Sometimes, when baking a Victoria sponge or blueberry muffin, I thank my lucky stars I identify as a woman. All those years of defining this way have left me adept at guessing the weight of flour from a distance; knowing the difference between bicarbonate of soda and baking powder; and creaming butter and sugar together while watching Sex and the City reruns. I often wonder why more men don’t partake in such a delight, but then remember that their man hands are physically incapable of lifting a sieve (too light) and shortbread biscuits have such a feminine aura that it’s actually dangerous for men to be around them for too long. If only there was a way to get them baking?
Step forward, Rahul Mandal, winner of this year’s Great British Bake Off. According to the Guardian, the research scientist who grew up in India before moving to the UK seven years ago, has said that he wants to use his platform to get more men in the kitchen.
In an interview this week on the BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, Mandal explained that for many men, baking doesn’t seem like an acceptable hobby.
“Quite a lot of guys and boys at school—they think they can’t bake. Anybody can do it,” said Mandal in the interview. “Baking is science. It’s a mixture of physics, chemistry and engineering.”
The baker was crowned this years winner by judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood after impressing them with his doughnuts, fire-baked bread, and “edible landscape” in the final on Tuesday.
Hopefully, now men can finally see that baking won’t make them a laughing stock at the pub, with the lads, and a marble sponge. Just don’t forget your calculator!