This year’s Christmas was a merry one for me.  The bulk of my presents were bread making books from friends and family who are quite enthusiastic about my newfound hobby, bread making.  Of course, they are all thinking of the warm home-baked dinner rolls which I gifted them before the Holidays officially began.

To  my delight, I was able to bake really soft clover bread.  For experienced bakers, this isn’t probably anything to crow about; but for someone who has next to nil baking background and has learned about yeast and kneading this past month only from the internet, this counts as a small achievement.  🙂

My latest treasures :

Peter Reinhart’s books (those two at the top) appear to be marvelous condensed courses on advanced bread making made simpler for the home baker.  From quick browsing, I think the book touches a bit on the science behind making bread.

The Bread Baker’s Apprentice in particular, had been awarded Cookbook of the Year by James Beard Foundation Book Awards and Book of the Year by The IACP Cookbook Awards.

The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Berenbaum is filled with wonderfully drawn bread making procedures and techniques, fantastic for novice bread bakers like me.

Classic Breads by Manuela Caldirola , Nicoletta Negri, and Nathalie Aru boasts large mouth-watering photos of many bread types including decorative breads.  Most recipes call for fresh yeast, not readily available perhaps to the home baker but it is just probably learning how to substitute this for the more available instant variety.

Baking by James Peterson is chock full of photos of techniques and recipes with sections on bread, cookies, pies, tarts, etc.

2010 will certainly be a year of baking for me; but I hope this won’t be a year where, heaven forbid, I acquire the average baker’s waistline.  Unfortunately I love to eat what I bake.  😦

Nevertheless, I am so excited to delve well into these books.  I love my Christmas!

KyusiReader posted a fun meme which I’d like to get into as well.

7 things I lve (aside from books):

Freshly Baked Bread — Nothing beats the aroma and texture of a bun straight out from the oven.  Just slather on butter and indulge.  Simply divine.

(Photo from My Recipes)

Soft, fluffy fur — Running my hands through fluff is tactile heaven.  That’s why I love my pomeranian.

My Ipod Classic —  With almost 4,000 tunes from a variety of genres, I need hefty storage.  Plus, I can’t survive gym without this baby.

Presents ! —  Shopping for and receiving as well.  So, you can guess that Christmas is my favorite time of the year.

(Photo from XmasGifts.co.za )

Budgies —- They’re cute, lovable,  great companions.   My grandmother had at least one flying around in her room all the time; so, I’ve grown up pretty much around them.

A lovely cold glass of tart margarita —- The salt and slice of lime really make a perfect visual topping to my fave cocktail.

(Photo from According To Nina)

Herbs —- I especially love the smell of basil, mint, and lemongrass.

(Photo from Delish)

Everyone is tagged.  What are your 7 favorite things?  I’d love to see your list.