Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Bake, love, repeat

Experience the warmth of World Baking Day

There is nothing more universally loved than the aroma of freshly baked treats. From chewy cookies and decadent cakes to brownies with that perfect bit of crunch, these delights make the world a more joyful place.

Celebrated annually on May 17, World Baking Day emphasises the happiness that baking can spread, encouraging people to connect with loved ones and express creativity through the art of baking.

Whether crafting a simple loaf of bread or an elaborate cake, World Baking Day celebrates the universal pleasure and communal joy of homemade treats.

PHOTO: ENVATO

However, beyond indulging a serious sweet tooth, there are numerous reasons why people bake. For some, it’s as simple as picking up a new hobby.

For others, this cosy home activity serves as the foundation for creating cherished memories, fostering bonds and expressing love.

In fact, many find baking can be a therapeutic escape, a way to connect with loved ones, and a means to share joy and warmth with others. This was the case for Echa Bakar, who is in her early thirties and works in the agricultural sector. She shared how she began baking as a side business during the lockdown and as a bonding activity with her husband.

“Sweet treats are my favourite, so we decided to look up different recipes online to try them out. We tried making biscuits and cakes, but chocolate chip cookies are by far the easiest to make, and they are very addictive.” During the initial trial phases of learning to bake, Echa and her husband would bake cookies together as a homely snack.

Eventually, the married couple decided to hone their new skill as a means to earn side income.

“After many trials and errors and playing with ingredients, voila! Our Echachoco cookies were born,” she continued, adding that now she and her husband can be found slaving over the oven after work to fulfil various blessed orders.

Meanwhile, for home-based baker Fatena, who also goes by @bytenscupcake on Instagram, baking has become a transformative experience, helping not only with her mental well-being but also in discovering herself.

PHOTO: ENVATO

“This craft has become a source of joy and a means of escaping the stresses of daily life, allowing me to immerse myself in something I truly love.

“Beyond personal fulfilment, baking has provided additional income for my family and served as a creative outlet, helping me develop skills in various artisanal crafts.”

For Fatena, baking goes beyond just a skill and a business; it has also connected her with her community, offering opportunities to engage with local bakers and entrepreneurs who share her passion.

“I am continually inspired by their dedication and talent, which elevate the art of baking in our community.”

While many bake to generate income, bakers like Hajah Masitah binti Hitam do so with the added responsibility of keeping traditional legacies alive, passing down recipes and techniques that have stood the test of time.

She started baking in the ‘80s while working as a clerk in the civil service to make ends meet. It was the most convenient way for her to earn extra income, even though she just picked up the trade secrets from recipe books and cooking shows.

Hajah Masitah shared how she loves to bake simple traditional cakes and biscuits, such as rainbow cake, kueh mor, samprit, and biskut dahlia.

“They’re quite simple to make, but you need to keep their originality to maintain their authenticity. It’s for traditional Raya food purists,” she added. Though there are many reasons why people bake, it’s the act of creation that keeps pulling these bakers back to the oven, because to them, baking is more than just a method of cooking, it’s a form of art.

PHOTO: ENVATO

Thirty-year-old home baker Farah Aqilah Shamad, who runs Mom’s Baking on Instagram, makes customised and decorated icing cookies for birthdays and other events.

She shared that when it comes to baking, there is always a sense of satisfaction that comes upon completing a bake, especially when she’s trying new designs.

Having run her business since 2008, Farah shared that while visual appeal is a key aspect of baking, perfection is not.

“Bakers have bad days too, bakers do struggle, and bakers almost always have to start over. But most of all, bakers always make sure their end product looks as if it is perfectly done without any mistakes.” – Rizal Faisal & Wardi Wasil

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