Welcome to the first blog post of RenusBreadBakers.com! In this post, I shall explain a bit more about the website, how I got into baking, and our plan going forward.
How I got into baking
Like most people who have ever entered a kitchen, I have tried my hand at baking before. A cake here, a pizza there, but that’s about it. The thought of baking breads at home — from scratch — always seemed far-fetched. My mind would race through the same doubts over and over again: “it would require some exotic ingredients”, “what do I know about yeast”, “I’ll need some special training”, “but I don’t have the right equipment” and so on. How could it ever be possible?
The old proverb goes ”Necessity is the mother of invention”. Well, in my case it became the reason for learning how to bake breads at home. My younger son Divyam loves fresh breads and my elder son Priyam loves fresh pizzas. But “fresh” is hard to find. And there was always a lurking doubt in my mind about the “30-minutes-or-less” pizzas, their ingredients, and cooking conditions. So I embarked upon the bread baking journey!
Why start a website
Veteran members know the humble beginnings of our community. It started with a single Whatsapp group, that was quickly populated at-capacity. More groups were created for new members, some in New Delhi, some in the cities I would visit. But we never had a central location for sharing thoughts. I think we all like the groups for sharing small moments immediately, but I wanted a more organized platform. A platform where I could share my experiences and have longer discussions with everyone.
I also wanted a place to store recipes for reference. Not just mine, but from all the wonderful bakers in our community, who are constantly sharing their new bakes and experiences on the groups. A secure place you can come back to, time-and-again, for a reliable baking experience.
What will you see here
Here I will share interesting incidents from my baking journey of the past 5 years, the highs and the lows, the thrills and the chills. But more importantly, I will make sure that each one who dreams of baking fresh breads and more is able to do so without much ado. This confidence comes from the fact that 5 years ago I was in the same boat and I have been able to introduce this world of baking to more than 600 friends, including school kids. For the past 5 years, I have seen these new, home bakers, regularly bake breads, pizzas, calzones, pies, quiches, focaccias, buns — the works — for their families and friends!
In my next post (on Friday) I shall introduce you to the ingredients needed for the wonder called ‘basic bread’ and from there we shall embark upon our wonderful baking odyssey. Beware, for you are now going to be hooked to baking breads, all your life!
Every Wednesday and Friday you will hear from me: some new recipes with details, some tips or tricks, some anecdotes from my journey. Step-by-Step like our primary-school teachers, we shall march ahead steadily on this trip and I will make sure that none of you ever ‘trip’. We will talk about flour, leavening agents, what to use for kneading breads besides water, use of fat, vegan breads, no knead breads, why knead yourself, use of kneading machine, choosing between ovens, long fermentation breads, slow fermentation breads, sourdough breads, types of breads from around the world including our country, why breads at home, why teach baking to children, why no additives, isn’t it boring to bake same loaf everyday, how to create your own recipes for breads, how to customize, seasonal breads with herbs, baking with friends, baking in a community … pheww!!
And of course, we shall talk at length about the most important of all ingredients: the YEAST. The types, their roles, their significance for bakers and what have you!
Every week on Monday, I will share a post from a “guest baker” from our groups with their bakes and experiences.
Credit where it’s due 🙂
To all who have made it to the end of this post (and will hopefully continue to support my new experiment), thank you! Thanks to all my baking friends! With your support we are here and now my mission is to enable everyone around us to bake healthy breads at home regularly. I want you to enjoy your homemade breads with soup, as sandwiches, as croutons, pita, pizza and more!
Finally, many thanks to Divyam, Priyam, and my husband Manu for creating this website and gifting it to me as a surprise on my birthday this year. All photo credits go to the ‘family photographer’ Manu!