The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Did you grow up baking?

beanfromex's picture

Did you grow up baking?

This morning, I wondered WHY I bake.

My mother did sporatically and my sister works full time and rarely cooks let alone bakes.

 So what motivataed me to bake bread?

I still remember the first loaf I did, mid twenties. I decided to do this using the Joy of Cooking method for white bread. I purchased the yeast from the convenience store across the road. ,,,Bad mistake...I knew nothing about proofing yeast..and the results were two great smelling loaves, that looked like doorstops.

I dont remember  baking much for the next five years or so.

We then moved from Ontario to California. I then started to bake and cook seriously to relieve boredom. I lived up a canyon, and we had only one car, so I was housebound. I can remember boning my first chicken and baking rolls for the first time for a dinner party.

When we moved to southern mexico, baking once again went on th back burner as I could not find yeast for sale. While there are many bakeries, southern mexican women of the higher classes apparently do not bake nor spend time in their kitchens..that is maids work.

Thankfully, regular visitors and shopping trips allowed me to get the things I needed for the kitchen. yeast and various spices being high on the list.

Some 13 years later, we actually have a baking supply store, which sells yeast.  I am hoping it will be able to stay in business as they are located in a plaza and the rents are probably quite high.

Crusty bread is not available, so the NYT bread method with the chewy crust almosts completes my need for "unavailable bread experiences" If I couldjust get them to bring in poppy seeds and rye flour.

Be well everyone. 

mountaindog's picture

My Dad got on a breadmaking kick in the late 60's/early 70's as a hobby that he pursued until the end of his life in the early 90's. (His great-grandfather from Germany was a baker by profession). It was great growing up with fresh baked bread in the house every Saturday morning - we were lucky - kind of like Floyd's kids are! I still have his tattered copy of the Tassajara Bread Book. He got into baking whole grain breads later in his life. He taught us to bake bread at an early age and it was fun and something that made a house feel like "home". It rubbed off, as we have a lot of good cooks in the family and a lot of people in the restaurant business, and a few chefs as well - my sister is an excellent baker and ran a popular cafe/bakery in Vermont for decades (now retired). All of that makes me realize how difficult it must be for people entirely new to baking, especially breadmaking,  to learn all of it's nuances - it's a real accomplishment to make that first good loaf!

slaughlin's picture

I grew up in a home with 5 brothers and a great mother who made sure we all knew how to cook, sew, wash clothes etc..........My bread baking interest started 27 years ago when I came home from university classes with my mind set on an egg salad sandwich but found out we were out of bread.  So.......6-7 hours later ( with the help of the supplement cookbook) I sat down and consumed one of my most memorable egg salad sandwiches...the bread was white, chewy and bland but it was bread......and the process continues

pumpkinpapa's picture

I grew up baking with my mum in Ontario, I'm sure she baked all the time when I was younger back in New Brunswick too.

She baked rolls and loaves on the weekend, simple white bread but did the house ever smell delicious on the weekend! Sticky buns, cinnamon buns, cookies, flans, crisps and cobblers, Christmas cakes, pies of all varieties.I learned to make pizza from watching her every Sunday evening from scratch. All simple easy to make but always fantastic and there was never any leftovers either.

So I continued that on starting with pizza's and Trifle's, both easy to make and unlimited variations in both. Though I stopped for a few years when I tried my hand at the computer based industry but baking tugged me again and again. I feel whatever draws you back again and again is your calling and it's where you will be happiest.

I recently picked up a nice loaf from Manoucher in a local supermarket and was reminded of how it is to begin baking anew like you've never done it before. I like that feeling!