Defensive Baking

Baking together with your family is one guaranteed way to boost morale, strengthen family bonds and create unforgettable memories.

Chocolate cake (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Chocolate cake
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
In an atmosphere where everyone is rushing out to buy pepper spray and baseball bats, I would like to introduce you to a new concept – defensive baking.
Like it or not, the current anxiety level in the country has many people staying at home. So if you are going to be spending more time at home, I urge you to get busy doing some defensive baking.
While it is unlikely that most of us will be able to contribute to the current situation in the country in any physical, military way, we can certainly contribute in the realm of psychological warfare. You’ve heard of cyber warfare? Welcome to psybake warfare, or defensive baking.
Baking together with your family is one guaranteed way to boost morale, strengthen family bonds and create unforgettable memories. Defensive baking is an effective method of instilling values in our children.
With defensive baking, you bake in double quantities. The first batch will be enjoyed by you and your family, and the second by others.
Right now we have multitudes of police - men, soldiers and other security personnel laying it on the line so that we can be safe. As a gesture, we are going to bake for them. Instead of baking one cake, bake two. Instead of a dozen chocolate chip cookies, bake two dozen. Then get into your car or walk down the street and hand it to the first policeman or soldier you encounter. (It’s not that hard to find them these days. In Jerusalem, they almost outnumber the pedestrians.) It’s more than a gesture – it is an expression of gratitude, of solidarity and, believe me, it will be greatly appreciated.
I don’t know if anyone has actually done a scientific study of the effects of chocolate cake on a soldier’s ability to fight. I can tell you, though, psychologically speaking, knowing that the public truly appreciates what they’re doing definitely adds a dimension to the motivation level. Not a feeling that they are appreciated in an abstract sense but a warm feeling of chocolate cake in the stomach – it doesn’t get more real than that.
Our nation always shines in a crisis. Now is the time to mobilize the troops and get baking. Pull out your favorite recipe or use the one below. Let the police and the IDF do their job, and let us members of the IDF – the Israeli Dough Folks – do our bit too by raising morale, waging positive psychological warfare and showing the enemy that nothing will daunt an Israeli baker.
✔ 1½ cups softened butter or margarine
✔ 3 cups sugar
✔ 4 eggs
✔ 2 tsp. baking soda
✔ 2 tsp. baking powder
✔ 4 cups flour
✔ 1 cup fruit juice
✔ ½ cup cacao powder
Heat oven to 180º. Cream sugar and margarine in bowl. Add eggs individually and beat until light and airy. Add baking soda, baking powder and vanilla. Alternately add portions of flour and fruit juice and mix well. Pour into a greased and floured 36x30cm. foil pan. Bake for 1 hour. Check with tooth - pick that center is fully baked – it should come out clean.
Master baker Les Saidel is CEO of the Saidel Artisan Baking Institute (, which specializes in training and education in the field of organic, healthy, artisan baking and the inventor of Rambam Bread. He also lectures and works as a consultant in the fields of cereal chemistry, health and nutrition.