Learn to Bake: Inspiration from the Great British Bake Off

The time has come again for us to settle down on the sofa with a cup of tea and enjoy the fabulous Great British Bake Off. There’s something very satisfying about watching all the beautiful creations and fantastic disasters that unfold in each episode; and something very inspirational too! Do you ever feel a niggling feeling that you would love to make your own baked goods? Maybe you even think you could do it better! Here are some tips on why baking is good for you and why you should get started.

1. Stress Relief

While the competitors in the show may not seem to be calm and collected, baking in your own home or at a class can really help to keep you calm in times of stress. The simple and repetitive elements of bakery such as kneading dough or whisking eggs can have a calming, meditative quality. Baking also gives you a good opportunity to use your hands in ways that are both nurturing and good for your joints. As you really get into it, all your attention is focused and you will find that it can keep any anxiety at bay.

2. Happiness

The host of the Bake Off, Mary Berry, says that she finds the cooking experience as a sort of therapy. Not only is it satisfying to create something delicious with your own hands, you can also share that happiness with others. Try having your grandchildren over and seeing their faces light up when you give them a big slice of cake. There’s really nothing better!

3. Health

In your retirement, you may be more aware of your health and how important it is to treat your body right. Cooking your own food allows you to monitor everything that goes into it. Get inspired by the large collection of both savoury and sweet goods on the show. Even the tasty stuff can be good for you if you choose the right ingredients.

4. Creativity

One of the best parts of the Great British Bake Off is seeing the bakers create their own weird and wonderful works of art. It’s important to have a creative outlet and keep your mind stimulated, particularly in your later years. Psychologists have found a strong connection between creative expression and overall wellbeing so experiment and see what you can do.

5. Social

You may prefer to be a solitary cook or you might find it beneficial to start a class. As we see in the Bake Off, strong connections can be made when you meet like-minded people and develop your skills together. Socialising can be more difficult in your retirement so it’s important to get involved and meet new people. Going to group activity can really be great fun and they may even have their own healthy competitions to get involved in.

Baking is a great hobby and it’s easy to get started. Research your local community and see if there are any classes or even start your own club! Worried about not having the right cookbook? You can find free recipes for every type of baked good imaginable online. A wealth of websites and recipes are out there to suit beginning bakers. With a few simple tools and some determination, maybe you could be on the next series!

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