My name is Frieda and I love to eat bread.
There. I said it. Out loud. There is not a BEA (Bread Eater's Anonymous) or a 12 step program, so here I am, admitting my undying devotion for all things carbohydrate.
I looooooove bread and I decided to make it, so I can have it any time I want. After years of watching my mom doing it, I thought, "Psshah...that's easy!" I learned very quickly that it is not as easy as it looks. Come closer, and I'll tell you why. There are unseen forces conspiring against you. It could be aliens, the weather conditions or Yeastphobia, the fear of killing your yeast.
Raise your hand if you have had these thoughts running through your mind while following a recipe:
I have NO idea what I'm doing...
Is THIS what it's supposed to look like?
What did I do wrong?
Am I doing this right?
O.K., hands down, everybody. You can follow a recipe to a T and still have it go wrong. Sometimes the planets will line up and you will have a masterpiece on your hands. Go figure. It's happened to me many, many times.
I went to a zillion bread making demonstrations, asked a million questions and got many different answers, including, "I don't know."
I went back to my mom, the bread making expert. "It's in the feel of the dough," she told me. "You have to get to know it, make friends with it, and build a relationship."
Sigh. Me and my bread dough go back aways. I started with Dinner Rolls and soon I became the designated roll maker every Thanksgiving. I started a brief affair with Wheat Bread. We broke up when my beloved Kitchen Aid caught on fire and my loaf turned into an adobe brick, smashing into a bazillion pieces when I threw it on the floor. I rebounded to White Bread, vowing never again to handle Wheat Bread dough again. My sweet mother suggested giving Half White, Half Wheat Bread a chance. We started out as friends and our relationship has bloomed to a whole 'nother level.
I learned many things along the way and decided to give 100% Whole Wheat another chance. With experience and new-found knowledge, I discovered that making this bread was not as challenging as it used to be. Soft, slightly honey sweet with nutty flavors, it actually tasted good! I shared my loaves with relatives, friends and neighbors. Soon, they were asking ME the questions that I asked many years ago. They, too, wanted to know how to make a great loaf of bread. I wasn't alone!!
That's when I decided to teach bread making classes. Not demonstrations. The participants bring in their mixers and bread pans. I bring the ingredients and know-how. We laugh. We bond. In two short hours, they all walk away with baby bread dough in their pans, ready to be baked in their homes. I received many calls from grateful husbands saying, "Thanks for teaching my wife to make bread. It was SO good!"
One of these grateful participants suggested that I start a blog. A what? I had no clue what a blog was or where to start. My sister-in-law suggested starting with Pioneer Woman Cooks and I was addicted; hook, line, and sinker. If you haven't visited her site, you have been warned. I fell in love with her food, photos and writing. She's a triple threat, and I still love her.
Since I can't be in your kitchen guiding you every step of the way, it's my goal to show you how to make bread and other yummy comfort foods, step by step, and learn some tips along the way. A tip? Practice, practice, practice. Never give up. Surrender to the intoxicating aroma of a freshly baked loaf of bread, crusty roll, or savory breadstick. I jumped into the Blogosphere with two feet and the rest is history. I enjoy every step of the way, and I hope you do, too.