My name is Karen the Doughminatrix, I am the founder behind Bespoke Bread. I have been voted Home Baker to Follow by Women’s Weekly, and I can teach you to make the perfect loaf. Satisfaction guaranteed. But, it hasn’t always been this way.
Just two years ago, I was a jobless stay at home mum, who had just given birth, at the start of the global pandemic. My care free freelance video editor job vanished overnight, because of the collapse of global productions. I felt helpless, trapped and quickly fell into postpartum depression and anxiety attacks.
Emotionally overwhelmed, I turned to baking to slow down, and to stay sane in a world that was suddenly turned upside down. I discovered that all you need are 3 simple ingredients like flour, water and salt to make a loaf of bread naturally. Just add water, and you should be able to make the perfect loaf of sourdough bread! Nothing could be further from the truth!
I struggled to adapt bread making recipes online to work with our tropical climates. Some of my loaves looked like flattened UFOs, and some of my doughs couldn’t even be baked, and worst of all, my loaves tasted sour, gummy and disgusting. Incredibly, I persevered and kept trying despite failing again and again. I was baking a loaf every day, determined to get the steps right, persevering until I figured out how to make my loaves better and better. Bread making not only taught me patience, it also taught me about perseverance.
Bread making also taught me kindness. Kindness to myself, to accept failure, and to laugh at all of my mistakes. The tactile, physical act of touching dough everyday, is smoothing and calming to my soul. It was a sort of kindness that makes you feel accepted even in the face of defeat.
Looking back, I wished that I could have found someone to teach me, and guide me. Someone who understood that making sourdough bread in the tropics requires radically different techniques and re-writing recipes. Someone who can make bread theory, easy to understand for absolute beginners. It would have saved me so much heartache, and countless hours wasted.
Today, I am happy to inspire and share my passion for bread making with so many others both online, and in-person. I work with home bakers, and seasoned professionals who have been struggling to get their perfect loaf. I work with complete beginners, families and couples who want to experience the joys of baking without the heartache. I make my classes fun! I make complicated bread theory easy to understand. More importantly, I demonstrate why my method is radically different from online recipes, and make it possible to make delicious sourdough in our tropical climates.
I believe that bread making fundamentally teaches you to be a better person. Just like the way it has helped me learn about patience, perseverance and kindness, I hope to be able to make the world a better place, one loaf at a time.