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Regenerative All Purpose Flour nayspz

A study has revealed that engaging in creative projects, such as cooking and baking, makes us happier in our day to day lives.

If you need further encouragement, think of it as an act of mindfulness which comes with a bonus sense of achievement – and something delicious as the end result. The research, published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, has been endorsed by Cornwall-based Trewithen Dairy and Chipping Norton’s Matthews Cotswold Flour who have joined together to encourage us to get busy in our kitchens and have shared their secrets for successful bakes:

  1.  Always read the recipe through thoroughly before starting so there are no hidden surprises or processes, such as having to chill something overnight before you can continue.
  2. Preheat the oven before you begin. Some ingredients like egg whites need to be handled quickly before the air is lost, so will need to be popped into the oven without delay.
  3. Get to know your oven. There may be hot spots, so you’ll have to rotate your baking halfway through for an even result.
  4. Add full fat milk to sponge cakes. Milk adds additional protein and lactose (milk sugar) which in turn creates a richer taste and softer crumb and a better bake.
  5. Clear the kitchen down before you start. And keep it clean. Work methodically, tidying up as you go; it’s much easier and leaves you feeling calmer. 
  6. Practice makes perfect. Neighbours, family, friends and colleagues make for happy testers in the meantime, as you keep them well-fed with your baking results.
  7. Use the best quality ingredients you can afford. It makes such a difference to the taste and quality of your baking. 
  8. Ingredients need to be at room temperature before you start. Depending on your recipe, you might need to take butter, eggs and anything else you need out of the fridge at least an hour before you start baking. If you’re making pastry, you will want to keep your ingredients chilled.
  9. Don’t forget to add a little salt. Salt reduces bitterness and increases sweetness. Using salted butter in your cakes is a great way to enhance the flavour of your baking.
  10. Have fun and get creative. Experiment with your favourite flavours, get inventive and enjoy yourself. 

With thanks to cotswoldflour.com and trewithendairy.co.uk

Inspired? Make baking even more of a pleasure with the right tools.

Display your bakes. £10 bmstores.co.uk

Modern style remanufactured electric Aga range cooker in Claret. From £8180 for oven as shown blakeandbull.co.uk

Not just for chips. Cuisinart Air Fryer Mini Oven, £250 cuisinart.co.uk

Scion Spike Silicone Spatula. £9 dexam.co.uk

Sara Miller’s London Artisanne Noir set of three cake tins. £45 elitetins.com

Springform baking tin. £7.99 homesense.com

Stand mixer of dreams in Pistachio. £529 kitchenaid.co.uk

Precision is key. Copper measuring cups (£14.95) and spoons (£12.95) procook.co.uk

Vintage styled easy-read scales £29.95 rexlondon.com

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