Sunday, July 25, 2010

Why am I baking bread?

When Sven and I were dating, Sven found a cookbook by Jane Brody. We both liked it and decided to get her recommended bread book, "The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book". It was great too and many pages are dog eared, but I never had a chance to really switch over to full time bread baking. I baked a few things, enjoyed it, but didn't have the time to devote to it between school, then kids and career and so on.

Then a few years back I got into baking sort of accidentally. First, I got into cakes. My best friend asked me to make her wedding cake, so I beefed up my skills and got pretty good for an amateur baker and I do enjoy making specialty cakes for friends and family and occasional paying customers. But, we are pretty healthy eaters and cake, while yummy isn't something you eat or should eat every day. After a few cakes with a bad mixer, I decided to get a beefy mixer that was not only good for cakes, but for making breads too. I was inspired to bake again because while I could get some amazing bakery breads, but they were so expensive. $8 for a small loaf we could eat in one sitting. I dibbled and dabbled, but never got into really with a toddler who refused to sleep.

Then, recently, we moved to Maryland, becoming a three generation home with my mother in law moving in. We spent 9 months of remodeling and now I have a new wonderful kitchen AND finally some time to bake. So, a few weeks back, I stopped buying all bread and started making our own after I discovered we were eating $20 worth of bread every week, when I could make it for $5 or less.

I started baking with the tried and true - my white whole wheat oatmeal bread and white whole wheat oatmeal bread twisted with cinnamon. While I loved it and the kids did too. My mother in law found it too heavy. I made a couple more things, and the same thing... too heavy or something didn't quite turn out right.

All my confidence of being able to bake luxurious breads started to dwindle. I found a bread forum for help (which is a tremendous help) and just came to realize, it takes TIME and practice to make great bread. So, that is what this blog is all about - this blog will be a trail of my triumphs and errors, which for now really does feel like more errors than triumphs, hence the bumbling in the title.

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