline, utilize kitchen gadgets, clean as you go, stay organized, double-check measurements, and don’t forget to take a break! By incorporating these organization and preparation tips into your baking routine, you can minimize stress and maximize enjoyment in the kitchen.

Let me know in the comments below how your baking experience turns out. And don’t forget to subscribe to our blog Bakestermind and follow us on our socials with @bakester_mind for many more helpful tips, recipes, reviews, experiences, and much more. I’ll be back soon with a new post!

Happy baking!

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