Baking is a very fraught endeavor. It is soothing to feel dough forming in your hands, and the scent of baking bread is calming.
At the same time, baking is so goddamn stressful.
For one thing, you can’t really taste anything. You can, and it will give you a general idea of how salty/sweet/cinnamony/etc you’ve made something, but eating paste is never going to give you a clear idea of whether you’ve made something delicious or something disgusting. And given no definitive evidence, I assume I’ve made something disgusting.
The worst part is, about 30 percent of the time that instinct is correct.
You think you over-mixed that muffin batter? You almost undoubtedly did, as the proper amount of mixing is roughly four Herculean turns of the spatula. Enjoy your chewy muffins.
That is one of the reasons I so love Jim Lahey and his unapologetically simple dough recipes, both for bread and, recently, pizza dough.