Monday, December 28, 2009

How the Obsession Began

I have always enjoyed cooking and baking especially during the holidays.  I have a collection of tried and true family recipes that I have always made to give as gifts to friends and neighbors.  I have added a few of my own over the years to add some variety.  My friends seem genuinely excited to receive their gifts each Christmas.  I didn't want folks to tire of the same old thing year after year.  The obsession started innocently this year when I mentioned to my friend KB that I wanted to expand my offerings.  She told me about a recipe she saw on the King Arthur Flour website that sounded like it would be a perfect addition to my repertoire.  She even brought me ingredient stained copies of their old catalogs (they include recipes in the catalog) to share.  We all know that is the true sign of a great recipe!  One visit to the site and I was hooked.  Since Thanksgiving, I have prepared over a dozen of the recipes I found on the website.  Candies, cookies, yeast breads, scones - you name it I tried it.  All of them looked wonderful and tasted even better! 

From there, I went to their online community Baking Circle where I found more inspiration.  I wanted to expand my bread recipes so I took the advice of the seasoned bakers there and bought four (I don't do anything on a small scale lol) books to help me on my journey.  I have not been disappointed in the least.  I got "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" and "Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day" by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D. and Zoё François, "The Bread Bakers Apprentice" by Peter Reinhart and "Bread A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes" by Jeffrey Hamelman.  What great reading, though I must confess that reading cookbooks is my favorite thing to do.  There are others that I want to add to my collection but this is a great start.

I didn't think to photograph this holiday baking journey. I thought it was a quick trip - boy was I wrong. I will keep the camera handy going forward.

When I started baking this holiday season, I had no idea the path it would take me down or the passion it would unleash.  My friends and neighbors received the gift of good food but I received an even greater gift - the gift of joy.

I hope that I can ignite the passion within you.  Come bake with me!

1 comment:

  1. Kat, it will be fun to bake with you! It is amazing to use the recipes in this book and watch the dough change, shape it and enjoy the products! It's almost time for our first offical post- can't wait to see what you've been doing.