For the past weeks, it seems like everyone suddenly knew how to bake. Our Instagram feeds and Facebook timelines have been full of banana bread, chocolate chip cookies, muffins, and more. But what is it about bread that home bakers find so appealing in times of crises? Why did baking become an outlet to channel all our fears and anxieties?
Baking is soothing and meditative. There is nothing better than feeling relaxed and somehow, baking gives us this. It also gives us comfort whenever we make and eat recipes we’re familiar and comfortable with. It provides a sense of normalcy, which we think a lot of people need right now. This is a big reason why people have been turning to stress baking lately.
Baking gives us control. At a time when nothing is controllable, there’s something incredibly satisfying about doing something so creative and basic from scratch. So many things are out of control right now and it’s really nice to have something turn out right, especially for people who don’t have anything to do at home.
Baking is productive. Baking can be used as a way to pass the hours and as a form of entertainment when many other activities are closed or canceled. Rather than lounging around all day, you get to make something you like and in the end, you’ll be the one to eat it as well!
Baking makes us mindful. During this pandemic, we all feel that there are a lot of uncertainties. And it’s easy to start contemplating and go on a downward spiral. But with baking, we can’t do that, simply because we can easily mess up the recipe. If we don’t pay close attention to what we’re doing in the kitchen, we’ll get the proportion of ingredients wrong for the dough. Baking (and cooking) forces us to focus on the task at hand. In a way baking serves as a form of mindfulness; we can only focus on one thing, and we have to be fully present to get it right.
Baking itself can be done as a solo activity, but during this period of social distancing, it has also served as a tool to bring communities together in new ways — even when we can’t be together for a meal. We know that you’re all looking for slices of happiness, and baking during quarantine has allowed that to happen both online and offline for all of us.
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