Welcome Friends!

If you are here you most likely already love baking. Whether you are interested in learning more about the science of baking or are just looking for some fun new recipes you’re in the right place! If we were in the same place right now we would already be drinking tea, swapping recipes and coming up with ideas for our next get together. Since we can’t do that in person we will do it here, on The Teatime Baker. So grab your tea and lets dig in!

How many of these have happened to you?

  • You found an amazing looking recipe but the measurements were metric – no problem Google to rescue! After some epic converting you put it all together…..and it was an epic fail.
  • Those muffins you wanted for breakfast called for sugar but you prefer honey so you substituted. They turned out OK but not what you were hoping for.
  • In a valiant effort to be healthier you switched out whole grain flours for white and ended up with a brick masquerading as a loaf of bread.

But you are a good baker, this shouldn’t happen to you!

Trust me, I’ve been there too.

These are a few of my baking beliefs:

  • Baking doesn’t have to be packed full of sugar.
  • Not everything has to have a S’mores version (can I get an Amen?!)
  • Freshly baked bread and a cup of hot tea is probably the best thing there is.
  • You can bake delicious treats that are not offensively unhealthy.
  • Anyone can be a good baker – practice makes perfect!
  • The joy of sharing something delicious you made with your own two hands should belong to everyone.

No matter where you are in your baking journey there is always something new you can learn, try, or make. It doesn’t matter whether you want to take it to the next level and really get scientific, bake something really special to wow your friends or that special someone with, or just get a few really delicious recipes under your belt.

I’m here to help you release your inner pâtissière and put your friend’s taste buds into a happiness coma!

Hi, I’m Erin and I loooooove to bake! I might be a little obsessed. It’s OK, I promise! Recently I decided to go on a quest to learn everything I possibly can about baking and this blog is my notebook. A second unofficial goal will be to drink pounds of P.G. Tips along the way, because tea is a life requirement!

this is me

How did all this start?

I grew up in Ohio among a tight knit family of master homemakers who could cook, bake, and create anything and loved to drink tea. Half the family lived on an 80 acre tree farm where we ran barefoot, played in the creek, and came together for picnics all summer long. When I was 9 we moved to Nepal which was the opposite of life as I knew it – except that it wasn’t! Life centered around community and that meant food. Teatime in Nepal was usually around 10am but tea was also a part of every social call and even shopping! I started learning to bake when I was 11 and we moved from Kathmandu to a tiny village in western Nepal. If we wanted bread (who doesn’t?!) it had to be made at home and homeschooling four kids while navigating life in a foreign country takes a lot of time. Understatement of the century I am sure! We divided the labor from then on: I made the dough and she baked the loaves. She taught me her “recipe,” measure water and yeast into a bowl then add oil, salt, and flour until the consistency was right. Mix & knead by hand and let rise. That was my job once a week for the next 3-4 years.

80s Picnic in the Woods

A typical Woods picnic in the 80s

The roots took hold quickly after that.

When I was 13 I cooked my first full meal alone. I remember that night vividly. Mom and Dad were at a meeting of some sort at the hospital (Dad was a hospital administrator for an NGO hospital while we lived in Nepal), and I knew they had invited one of the American women who worked with us for dinner that night. It got later and later and they were still stuck in a meeting so I decided to step up. I made potato soup, fresh rolls, and a simple chocolate cake. The feeling of accomplishment, pride and joy I felt when they arrived home at 8pm tired, hungry and expecting to start dinner from scratch has stuck with me ever since. There’s nothing quite like providing good food for the people that you love.

Me hiking in Nepal

Hiking north of Kathmandu on my 10th birthday!

Food + Family = True Love

Not long after I turned 14 we moved back to Ohio and Mom and I enjoyed baking with readily available ingredients and a real stove! We experimented with everything from chocolate cake to baklava. We threw dress up dinner parties with fine china, exotic food, flowers from the garden and of course, many kinds of tea. Fresh homemade bread was still a staple for us and easier with a mixer! On summer nights we would meet in the kitchen for a 2 am pot of tea while we waited for the thunderstorms to blow over. It was pretty much the best teenage years a kid can hope for.

Egyptian costume party in high school

Me and my brother at our Egyptian themed costume party!

And then, as often happens, there came a drought.

As the years went on, I got married and had kids I cooked much more than I baked. I experimented with adding whole grain flours to everything (with mixed success) and baked much like I cooked. I considered recipes to be more like guidelines and free-styled everything without any real knowledge of process or science. When our family went gluten free for three years for health reasons I tried so hard to keep baking. Most things I could make passably but good bread eluded me and out of frustration I gave up on baking. I put my energies into homeschooling my two kids and my passion for photography instead.

making jam with the kids

Making jam with the kids

The light bulb moment!

Fast forward to early 2017 when I was struggling with my multi-year attempt at a photography business. I couldn’t find a subject I felt passionate about shooting long term. About that time I started watching The Great British Bake Off. I’m sure I’m not the only person completely hooked on that show, am I right?! Watching it just brought back all the love I had for baking in the past and a need to know everything about how and why baking works. Everything just clicked (pun intended) and I knew I was going to start a baking blog and that’s what I would photograph. And so The Teatime Baker was born from an intense desire to learn, a love of baking, and a lifelong dependency on tea!

Would you like to come along? Drop your email above to join my quest and we’ll grow our skills together. I can’t wait to get to know you!