One evening last week, while researching recipes for homemade Cinnamon Rolls I stumbled across this post and was introduced to The BBA Challenge and the Phoo-D blog, a new favorite. I read several of her entries about the breads she has baked as part of the BBA Challenge and was intrigued. I then read all the details and particulars about the Challenge and decided that I couldn't resist, I was hooked.
Receiving my Kitchen Aid mixer in April was a dream come true as I have wanted one since I first laid eyes on them (receiving this from my Mom is yet more proof that I have the BEST Mom in the whole wide world). Since April I have baked more than ever before and just love pulling it out of the hall closet. I couldn't wait to try out the dough hook and have successfully mastered the Kitchen Aid recipes for white, wheat and french bread. I have also baked many cookies, quick breads and cakes in the past 6 months, although my cookie baking skills leave a bit to be desired. My colleagues are thrilled that I have this new found love of baking because there is always some *treat* showing up in the break room. I can't believe how much I've learned and the real difference it has made in baking. I made my mothers Carrot Cake recipe last night to bring to work for a colleagues birthday. I baked the same recipe last year for her birthday and the difference is amazing! I was really silly and naive when I thought that using a hand mixer was just as good, it just isn't.
On Sunday, Don and I went to Barnes and Noble to pick up a copy of The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread and I was giddy with excitement when we walked out of the store. The book is beautiful! I purchased the ingredients for the first recipe, Anadama and plan to start it on Thursday night. In the meantime I am reading the 100+ pages of information and theory at the beginning of the book.
I'm excited about learning more about different varieties of bread and exploring different ingredients, textures and techniques. Although I have to say that the idea of making Bagels is scary and that happens on week #3. AAAHH!
I will be posting pictures and thoughts about each recipe but not the recipes themselves as I move through this journey. The official group started back in May, so I am a bit behind but am hoping that I can slowly catch up and finish at the same time, we will see.
For more information on The BBA Challenge you can check out the blogroll, the Flickr group, the world map, or search #bba on Twitter.