In the play “Bake Off,” there is a discussion between two competitors about recipe development. One baker talked about trying the exact same recipe over and over, adjusting the bake time by one minute each time to find the optimum process. I simultaneously admired her dedication and thought she was insane for all that tedium. Would you really be able to tell the difference? Is that level of detail worth it?

I’d seen logs before designed to help with recipe creation. I never could imagine myself spending that much time perfecting a single recipe – good enough is exactly that. I also am not that good at only changing one thing at a time. If I know something needs to be cooked at a lower temp and the seasonings adjusted, I’m doing them both the next try.

During my cheese class, the instructor made a big deal about keeping a log for each cheese making venture.

Cheese Log Book

Doing anything different change in heat, time, type of milk, etc – can dramatically affect the taste and texture of the end product. Little mishaps might produce wonderful end results, but only through documentation can it be replicated.

I fully understand the functionality of the log and see how useful it could be. Yet something about it goes against my essence. That probably sounds strange to my readers as precision is often my thing.

As I was getting ready for the fair, I forced myself to keep notes and only adjust one thing at a time… at least to start. Then things would unexpectedly happen, which meant that two things would be changed. I ultimately ended up with a recipe and stuck to it, as much as the universe would allow. It was good enough for me. I guess I don’t have the competitive edge.

Has anyone created a recipe for competition? or Could you prepare the same thing over and over again with only a miniscule difference between batches?

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