About Me

About Me

I, RPH, am a novice baker (as of Jan 2011), living in Phoenix, Arizona. I have been baking yeast breads at home since March 2010. I have to thank my dear friend, RK, who first got me interested in baking bread. Until then I only baked cookies or sweet / quick breads and not very frequently.

Most of the photographs I will be posting here will be taken by my husband, RH (yes, there will be a lot of initials and acronyms used here). He has been very supportive of my baking, patiently listening to me when I fuss about the dough not rising well, or the measurements being off, trying all the breads, even the failures and finally, enthusiastically taking pictures for me.

I have end-result pictures for all the breads I have baked in the past nine months and I usually try to write a few notes about how the baking went. Now I am at a point where I am repeating recipes that worked well (keepers) and it is always nice to be able to remember what went wrong or right in the earlier attempt and make corrections accordingly. Also some family and friends have shown interest in my bread baking. This blog is going to be my online journal to kill two birds with one stone. I get the notes and they can look at the pictures and see what I have been upto.

I bake a loaf more or less every week and make every attempt to bake whole grain breads. I have tried a few refined-flour breads but they have been mostly to give as gifts or share at potlucks. Fortunately for me, my family is very supportive of the whole grain breads I bake.

I own 5 bread baking books:
'Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor' by Peter Reinhart (PR)
'The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book: A Guide to Whole-Grain Breadmaking' by Laurel Robertson (LR), Carol  Flinders and Bronwen Godfrey
'The Bread Bible' by Rose Levy Beranbaum (RLB)
'Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads' by Bernard Clayton (BC)
'Beard On Bread' by James Beard (JB)

I use the first two books the most, because they are dedicated to whole grains. I have baked 4-5 breads from The Bread Bible and they have turned out very well, but only a couple of them use some whole grains.

This Christmas (2010) I received 'King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking: Delicious Recipes Using Nutritious Whole Grains' as a present and I am looking forward to trying recipes from it. I will take the liberty of occasionally posting pictures of my non-bread baking attempts as well. The unfortunate thing about baking cookies and sweet goodies is that I have a hard time sticking to the recipe. I invariably want to make changes, reduce the sugar or butter, substitute nut butters, add applesauce or such. Sometimes these changes work, sometimes they don't, but I have fun anyway. With bread, I am much more disciplined (at least, I will be until I learn enough about the chemistry to start fiddling)

 Hope you enjoy browsing through my posts.