Weekend Baking

baking scales

There is something very therapeutic about baking at the weekend. Unlike the relentless chore of putting a main meal on the table every day, weekend baking is an indulgence. Nobody will starve if I don’t bake a cake but it makes life a little more pleasurable.

English muffins baking on girdle

I enjoy the rhythm to the process of going backwards and forwards to the pantry, taking down jars of dried fruits and sugar, delving into the flour bin, kneading dough and cracking eggs on the side of the bowl. I can daydream as I watch yeasty muffins rise on my grandmother’s girdle or ladle on spoonsful of pancake batter, watch for the bubbles to rise and then flip the pancakes over to brown on the other side before wrapping them in a tea towel until tea time. The kitchen fills with satisfying homely smells as I pull the spiced rolls from the oven and brush a sticky syrup glaze over the tops while the crusts of freshly baked loaves of bread crackle as they cool on the wire racks alongside a raspberry loaf cake and a batch of fudgy fruit slice.

As indulgences go, baking is a pretty cheap option. Flour, sugar, eggs and butter don’t cost a fortune and there’s no need to break the bank with an expensive bottle of wine when a cup of tea is all you need to drink with a freshly baked cake.  Not that I’d object should you wish to pass me a glass of English sparkling wine or Slamseys Raspberry Gin to accompany a small slice of sponge cake filled with fresh raspberries and cream.

By Sunday teatime, I’m baked out and ready to share some of the day’s baking with the family. The leftover cakes are packed into tins to provide a small treat throughout the week or dropped into the freezer. I have discovered that frozen sponge cake needs very little time to defrost and in an emergency can be eaten in its frozen state.

24 thoughts on “Weekend Baking

  1. I think you may have meant ‘grandmothers griddle’? Although what we all love to bake will require a girdle at some point!

  2. Drool! I also love the luxury of baking something non-essential, rather than dreaming up yet another weekday dinner. My trouble is, I could happily eat all my cakes, and get enormously fat in the process.
    I loved the idea of your grandmother’s girdle!

    1. I think we value home-made more, so that while my husband will easily scoff half a packet of bought biscuits, he doesn’t do the same with home-made. Though maybe he just knows I’ll be cross if he does!

  3. Be still my baking heart! I echo this whole post! The only place I beg to differ is in your theory that “nobody will starve if I don’t bake a cake” – I know this to be true in every rational sense but my inner instinct tells me something different! Somehow living life without a homemade cake or two is just not quite complete. I jest … but only partially! Your muffins look perfect and again I know rationally it makes no difference, but instinct-wise, baked on your Scottish grandmother’s girdle they will be better than if you baked them on something else. I know – these thoughts are utterly at odds with almost every scientific argument under the sun but I can’t shift them – there are some essential things that lie at one’s irreducible core and the elusive magic of home-baking is one of mine and I don’t care how irrational that is! Frozen sponge cake? Perfectly viable – what’s Arctic Roll otherwise?! E x

    1. Irrational thoughts maybe, but true! I have fond memories of Arctic Roll for school dinners but can’t remember the last time I ate any. Will have to remedy that situation.

  4. Baking is the best, most therapeutic kind of cooking, not to be rushed. With only two of us now in the household, both trying to eat carefully, the opportunities are fewer, and I miss it a lot, so indulge whenever I can. I did make my younger daughter’s wedding cake last year, and will be making my older daughter’s this year, a challenge to be savoured! I love your scales and your grandmother’s girdle – the space in a farmhouse kitchen (as I grew up with) simply isn’t there in a city kitchen, so I will enjoy yours vicariously!

    1. My goodness, what a responsibility to make your daughters’ wedding cakes but how wonderful to do it. We went to a wedding in Kenya where the newly-weds fed pieces of wedding cake to their parents as a token of sharing and caring for them. Mind you, the wedding cake was so important that it had its own tent and a proper ceremony for cutting.

      1. Now a tent for the cake, I like that idea … the first cake wasn’t so daunting, the recipe was a carrot cake I have made from time immemorial, it was just working out quantities, experimenting with frosting etc. The second will be more tricky as I will have to test bake here, then bake the actual cake in London, transport it to York and assemble it there … logistics!

  5. Those muffins look perfect Anne. Thank you for the recipe links too! I am very impressed with those no nonsense scales, I can imagine they could tell a story or two. Not to mention many wonderful ingredients measured out over the years. Happy baking.

    1. My electronic scales are much more accurate (the scales in the photo have a 2p coin taped on to balance them) but sometimes it’s good to use these.

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