Guest Baker Post #4

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.


Appreciation

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.
Wholewheat Bread made by Saish
  • 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:

Nankhatai by Shubha — a new member of our baking family
Tomato herb by Anju Mishra , our regular and veteran baker
Tomato Herb bread by Kiran Chopra, a regular baker
Nankhatai by Leena Nevrekar

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:


Hi All

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

Ingredients
  • 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
All ingredients used
Procedure

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.


Closing thoughts

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!

23 thoughts on “Guest Baker Post #4

  1. Shubha Narayanan

    This is an amazing group and I feel so inspired to bake, and cannot thank Renu enough for stating, motivating and spreading the love for baking to such a vast number of people. When I say I am inspired, it means beyond these words, as I am 68 years old, and have reached an age and stage when one feels ‘enough learning is over for a lifetime ‘! I am only two years behind becoming a septuagenarian, and can confidently claim to have been a good cook all my life. However, baking, especially bread, was something I failed again and again, as I couldn’t understand even the concept of using yeast and my bakes resulted being very dense always.
    After I joined this group, for the first time my oats and sooji bread came out reasonably well (recipe perhaps posted here by Kavita?). Then I myself was taken by surprise at my Nankhatai, and wanting to make sure it was not a fluke, I made them once again and they were yet agsin delicious in taste and perfect in texture 😁😁 My confidence has soared up now!
    No words to thank Renu Amitabh for taking me in the group and Veena Joshi for introducing this to me 🤗🤗

  2. Meenakshi

    Awesome atta brownies. I admire your commitment to baking despite your erratic schedule.

      1. Kiran Chopra

        Awesome atta brownies, so healthy and yummy. Thank you Renu ji for posting my tomato bread. It has boosted my confidence. Before I joined this group I didn’t know how to make bread. It was like dream come true. No words to thank you Renu ji for providing an excellent platform where we can learn, bake and hone our culinary skills in baking. 😍🙏

  3. Leena paliwal.

    Lovely brownies, Richa ji and your detailed explanation will make it all the more easy to try them.

  4. Dr Revati Gupta

    I also want to learn the tips of baking from you Renu , I am class mate of Dr Richa , fan of her baking potential, do you conduct online classes, thanks

      1. renuamitabh

        Thanks for your kind words Richa. Healthy and Simple baking is our focus and who will understand this better than you and your colleagues and doctor friends. Revati do try the recipes here and in case you need help Richa is there and I am always there to guide you.

  5. Sudha Pillai

    Richa,, your recipe looks quite easy and I am also inspired by you and Renu ji for her efforts,, great going, ladies,, will try to see if I can also bake,, bcz I am zero at baking.

  6. MAMTA JAIN

    Richa ma’am,thanks for sharing recipe of healthy atta brownies. Your colorful breads are treat to the eyes.

  7. Dr.Reepa Agrawal

    Woww..this is indeed a healthy treat. M going to definitely try myself and even share the recipe with caregivers of my lovely patients.
    Thanks for this wonderful post. Looking forward for more such simple and healthy treats.

  8. Vedika Agrawal

    We love your chocolate breads and brownies mom! Probably the only mom in my friend circle who can bake so well 😊

  9. Dr sangeeta subudhi

    Awesome details of the recipe dear ! I’m really motivated to trying the recipe very soon !! I had seen your creations earlier and wanted to learn from you for a long time. Hopefully COVID free time will come for physical demos 🌷🌷🥰🙏

  10. Anjulee Agrawal

    I tried this recipe, it turned out to be amazing. Very nicely explained, thank you. Looking forward to tryout more recipes from Dr Richa 😌

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