Canadian north baker, just signed up
Stumbled across this site. Chose my username because that's what the relative tend to call me for many years. I suspect I'll be stealing many ideas from here.
I started baking when the kids were little, about 20 years ago. They made me continue. ;) I used to make 6 loaves per week. These days, more 'interesting' things with less hungry mouths around. Yesterday (Sat and Sun are the baking days), I made two things. Stollen, which surprised me with how well 3 loaves rose with 2 eggs, cup of sugar, cup of raisans, cup of pecans and 1/2 pound butter in 'em.
My second thing was garlic buns (I think it ended up being 20, but I didn't count!), which I tied into knots. Made them crispy outside by brushing with oil before baking and then when hot, smeared them up with butter that I'd slowly cooked 6 cloves of garlic in, and somely finely grated parmesan. Put some ground flax in them, as a sop to the health nut in the house. Eat all the butter you want as long as you add a health ingredient!
Both of these are helping the university students tolerate end of term exams.
I sort of follow recipes these days. Generally getting general ideas from somewhere or simply what I imagine might be good. I'm on my second Kitchen Aid mixer, having worn the first one out. This one's getting a little loose, so may have to look for a deal. I do make things by hand, but when I get into production baking, like for Easter, this certainly makes the job go faster. I can do 10-12 cups of flour at once, so 3 good size loaves. It's getting to the time of year that I like to get the woodburning contraption I have going. I make bread in a dutch oven with coals heated on top. I also drink tea - lots of tea.