Hello friends! If you’ve been paying much attention to my instagram lately, you may have noticed I’ve been on a pretty serious baking kick since last summer. I’ve been meaning to get organized with recording my baking efforts, so I’m hoping to start using this blog more often for that purpose.
First things first: I have a few goals I want to work on in 2018.
1. Improve decorating skills, particularly piping/frosting, and spend more time on little visual details.
These profiteroles are the first serious baking efforts I made, back in June 2017. I put a little effort into the topping and accents, but a lot of the time, I skip this step altogether. Or I intentionally choose recipes that don’t have much decorating in them, because I don’t feel very good at it. I have a set of piping tips, and I want to get more proficient in using them. I’ve noticed that when baked goods look really pretty, they tend to get eaten up faster! So I’m going to work on this in hopes of having fewer leftovers to worry about.
2. Bake more CAKES.
I did a few cakes in 2017, especially nearer to the end of the year, but not very many. I tend to avoid cakes because I’m not sure whether they’ll get eaten, I don’t always know how to transport them, and they’re just more intimidating in general. But when I really think about it I can usually figure out what to do with them, so I don’t want to let those excuses get in the way of CAKE TIME.
3. Keep better visual and written records of what I bake, recipes used, alterations and modifications, etc., with notes and ideas for the future.
This one is pretty simple. In 2017 I mainly used Chrome bookmarks to distinguish between “Want to Bake” and “Baked,” but I didn’t have any systematic way to record what specifically worked well or didn’t work. The intent of using this blog is to have a single repository for recipes, images, and my own thoughts and reflections.
4. Bake and record images and notes for at least one item per week, on average.
I’m not too worried about “not meeting a target” or anything, I just think it would be helpful to have a general idea. So by the end of the year I should have at least 52 items recorded!
Reserving the right to change the pace if life throws curveballs, of course.
5. Don’t let fears of poor technique, not-quite-ideal equipment, and uncertainty keep me from trying out new things and baking things that seem fun and tasty!
One of my very favorite things I made all year was my Hanukkah jelly donuts! I was really nervous because they were so far out of my comfort zone, but I think they ended up really nice, considering I’ve never done anything close to these before. Lesson learned: just try it.
6. Try re-baking things that don’t turn out quite right the first time to see how to improve.
I practiced profiteroles a whole lot back in the summer, but since then, I’ve gotten out of the habit of repeat-baking to improve. It isn’t always as ~fun~ as trying a new recipe, but I think it will be more helpful in the long run for technique and skill. I’m not going to set a numerical goal or anything, I just want to try and do this a little more than I have before. I think keeping a better record of my results and notes will naturally lead to this.
7. Experiment with YEAST and BREAD.
Pretty straightforward! I haven’t even attempted breads in years, and the only recipe I’ve tried with yeast this year was the jelly donuts. I’m still a mega-beginner in this area, so I’m not expecting anything perfect, just going to make a solid attempt.
So, there you go! To sum up, my 2018 Baking Resolutions:
- Improve decorating skills
- Bake more CAKES
- Keep records
- Bake 1x/week
- Try new things
- Re-bake to improve
- Experiment with YEAST and BREAD
I hope to share my progress with you here over the next year!