This seems to be the time of year when I take on new challenges. It's not really a New Year's resolution thing, since I don't get around to it until February. Last year, when I was still very new to blogging, I joined two amazing groups--Tuesdays with Dorie and the Daring Bakers. I was quite nervous about it at the time. I knew I'd be making things that would take me out of my comfort zone. (That was kind of the point...) And when I make a commitment to doing something, I want to make sure that I follow through. Yes, I'm a big worrier as well as a rule-follower. =) Things have turned out great--in a year's time, I've only missed one DB challenge, and I've made all but a handful of the TWD weekly recipes. More importantly, I've made some amazing blogging friends, more than I can mention here (but check out my list of blogs on the left for many more of them).
I'm probably crazy, but I've decided to take on another personal challenge. It's an informal group with a simple goal--BYOB (Bake Your Own Bread). Yes, all of it. My first thought was that I must be insane for trying to do this. But when I really started thinking about it, it wasn't as scary. Since I got the Artisan Bread book for Christmas, I don't think I've actually bought any bread at the store. And over the past year, I've made a lot of things that I would usually buy, like croissants, pizza, Danish braids, doughnuts, hamburger and hot dog buns, and bagels.
In most cases, I was pleasantly surprised that these baked goods weren't as hard to make as I thought they would be. I find it really satisfying to make things myself. Some, like the laminated doughs, required a fair bit of time and effort, but the result was so worth it. And some weren't as successful--like the doughnuts, which I really need to try again. =) I love making the bread that my girls eat, because I know what goes into it. And they love eating it.
As Sandy says in her original post, there aren't any "yeast police." I may very well end up buying bread at some point, and that's okay. I'm in this to have fun and make some new things, not stress myself out. And speaking of new things, does anyone have a good recipe for whole wheat flour tortillas? =) (B & G love quesadillas...)