I’m not an expert baker and I never had any training in making baked goods. I bake because it’s SOMETIMES cheaper and I’m sure that I’m using good ingredients.
I remember that the first time we had an oven in the Philippines was in 1983 and one of my sisters took baking classes, but I don’t remember ever trying anything she made.
When I moved to Korea, I bought a small convection oven and it served me well for six years before it was time to move to a new apartment. I gave away that oven. Our crib has a built-in convection oven ~ among other built-in things that it has.
Ten years ago, it was difficult sourcing baking tools and ingredients in Korea. Now, you can find baking tools and some ingredients online and in stores as well. BUT it’s still quite difficult to find vanilla extract.
When it comes to flour, there are different kinds of flour in Korea. Flour is called 밀가루 (mil-ga-ru) and it comes in 강력 밀가루, 중력 밀가루, 박력 밀가루 depending on the protein content (gluten) of the flour.
강력 밀가루 (kang-nyeok milgaru) has a high protein content (10.5-13%) and it’s best used for bread and Chinese noodles.
중력 밀가루 (jung-nyeok milgaru) has a medium protein content (7.5 – 10%) and this is used for Korean noodles like “kalguksu”, “sujebi” and “mandu”.
박력 밀가루 (bang-nyeok milgaru) has a low protein content (6.5 – 9%) and this is best used for cakes and pastries.
The flour also varies in grade. 1등급, 2등급 and 3등급. First grade flour is best for cooking while 2nd grade is for processed food and feeds. Third grade is for industrial use (paper and other things that need flour) and brewing.
I don’t have 박력 밀가루 at home but I do have the other two: 강력 밀가루 for making home-made bread and pizza and 중력 밀가루 for general use in Korean food.