Just about everyone I know loves to bake. After all, who doesn’t enjoy the aromas of sweet baked goods coming out of the oven? Imagine walking into your home and having your senses taken over by the sweet smells of fresh butter croissants baked from scratch.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a novice or an expert home baker, if baking is your passion prestigious pastry chef Anna Olson will help you master your skills.
Food Network Canada’s Bake with Anna Olson is a new show focusses on giving its viewers great tips – maybe a style of preparation or perhaps learning how to improve a technique or fix a mistake. So what makes this show so different from other’s Olson has been on?
“While all of the shows I’ve done have been instructional, this show is the most focused on technique and showing how to get to a desired end result,” Olson says. “I love that I can share all my experiences – sharing what I’ve learned over the years of baking.”
For someone who wants to learn how to bake, but timid about starting, Olson suggests starting with a simple recipe to get you warmed up. Something like drop cookies, chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin, are the best place to start since it doesn’t involved any fancy tools. It’s also a good place to build comfort, and everyone loves cookies.
Olson will showcase her delectable world of baking mastery, from muffins to meringue and from cream cake to croissants in this intriguing new instructional series. She’ll focus on the foundation of baking skills and then build on it, taking viewers from beginner baker to master in no time.
You’ll learn how to make the perfect puff pastry dough, a classic fruit tart, and even a complex Chocolate Napoleon.
“I’m showing you how to bake as you would learn in cooking school – these are the real techniques that you have to master, as you work through a baker’s apprenticeship,” she says. “I find that while people may love to bake, too often the ‘why’s’ behind baking are left out of recipes – if you know why you do something a particular way, then you can truly become an expert baker.”
From her years of experience as a pastry chef, Olson says one of the more common skills people usually have a difficult time learning when it comes to baking is whipping meringues to the proper peak and assembling a cake.
“I think it’s a tie between (the both) – it simply takes practice. Repetition is the key to baking expertise,” says Olson.
Baking isn’t only about knowing how make the perfect soufflé or crème brûlée, it requires having the right tools. Every kitchen should be equipped with the basic and most important utensils – an off-set spatula, a French curved rolling-pin and a few silicone spatulas. These are accessible, affordable tools that every home baker needs in addition to the basic bowls, pans and electric beaters or mixer.
While Olson began her career in the world of savory cooking, Anna is equally recognized for her abilities in the pastry kitchen, having worked as a professional pastry chef since the mid 1990’s. So where does her passion for baking come from?
“With baking, I find immense satisfaction of the two sides of the baking craft: the precision of the science of baking, and the flexibility of the creativity,” adds Olson.