about great pandemic bake off
Pre COVID-19, I would bake something on most weekends, which would dutifully appear at the office on Mondays to the delight of my coworkers. While I am grateful to have the flexibility to work from home and social distance, being confined to my fortress of solitude has led me with too much free time to mull over societal collapse.
In the spirit of productivity, I launched PANdemic Bake Off in April 2020 as a collaborative exercise to improve one's baking skills in a supportive environment. There is no inherent competitive aspect, although I won’t blame you if you secretly gloat when seeing someone else’s comparatively busted looking creation. As a parable for life, you are your greatest enemy and competitor. Striving for a Paul Hollywood handshake is a commendable act towards self-improvement.
Every week there is a new baking challenge. Given the current ruthless hoarding of baking supplies, each challenge has enough wiggle room for you to cobble together a submission during these dire times. The challenges are primarily freewheeling (a specific item or theme you can interpret in any way you see fit). All baking challenges are relatively reasonable with a focus on making things that you can or will want to one day share with someone within a 6 feet distance outside of your home. No homemade puff pastry. That’s dumb.
All submissions are shared on a public Instagram account @greatPANdemicbakeoff with short feedback questions to aid future individuals considering that recipe. After finishing your challenge, send a picture of what you made (or a video if you want to get fancy), a recipe link, and short answers to some questions.
After a valiant 26 week streak and 4 week holiday jaunt, Great PANdemic Bake Off is on hiatus. Between April and September 2020 (26 weeks of challenges), 95 people signed up to participate and shared 423 submissions. The most popular challenges (by number of submissions):
You can sign up via this form if you want to join Great PANdemic Bake Off post-hibernation.
My name is Tricia Aung. I am quite good at creating side hustles to keep myself busy. You can read about my professional and creative pursuits on my website. I live in Baltimore with my beloved super mutt, Cody.