A Journey of a Thousand Muffins...
Or something like that...
To be honest, I'm just starting out as a baker. I've made a few loaves of bread, some cookies, and some dinner rolls.
I originally tried out baking as a way to relax on my days off. Something about the mindfulness associated with the whole process - mixing, kneading, waiting, working, baking, enjoying - really appeals to me. I don't have a lot of time or money, and so my baking is done "by appointment". I block out time, find some recipes or plan my day in advance, and do most everything by hand. No mixers, no scales.
Recently, though, I've started paying more attention to baking. My wife, the ever-supportive taster, has encouraged me to make baking a more regular thing, and even found some books to inspire me. At this point, once a week is about all I can manage, but I try to squeeze several recipes in at a time to get the most out of my day.
I'm most interested in mastering a unique, natural breads. I also really want to try my hand at pastry, though I'm not sure I have the temperament for it. Being from Vermont, I have ample access to the great King Arthur Flour and their many great products. There is also a thriving Locavore movement here, and a huge emphasis on natural and organic alternatives. These are all things I'm interested in!
Lastly, I want to be healthy. I've always been overweight, and have had trouble with highly processed foods and sugars. I feel that baking may be the key to a healthier lifestyle, one where I can appreciate and enjoy smaller portions of rich food.
So, healthier lifestyle, lower stress, and a deeper understanding and appreciation for baking. These are what I'm going for!