26 October 2011

Elseworlds: Batman the Baker

It occurred to me that it has been a while since I wrote something completely nonsensical and pointless. Most of what I write is definitely nonsensical but there is typically a reason for writing it. This is not one of those.

I didn't bake anything this past weekend. Nothing. I considered it but couldn't find the time to do it. The reason for this is simple. Last week a new Batman game, Arkham City, was released. I'm going to assume that you likely have little to no interest in either Batman or video games (if you do and you also happen to be female, maybe give me a call? :) ) but I love both and the combination of the two is enough to make me squeal with girlish delight (of which my coworkers could tell you plenty about -- I'm assuming you're probably not going to call now).

Friday night after work and dinner I turned the game on and started to play. Three maybe four hours later I put it to rest for the night. However, the next morning I got up at 8AM, ate some cereal, watched a little TV and then from 9AM until 8:30PM I did nothing but guide Batman through the perils of Arkham City. Eleven and a half straight hours of playing and I finished the game. Awesome! I even forgot to eat. Now to some of you this might seem like a horrible waste of time, and you're probably right. But I'd rather waste my time doing something I love than be productive doing something I hate.

Anyway this entire Batman thing got me to thinking and something dawned on me. Batman would make a terrific baker.

To start Batman is a scientist. Baking is science. Adding too much of one ingredient or not enough of another could prove disastrous. Knowing why under the right conditions that one teaspoon of baking soda is equivalent to three teaspoons of baking powder could save the day. The difference between and the reasons we use pastry flour, all-purpose flour, or bread flour is all science.

Secondly, Batman doesn't kill. Ostensibly this is unrelated to baking. Yet what it implies is that Batman must always take caution handling his foe. Too much force and the fine line between hero and villain is breached. A similar line exists for bakers. How many times have you been told to not over mix or handle pastry dough for too long. Like Batman, we do only enough to ensure success. Any more and we risk ruining everything.

"Where does he get all those wonderful toys?" is the classic line uttered by the Joker in the 1989 Tim Burton Batman movie. If there is one area where bakers are most like Batman it's this one. Bakers have the greatest assortment of tools, gadgets, gizmos and watchamadoohickeys you could ever hope to find. We have things for single purpose and multi, for everyday use and specialized use. There are mixers with meat grinders, pans for brownies, torches for caramelizing. We have a tool or gadget for every possible situation just like Batman. Not to mention that you pretty much require a billion dollar empire in order to buy everything.  The only thing we don't have is a fancy belt to carry it all in.

Finally, the key to Batman's success is preparation. The theory works like this: given time to prepare Batman can overcome any obstacle or foe. Something that has been proven time and time again throughout the comics. As a baker, preparation is key to success. We all know how important it is to read through a recipe, prepare your ingredients and preheat your oven. Batman's recipes are no different.  They're made up of understanding his enemy, planning his approach and choosing his tools. And once Batman puts a plan into action there is no stopping him, there is no stopping it. He doesn't rest until he has won. He's Batman. Similarly, when I'm done measuring, mixing, pouring and my cake in the oven, there's no stopping it until its done.

So I hope you now see that Batman would make the ultimate baker. He fights crime using the same methodology we use to bake. Take comfort in the fact that this means there's a little bit of Batman in each of us. With that being said, join me in proclaiming with vigour and pride:




  1. An athlete's prize possession is that of which you haven't found, they are scattered across the city without making a sound. More hours of play is what you shall expect, and leave no area forever without it double-checked.

  2. Batman also has a butler to clean up after he makes a mess, and a teenage boy sidekick with a fast metabolism, to eat any questionable 'failures' that might come from his kitchen!

  3. I have a wonderful girl for you! But try not to squeal with girlish detail when you meet her.