By Lauren Rabalais
Web Content Contributor
Lately, I’ve seen an outrageous amount of people lamenting over their sorry attempts at making sourdough with their depressing pictures of dense, rock-hard bread bricks. And, on the flipside, I’ve seen many lovely, fluffy loaves of focaccia float their way through Twitter, amassing likes right out of the oven. Even people who have hardly baked in their lifetimes are contributing to our current shortage of dry yeast. But I have to ask: why are we all suddenly baking so much?
I’ve been baking on a semi-regular basis since high school. I once operated a semester-long blog entirely devoted to creating baked goods, and I’ve been the go-to pâtissière at family gatherings since my grandmother’s passing several years ago. I get immense satisfaction from baking, and I think I understand this baking phenomenon.
In a time where we are all stuck staring out our windows, banging our heads against our personal office desks because we just can’t seem to get motivated, productivity is an essential facet of our lives. We feel good when the work we do yields an output— when our efforts bear fruit.
Many employees have been laid off during the pandemic, so those people aren’t getting that same rush of serotonin that they once got when they got an important task done. When using a recipe, baking is often simple, yet calculated. It is controlled, but also comforting. It’s a great way to fill the serotonin void.
But what about the people who have never baked before? Well, billions of people are now stuck at home, so wouldn’t now be the best time to start a hobby? Let’s face it: people are bored out of their minds, and they want something to do.
Posts and ideas on social media spread like wildfire, so when people see plushy loaves of bread and smoothly-frosted cakes all over their feeds, they want in on the action, too. Baking seems to have become the new fad of 2020, and even people who have never made a cake from scratch before are giving baking a shot.
People are bored, after all, and many of them get excited about jumping on current trends.
But, of course, the reason why young adults are baking so much might be simpler than that. People are cooking their own meals far more often than before the pandemic, and a nice loaf of bread might be lovely with some lasagna. For birthdays, parents might be resorting to making their own cakes for their sad, lonely children. My sister enjoys baking, but her college apartment lacks proper baking equipment, and, now that she is back under the same roof as her parents, she has the wherewithal to bake more complex desserts.
In the end, during this unique time, everyone has their own reasons of why they decided to break out the baking pans and pray that their recipes don’t fail them. People’s lifestyles have changed drastically, and baking is just one way people are coping. If there’s one thing to take away from this, though, it’s that we really need to find some flour.
Featured image by Lauren Rabalais.