The Heart of Baking


Do gluten-free pastry recipes
seem filled with hidden pitfalls?
The heart of baking isn’t hard to master—

I baked soggy baklava once, then
lackluster macarons with no feet,
muffins with no domes. I bemoaned
the outcomes, none of them a disaster.

I baked something every week, mustered
through sticky dough, crumbly cakes,
runny cookies, unbouncy bread,
lessons all, but still, no disaster.

I baked dry cupcakes, dense bar cookies,
fallen yeast rolls, piped out thin frosting,
and what I meant to take to a bake sale,
not yet flustered, none of them a disaster.

I baked my son banana bread that was anything
but quick. And then! Clusters of coconut and
cranberries enrobed in dark chocolate.

Baking for you (no dairy, no eggs), at first
aghast at having to start from scratch again
but it’s now evident—
Though it may look at first like a disaster,
the heart of baking isn’t hard to master.

baking with kids

© Thinkstock/istock/okskukuruza

Food poet Annelies Zijderveld is a cooking teacher and author of Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2015).