Desire is the best spice
My philosophy in the kitchen is to, first and foremost have fun. As long as you follow the base of the recipe there is freedom to improvise.
Especially with the recipes in the book you hold in your hands. Instead of apples, try pears. If it says
blueberries, try raspberries or lingonberries. If it says milk in a recipe and you are out, try cream,
buttermilk or maybe even water instead. When you bake bread, try using some heartier flour,
flax seed, oats or something else. The worst that can happen is that you get a bread that doesn’t
taste or look like the original. On the other hand, you just made your own original bread! When it
comes to taste, add a little extra of the spices you like. I often use a pinch of cardamom when I bake.
A little extra vanilla sugar usually never hurts and some extra drops of bitter almond oil can take a pastry with nuts to new heights. Finally some words for the road: when baking in a cake pan, once the cake pulls away from the edges it is a good sign it is done. But, to be sure, insert a toothpick in the middle and make sure it does not come out sticky, if it does, it is not done yet. Do not lean entirely on times and temperatures in the recipes but check the pastries occasionally.
From my own experience, I know that all ovens have their own personality. When you make dough, it is
done when it doesn’t stick to the sides. Let it be a little loose, which will reduce the risk of the bread being stiff. Good luck now and do not forget that the best way to a good pastry is to follow your gut.