Tell us about yourself and your baking journey!
My interest in baking peaked when a family member learned that he had an intolerance to gluten. Since that time, more members of our family (in varying degrees) learned that gluten was a culprit in their health concerns. When it began to interfere with family gatherings, I really leaned into the importance of high-quality ingredients and the positive impact they could have on our health. More so, how could the texture and flavor of our favorite treats be replicated without compromise? I wanted to preserve the tradition of baked goods that we grew up with and continue to pass down in my family.
What do you like about Judee’s ingredients?
I was on the hunt for products that would help me to bake gluten-free bread when I discovered Judee's ingredients. Prior to using Judee’s Expandex Modified Tapioca Starch, I was unable to replicate the texture that was needed in order to knead the dough and have success with the rise of dough at both rest and during baking. I thought I would have to settle. Since adopting this ingredient into my baking process, I have begun to explore more of Judee's products.
The ability to alter a flavor profile with a fruit powder or have a pantry substitution ready for dairy is a huge advantage when creating recipes. I would like to tell you that all of my recipes were well thought out and planned in advance. However, a lot of them are the results of happy mistakes and fumbling my way through. In those moments, you discover your creativity and what type of baker you are. Judee’s products provided me with the ingredients necessary to surpass the limitations I was met with due to limited grocery store selections.
What is your favorite holiday or event to bake for?
Undoubtedly it is Thanksgiving. I really come alive during the Fall season. Honeycrisp Apples, Masala Chai, Maple Sugar, Butternut Squash, Orange Bitters, Sugar Pumpkins, and Vietnamese Cinnamon - these are the ingredients and flavors that make me passionate. I have gluten-free recipes for apple pie, cornbread, stuffing, and sweet potato soufflé that really showcase these ingredients that I crave all year long. The ability to bake all of these things together and share them with family makes it difficult for me to imagine anything better.
What is a baking tip you wish everyone knew?
Quite simply, trust yourself. I quieted the urge to bake for a long time. I thought I was no different or any better than anyone else, which ultimately is true. That doesn’t mean that you don’t have something to contribute and share with others. Never before would I steer away from following someone else’s recipe implicitly. I didn’t trust my instincts to try something different. Now I view baking as calming, comforting and therapeutic.
What is the most rewarding part of baking for you?
I wish I had something unexpected to say, it’s pretty typical. It is sharing. When you present your baked goods to others, especially when they have had to make a dietary and nutritional change that has prevented them from experiencing certain foods in the way they are used to, the reaction is like a boost of serotonin. Ingesting their initial surprise and resulting joy makes the entire experience worth it. There isn’t much a full stomach and smile can’t accomplish.
Where do you draw inspiration for your baking from?
While it depends on the occasion and my mood, it can be from a photo, a place, an experience, or a memory. My grandmother’s apple pie recipe has inspired me to make the most delicious applesauce, bread, cakes, galettes, muffins, turnovers, waffles, and believe it or not… chicken salad! Once you discover the foundational elements that you crave the most, the rest falls into place, effortlessly.