I don’t know how it started but as a family we got into baking shows. We watched Sugar Rush and Zumbo’s Baking show on Netflix during the winter holidays and just as the pandemic was taking its foothold in our part of the world, we started watching the British Baking Show. Lockdown and not so warm weather meant it was time to get more value out of our Netflix subscription. We were head over heels in love with the baking show. What drew us to it, you wonder? The nuggets of baking wisdom, the British humor, the thrill of seeing Indian spices being used and Indian breads and desserts baked, the joy of rooting for Indian participants, the friendly competition, and most importantly, the calorie worthy bakes…! We broke all rules, watching TV during dinner, watching long hours of TV. No qualms or guilt whatsoever because it was more than watching the show, we were bonding over it. We made plans to bake this and that, and everything; never mind that the only experience that we had was baking from ready made mixes. But when you immerse yourself into something, you can’t but go in the direction of where it leads you.
Unbeknownst to us, baking became our muse! We baked garlic twists, hot cross buns, orange cake, chocolate cake, and pizzas. We started experimenting, substituting our good old atta for All purpose flour, and olive oil for butter. We listened intently to the knowledge that Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith and Mary Berry (the judges) had to impart, making mental notes, and reminding each other as we worked on our dough. We learnt to savor our bakes differently, looking for flavor, textures, and moistness.
We are done with all seasons of the show. The eagerness to bake has also diminished. But the baking pursuit has left us with a priceless Saturday night routine – homemade whole wheat pizza for dinner to delight our taste buds!