Mindfulness in Baking: Meditations on Bakes & Calm – Julia Ponsonby

Published By: Leaping Hare Press
Pages: 144
Released On: 15/06/2023

The Art of Mindful Baking is a delightful insight into how the act of baking is a practical meditation by its very nature. Julia Ponsonby, head of food at Schumacher College, looks at what it means to use our hands and why kneading promotes wellbeing, and explores the true and enduring value of eating real food. Containing a wealth of mouth-watering recipes that highlight how you can incorporate mindfulness into your baking, this book demonstrates how baking with awareness provides benefits for not only you, but also those around you.


Thanks to NetGalley and Leaping Hare Press for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review.

I used to do a lot of baking before I became ill, and now I do a lot of mindfulness (or I try to), so this sounded like a good crossover for me. I used to bake whenever my emotions got too much. When I was grieving, angry, sad, happy – there would inevitably be cake.

I think where baking can really help with the mind is the concentration. I am an experienced baker, and can often do things without really paying attention, but generally, you have to really focus on weighing out ingredients, mixing them and cooking. And so there’s not much time for anything else to think about.

I loved the historical elements in this book. I still try to bake from scratch when I’m well enough to do so, but I am also not averse to a quick meal if time or health demands it. But I knew next to nothing about the origins of baking or bread making, and it was really fascinating. It’s also interesting to see the boom of home baking and bread making, partly due to the COVID lockdowns. It’s like we’re rediscovering our roots, what was once important to our lives that we’ve lost due to busyness.

I liked the addition of simple recipes to compliment the historical elements, and there’s definitely a few in there that will be going in my recipe folder to try.

I do wish there was more information about other types of baking. There’s recipes for breads and cakes and pastries, but the bulk of the historical narrative is based on dough kneading and bread making, which is fine as a start, as that was probably man’s first foray into baking, but I’d have liked a bit more about the other types of baking mentioned in the recipes.

You have to be really open to the way mindfulness is used in this book. If you think it’s a bit too airy-fairy for you, then you won’t get the most out of it. If you take it for what it is – an introduction into mindfulness using baking as a medium – then it’s enjoyable.

Nothing to shout about or rave over, but at 144 pages, it’s a nice little thing to read one evening.

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