8 days ago
I work in an industry where I could spend months on a project that may never come to fruition. And no matter how many times that script is rewritten or an idea re-pitched, it may never turn into anything more than a Word doc, labeled “Version 23” on my desktop.
And this isn’t because the idea isn’t good; it could be because it’s not the right time or it’s about elephants or it should be dramatic not comedic. Whatever it is, the reasons are subjective.
But baking is different. Every time you combine flour and butter in certain proportions at a certain heat, you make a roux. When you heat butter for the right amount of time, the butter’s milk solids begin to caramelize resulting in brown butter i.e. the elixir of life.
Executing a recipe, while it can be altered and perfected, is, in the moment, a finite experience. You make the dough. You bake the cookies. And then, you eat them. It is an experience limited in time to several hours (unless you chill your dough or have a long proofing period). When you begin baking, you will always have a finished product at the end that you send out into the world (or into your stomach) immediately.
This isn’t to say one is easier than the other. You try laminating croissant dough so that it has that ridiculously delicate flake or kneading dough so long your forearms ache but you’ve achieved the ideal gluten elasticity through said kneading and proofing which is part art, part science, and part prodigal talent. Or try writing a script that makes cat food appealing to a human but is really going to be eaten by a cat and make it funny but not that kind of funny and also you can’t technically say “cat.” There’s subjectivity in both realms. You may prefer dark to milk chocolate but the subjectivity is about taste, not about whether this baked good has a right to exist or not. Because unlike advertising where an idea can be debated again and again if it should be a comedy or a tragedy, a documentary or billboard, a pastry or a loaf of bread’s existence is not debated.
One field simply provides satisfaction in a more timely manner. That, and, unlike a script, you can eat a croissant.