Some Monday Musings by Renu 🙂
My mother always said, “If you are able to help someone, you are doing them no favor. Rather, thank God that He has chosen you for a kind deed.”
Baking is a great passion of mine. It is very fulfilling and gratifying to see my baking group members show the same enthusiasm and passion, and in turn, teach what they have learnt to others. On average, my baking group members have passed on their baking skills to at least 5 other people, including their cooks, children and friends. This way we have expanded into a big community of more than 3000 bakers.
So here I am, happy to be able to help people bake healthy stuff at home and make them happy too. I am blessed to be part of our lovely baking family! Not only me, but everybody in our baking group is experiencing fulfillment each day, as we bake, share and help others bake along with us.
Today’s post will start by appreciating the efforts of these new bakers, followed by the guest post by Dr. Richa Agrawal.
Here are some colorful and fruitful stories of our fellow bakers:
- Saish is my friend and fellow baker Leena Nevrekar’s son, and is working in Spain. Leena’s happiness knows no bounds as she shares the healthy and tasty breads baked by him. In her own words: “Renu, this slice of bread was made by Saish, our son, who is currently in Spain. I started learning baking four years ago, only because of him. I then continued baking with your constant support & encouragement. When Saish was at home during his last vacation, he learnt how to bake from me and has now mastered the art of bread making. He went back in January and till date makes his own bread. He is happy that he can eat homemade bread without preservatives, all thanks to you Renu. Now our next generation is also following you.“
- Sapna, the cook of my friend and fellow baker Smita Rawat, is a budding baker too. Smita’s note for us says it all: “This Sunday, I planned to give your recipe a try and discussed it with my help, my girl Sapna. I always forward your blog to her to go through and as she is also learning English, it serves the dual purpose of teaching a new recipe and also improving her English! I was amazed and thrilled to find that this young lady had baked two focaccia loaves, all on her own, religiously following your recipe to a ‘T’! Thank you Renu for making baking so easy that anyone can bake.”
Before we get to Dr. Richa’s post, I wanted to share some bakes by our fellow bakers, who tried out recipes from the previous guest posts and regular posts:
This week’s guest baker
Today’s guest baker is Dr. Richa Agrawal, a doctor (Child specialist) by profession and a passionate baker who likes to learn all the healthy recipes and loves to experiment with baking. Her colorful breads and cakes are our group’s favorite. Her story is as beautiful and inspiring as her lovely breads and cakes. Here is Dr. Richa, in her own words:
I am Dr. Richa Agrawal, practicing Paediatrics in South Delhi. Five years back, I used to feel happy baking milkmaid chocolate cakes. Aroma of hot bread and the taste of melting chocolate in bakeries used to always entice me. But I never thought I could bring the bakery home until I met Renuji. A common friend in my colony, Nivedita Kunj, invited me to a baking session at Renuji’s home. Being a Paediatrician, I get calls from the hospital and my patients round the clock. But during that one hour of baking session, I just forgot my profession and got engrossed in Renuji’s charismatic demo of garlic bread and pizza breads. The way she simplified the process, the fun of baking, the aroma of hot breads and the happiness in tasting the pieces — it was all a heavenly experience. The dormant baker inside me was now awake.
Ek woh din tha, aur ek aaj ka din hai! Today, I have tried all recipes by Renuji, including the ones discussed on our Bakers WhatsApp group. I can’t express the pride I feel when I serve my freshly baked braided bread to guests & friends and when they ask “Yeh ghar pe banaya?” I have stopped buying breads, pizzas and buns from the market since my baking sessions with Renuji. Moreover, I am today recognized as a great baker among my family, friends and Doctors’ groups. In my family, my husband prefers eating healthy and my kids love Continental food. So my homemade all-wheat breads are a bonanza for everyone. I bake chocolate brownies almost fortnightly for my son. My daughter loves cinnamon rolls, apple pies and chocolate babka.
Being a Paediatrician, I understand the value of hygiene, nutrition and freshness of food very well. Mothers of my patients often ask me for advice on tasty and healthy food for their children. I have often shared Renuji’s recipes with these young mothers — advising them to use super seeds, almond flour, eggs, olive oil etc. to bake tasty but healthy breads.
Sourdough Bread is my latest obsession and I really want to learn it next. I am hoping the world becomes Covid free soon so that I can host a baking session at my place and learn the Sourdough Bread. Till then, I will continue to beat the pandemic blues through my baking!
Today, I am sharing a recipe of atta brownies, one of the favourites in my family and that I learned from Renuji’s group.
Recipe for atta brownies
- 1 cup Atta (whole wheat)
- 1 cup Cocoa
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 cups grounded sugar
- 1 cup butter/olive oil
- 4 eggs
- ½ tsp Vanilla essence
1. Mix all dry ingredients (except sugar) and sieve it.
2. Beat all eggs softly, add butter or oil, and mix smoothly.
3. Add grounded sugar in the egg & butter mixture and incorporate it.
4. Mix the dry ingredients mixture spoon by spoon, with egg mixture. No need for vigorous mixing with a blender.
5. It’s ready to bake, pour it in a cake tin or pie dish (my favourite)
6. Bake it in a microwave at 160℃-180℃ for 40 minutes, and optionally sprinkle walnuts on the top.
7. And it’s ready!
Lastly, here are some of my other bakes, that I made with the recipes posted on the blog and the Baker’s WhatsApp group.
Thank you so much Dr. Richa, for sharing your experience! It is a wonderful read, and will surely inspire many new bakers.
Watch out for the post on Wednesday. Till then!