The Baker: An introduction

What sets the Baker apart from the chef is simple: patience. The precise measurements force the baker to be careful and not misstep during their adventures in the kitchen. Mistaking the teaspoon for the tablespoon can mean the difference between a fluffy, luscious cake and a brick.

While the chef will call cooking an art, the baker sees the world of recipes are concrete calculations and ratios. This is not the class of just the heart but also the mind!

But before starting your next adventure, make sure you have the appropriate questing gear and items!

The Baker’s Pantry
Flour – the most basic of all ingredients and the foundation for the class
Sugar – comes in several varieties, all of which should be on hand: white, brown and confectionery
Vanilla – an extract of the vanilla bean, easy to make yourself
Baking Soda – a leavening agent, reacts well with vinegar
Baking Powder – another leavening agent
Butter – a magical ingredient that cannot be replicated
Oil – use vegetable or canola oil, avoid olive oil when baking unless you like the taste of olives
Chocolate – comes in a variety of flavors, semi-sweet chips or chunks is best to have on hand

Eggs – the fresher the better, usually come from a chicken but beware of basilisks
Milk – cow or minotaur will suffice, avoid manatee and mermaid

These ten simple ingredients are the foundation of all baking. Without these cornerstones, you have little hope of every making anything that resembles the epic designs of this craft.

The Baker’s Arsenal
Measuring spoons – the basics of measuring
Measuring cups – have both a clear cup for measuring liquids and solid ones for scooping
Mixing bowls – various sizes from small prep to large mixing
Mixing spoons – wood is preferred
Baking sheet – thin, metal and good for conducting heat
Baking pan – go with Pyrex, it has more uses

Rolling pin – a fine club but better for smoothing dough
Parchment – for writing spells, recipes and lining baking sheets
Whisk – used to incorporate air into recipes
Spatula – the rubber kind for scraping bowls and mixing

Sifter – used to combine dry ingredients or coat
Cooling rack – used to slay fire demons
Potholder – essential armor for those working in the kitchen

Time – both patience and the ability to measure, invest in a fine timer or an extra loud hourglass. There is no substitute for this since baking cannot be rushed.

Precision is the goal of the baker. There are no dashes or pinches and no “about” measurements. The baker is precise and purposeful. There is one recipe that all bakers should know and be ready to produce at a moments notice, it is your first level recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

The chocolate chip cookie is the most basic of recipes that best exemplifies what the Baker is. The Baker can transmute basic ingredients and harness the power of flame to create that delicious, ooey-gooey, melting chocolate deliciousness. The chocolate chip cookie was first created by Grand Archbaker Ruth Graves Wakefield in 1933 at the Toll House Inn.

Ingredients
2 sticks (one cup) of unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup of brown sugar
3/4 cup of white sugar
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 medium eggs
2 1/4 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 cup of chocolate chips

Directions
1. Cream together the butter, vanilla extract, salt and both sugars in a large bowl.
2. Mix the two eggs into the creamed mixture.
3. Add the flour and baking soda to the liquid mixture and mix by hand. Don’t overwork the dough. Then fold in the chocolate chip cookies.
4. Cover and let the dough refridgerate for a few hours.
6. Preheat the over to 350 degrees F. Drop spoonfuls on a parchment lined baking sheet, about an inch and a half apart. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.