National Baking Week – 5 Reasons to Join In
Posted by Hannah Ashworth on October 14, 2022
It’s National Baking Week soon! Whether you’re binging The Great British Bake Off this October, getting crafty in the kitchen, or just looking to satisfy your own sweet tooth, we’ve got something for everyone in this blog post. National Baking Week is a great way to get involved, but how did it all begin?
Pyrex were the original founders of National Baking Week back in 2007, along with some other like-minded baking companies and brands. The aim was to encourage people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to get involved and have a go at baking something themselves at home.
Although Pyrex no longer runs National Baking Week, the week is as popular as ever and continues to run in the UK every year between the 14th and 20th of October.
Britain has always been fascinated by baking and cooking TV shows and that fascination grows year on year. Baking at home has also skyrocketed since The Great British Bake Off started and since lockdown left us confined to our homes.
It seems that everyone became an artisan pastry chef or cake decorator in a matter of days; Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok were full of people showcasing their homemade sweet treats and savoury delights. I have to admit, even I gave it a go. Turns out I can make a fantastic moist sponge, but my decorating skills are lacklustre. I suppose you really can't have your cake and eat it, too!
Wanting to get involved? Local to us in the North West, there’s a charity called Team Rise who run regular baking and cookery classes for their participants. On Tuesdays between 10am and 3pm They host a cooking class supporting adults with learning disabilities, autism and those who are vulnerable, socially isolated, or lonely.
Team Rise are a Registered Charity based in Burnley and they support people from all areas of East Lancashire. They give people with learning difficulties and vulnerable individuals the opportunity to develop, socialise and explore their ideas and goals through a wide variety of educational, social, and practical activities.
Why not pop along to one of their fantastic classes, or even consider donating to support the wonderful work they do? Check out their website and the classes they host here: https://teamrise.org.uk/
If you’re thinking of whipping up some delightful delicacies but keep talking yourself out of it, I’ve put together a list of 5 reasons baking is good fun and good for you.
Baking Stimulates the Senses
Baking can really help to ground you. If you find yourself getting stressed overthinking things you may have said or done, or your head is in the clouds most of the time, baking can help bring you back down to earth. The simple acts of measuring ingredients, mixing cake batter in a bowl, or decorating your pastry creations requires your full attention.
Even the scent of baked goods filling your home can help you to be present. There’s no time for you to drift off in your thoughts when you’re counting down the seconds until that gorgeous-smelling cake is done!
Nourishing Activities Feel Good
Activities can be nourishing or depleting depending on how they make you feel. If, like me, you hate doing the washing up, this would be a depleting activity. Baking is an incredibly nourishing activity; you are creating something from scratch that you get to enjoy later on, or even share with your friends and family on National Baking Week!
As Jean Shinoda Bolen said, “When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings you joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life," – we couldn’t agree more. Doing something that you enjoy, simply because you enjoy it, is a huge part of mental wellbeing.
Cooking is Meditative
Baking and cooking are excellent mindfulness activities. They require you to be present and aware, as well as bringing you great joy. Not to mention a sweet (or savoury) treat at the end of all your hard work.
We believe that cooking is an integral part of achieving wellbeing and anyone can make a bit of magic (or at least some avocado toast) happen in the kitchen.
Sometimes, you just need someone to take you through the process and a few others to cheer you on. It doesn't have to be difficult or expensive; in the wellness world, little things go a long way. You could bake the fanciest cake the world has ever seen, or just start by using up some veg in the fridge to make a rustic homemade soup.
National Baking Week is for anyone and everyone to get stuck in, no matter your skillset or abilities.
Baking is Creative
Baking is a wonderful creative outlet. You can make whatever you set your mind to, be it a fancy mixed vegetable pastry dish with loads of different colours, or a five-tier bright pink princess cake with all the sprinkles you can get your hands on; the sky is the limit when it comes to your kitchen creations.
You could even challenge yourself to bake along with the contestants on The Great British Bake Off and see if you’d be crowned Bake Off Champion. You could follow the instructions to a T, or really show your creative flair and go wild. You never know what could happen, and National Baking Week is the perfect excuse to have a crack at it.
Baking Makes Other People Happy
Sharing your delicious bakes with friends and family can actually increase their happiness, too. They’ll be overjoyed that you’ve found a fantastic creative outlet and you’re picking up new skills, and that you’re sharing your baking journey with them.
Whether you’re posting pictures of what you’ve made on social media, sending friends a few flapjacks, or inviting family over for a three-course meal, people are sure to appreciate all the effort you’ve put into trying something new.
As well as having people round for tea and cake, you could even invite a few friends over for a "Potluck", where you all make something yourselves and bring it over to share. This is a great way to get friends and family involved with National Baking Week.
Baking is for Everyone
The main aim of National Baking Week is for everyone to start creating and do what you can. You don't have to be a Michelin star chef, or even have previous experience cooking or baking; the main aim is for you to have a go and have fun along the way this week.
The Great British Bake Off is an incredibly popular tv show and they have people competing from all different backgrounds with many different skillsets. They have hosted several disabled people over the years who have absolutely smashed it, regardless of their impairment or difference.
Scope even came up with a social model of disability; "People are disabled by barriers in society, not by their impairment or difference. Barriers can be physical, like buildings not having accessible toilets. Or they can be caused by people's attitudes to difference, like assuming disabled people can't do certain things".
We agree with their social model. You can do anything you put your mind to, and there are so many mobility aids out there nowadays, there's no reason that people can't do what non-disabled people can do. Why not have a go this week? You just might surprise yourself.
Kitchen Talking Scales and Measuring Jug
This Talking Kitchen Scales and Measuring Jug set is ideal for disabled people who have visual impairments. The kitchen can seem difficult to navigate when you need extra support, but with the right tools and mobility aids, daily living doesn’t have to be affected.
If you struggle to see the numbers on the scale, this mobility aid is absolutely ideal. It only has two buttons, so it is easy to operate and use. These scales speak the measurements in a clear, easy-to-understand voice and you can select grams or ounces depending on what you prefer to use or what the recipe that you're following calls for.
This mobility aid is made out of strong plastic, so it's easy to keep clean no matter whether you're measuring flour or sticky golden syrup. The Talking Kitchen Scales and Measuring Jug is also lightweight, so it can be moved to wherever you need it most without too much effort. It is also compact and easy to store, so you don't have to worry is your kitchen is on the smaller side.
Talking Measuring Jug
If you're an avid baker and you're on the lookout for a mobility aid that can help you measure liquids, look no further. With its substantial 2 litre capacity, the Talking Measuring Jug daily living aid speaks in a clear male voice, announcing your liquid measurements.
What's more, the special Tare function enables 2 liquids to be mixed together in the one unit, yet still be separately measured. The jug can be removed from the measuring unit, which makes cleaning quick and easy, so you can get on with your day as soon as possible.
The Talking Measuring Jug mobility aid is both stylish and contemporary, and it would make a terrific addition to any kitchen. Its intelligent design makes daily living easier, and its durability and sturdiness are assured. This in an ideal gift for disabled people who love to cook, and ensures that you can partake in National Baking week this October with no limitations.
Time to Get Baking
We hope you've found the advice and mobility aids in this blog useful, and you feel confident that you can tackle National Baking Week this October. If you do end up making anything, or if this blog inspired you at all, please feel free to tag us on social media!
Here are some recipes for you to try, courtesy of The Great British Bake Off. You can choose sweet or savoury, easy or hard. Choose anything you want to make, all that matters is that you join in: Recipe Filter | The Great British Bake Off