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Nov 12, 2011 02:51 PM

I don't bake because?

I don't bake because:

I read a recipe and what do I see: same ole' thing:

1 cup butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour, .... I just can't "do" these ingredients.

I keep purchasing baking books, but all I really bake is some kind of a fruit pie/crisp and a seldom biscotti (once a year?) and artisan bread (lately only NYT no knead) or pizza. DH has lately laid off the flour, so I'm just about out of the baking business.

I know that I am not completely happy with OTC bakery products such as I can find at places like Wegmans or Panera, so I will occasionally purchase a pan e chocolate or a deep- chocolate muffin, while DH will purchase a Napoleon - this is seldom.

Are there any chowhounds that feel similar?

Or what's your reason you don't bake?

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  1. When you say "don't do" those ingredients, do you mean because they are too rich or too high in fat or because you do not like the art of baking?

    I do any and all homemade drop-cookies, brownies, dump cakes (LOL but true) and cupcakes.

    I find "real" baking a lot like woodworking. If you "dabble" it costs you very little money but your creativity is limited. If you go at it full throttle, the time and costs of mixers (aka Kitchen Aid or Hobart), scales, spring form pans (aka specialty tools--an usually good and costly ones) is quite the outlay which means, in poker terms, "you're all in."

    Then your into baking flours , sugars and very costly ingredients.'s fun, neat and people love it, but I find little "middle ground" unless you go the route of a serious baking fool.

    For me, I love the aspect of measuring perfectly by weight and the science factor of it all, but I'm not a big sweet eater and it tends to be waiste-line killer.

    But bake-on Hounds. :-)

    14 Replies
    1. re: jjjrfoodie

      "When you say "don't do" those ingredients, do you mean because they are too rich or too high in fat or because you do not like the art of baking?"

      It is the amount of these ingredients in one particular batch of cookies, or a cake, or whatever bakery product that when I see the recipe, that I just cannot imagine using that amount of any of these three (also any large amount of cream, sour cream, etc.) ingredients in something that I am making. It just seems too unhealthy for me. I do like sweets, though, and don't think of making something very often.

      The reason I posted is that I do like biscotti (the kind that you dunk in wine) (AND can ruin a tooth!) and was looking through a book "Biscotti" when I realized that there was not one recipe in that book that I was going to ever make :-))

      1. re: Rella

        Butter, cream, sour cream, etc. are not bad for you.

        1. re: sandylc

          I know. I eat all of them. Kerrygold Irish butter; cream from the farm...
          (organic cane sugar, unbleached flour)
          But not all in one ribbon-wrapped morsel :-))

              1. re: Rella

                But if a recipe makes 36 cookies, you are only eating a fraction of those ingredients. Moderation is the key and baking is a magical and comforting experience. Get over your fear woman! ;)

                1. re: ttoommyy

                  Words of wisdom, my friend.

                  But, has anyone EVER eaten one cookie, or even two? :-)) Only at a mall at $1.50 ea.

                  1. re: Rella

                    There's this thing called a Freezer... it does a great job of storing your unused portions of baked goods until it suits you to take them out and eat them. To me, the notion of somebody not wanting to bake is as alien as the notion to you that some of us do it voluntarily.

                    1. re: Kajikit

                      Absolutely agree. And than you always have stuff on hand for unexpected or last minute visitors etc.

                      1. re: Kajikit

                        There is a new thread started called something like "I like to bake because..." for those who do like to bake.

                        1. re: Rella

                          Kajikat was only contributing to the conversation by pointing out that freezing some of the baking output is a solution to one of the issues you raised with regards to why you don't like to bake. Are you suggesting that this thread is only open to people who don't like to bake? Because I thought Chowhound was about conversations about food - not about creating some kind of exclusive "club" on certain threads.

                          1. re: flourgirl

                            But this thread is explicitly for people who DON'T bake, and their reasons why.

                            It has nothing to do with an exclusive club. Of course the thread is open to other folks, but why, if you LIKE to bake, you would post here as opposed to the "I bake because" thread, is a little difficult to understand, I suppose.

                            1. re: flourgirl

                              I think it was just informational, not exclusive. Someone started another thread about this and many people who had posted to this thread prior to it cut and pasted their replies there.

                          2. re: Kajikit

                            My freezer is too full of homemade stocks and seasonal produce which I harvest and preserve to accommodate much else.

                            The siren call of a frozen slice of cake is just about as strong as that of its sister freshly made on the kitchen counter.

              2. I don't bake b/c I'm not crazy about pastries, cakes, cookies, etc. I mean, yeah, I'll eat them if someone brings them along (or bakes them), but I'm not invested/interested enough in that kinda stuff to learn.

                Also, I don't tend to measure stuff at all, which in cooking is much more forgiving than in baking.

                My man is the baker of the family, but it generally doesn't go much beyond pizza.

                1. I don't bake because baking takes exacting measurements and technique and I'm an off the cuff kinda cook. I look at recipes only to get a feel for the overall technique and ingredients and then adlib from there

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: scubadoo97

                    Yup, same here. My husband is the baker in the family...and my daughter learned "Joy of Cooking" brownies from him in like third grade. I've never made them. I'm from the savory side, plus don't have the patience of all the steps and measuring and the multiple bowls.

                  2. Like lingua, I'm not big on sweets. We'll eat them when served by friends or when part of a beer/wine dinner, but rarely have dessert at home. We also don't order dessert when we go out. We both would rather drink our extra calories! I also don't like the mess of flour and can get great bread at local bakeries.

                    1. I don't bake often because there are only two of us and calorie wise it's just too much--do make healthy muffins and then freeze half for later consumption.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: escondido123

                        This - there's only two of us and I can't justify having all those sweet goodies in the house! I also don't like the idea of rocking up at work all the time with *yet more* stuff I've baked - for some reason I don't want to be that person, in addition to why spend all the money baking stuff to give it away? (Other than special occasion baking for gift giving, that is).

                        It's half the reason I love having people around - an excuse to bake!

                        I love baking but I don't aspire to any gourmet fancy-dan delicacies that would involve spending $$$ on obscure ingredients or bits of kit.