By: Briana Salim
I am going to let you all in on a bitesize secret - so far, every baked good we’ve shared on our Instagram feed and website has not been made by me. A recipe that requires precise measurements, specific kneading techniques, extreme multitasking and exact timing? Yeah no. I steer away from those. As someone who has never excelled in chemistry, baking reminds me too much of lab experiments -- “measure 50g of x”, “measure 50g of y”, “while that simmers, start on z” -- one that takes hours to finish. If you think about it, when you take the stamina of a ninja, the multi-tasking skills of a working mom, and combine that with the attentiveness of a surgeon, what you get is none other than a baker.
I don’t say “I can’t bake” based on nothing -- this self acceptance grew out of numerous failed attempts in the past. It all started with an innocent attempt of what is now the ambassador of quarantine baking - banana bread. One Friday night, my two friends and I decided to put our baking skills to the test. All without any previous experience, we thought -- hey, what’s the worst that could happen? It turns out that the worst was setting off a fire in the kitchen. For some reason, the oven pretty much exploded (for a lack of a better word), and there was a tiny fire. Thank God my mom was there (honestly, what can we do without our parents?), and the whole thing was over in a minute. Looking back, the banana bread actually came out edible. We spent the rest of the night, spooked.
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t quit baking right after that moment. Especially with the start of bitesize, I’ve given it a couple more tries. Sadly, what came out of it was a stodgy dark chocolate banana bread, some funky tasting sweet potato brownies, and lastly, an unsalvageable pandan chiffon cake. But I’m not giving up. I needed professional help. And who other than the baking fairy godmother herself, Claire Saffitz, to lift off this curse and guide me to success.
After scrolling through some of her recipes, I found what I thought to be the perfect combo of sweet and savory goods. Hoping my luck with savory dishes will carry over, I attempted to make some buttery pull apart dinner rolls. To be honest, the baking process turned out just as difficult as I expected, but the satisfaction at the end was priceless. Although they were kind of weirdly shaped, they were extremely buttery and soft -- and really, that’s all I can ask for. If you’re anything like me, we would both agree that cooking anything delicious, despite its looks, is a reason to celebrate.
Since I’m no baking whiz, I followed this recipe completely and changed absolutely nothing haha - https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/buttery-pull-apart-dinner-rolls. If you’re up for the challenge, give this recipe a try. I hope it brings you the same mood-boosting, positive energy it brought me.