Why I want to be mentor in this category: As a passionate home baker and a former teacher, I am delighted to combine both skills.
What inspires me in this category: I love to bake bread and do so regularly--two, three or even four loaves of bread per week. I bring bread to family and friends regularly.
Experience: I've been baking sourdough bread with "wild" starter for 4 1/2 years and have given classes; also have been baking challah for many, many more years than that.
Biggest Lesson Learned: With a basic sourdough recipe, there are numerous variations you can make. This type of baking takes a lot of time and patience.
Books, classes, teachers that have helped me: I got my first San Francisco starter from my cousin's wife, who owns a bakery in Northern California. Books I've used include M. Glezer's Artisan Baking Across America, Peter Reinhard's The Bread Baker's Apprentice and Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread (my "bible").
Education, Awards, Pro Experience: M.A. in education with high school and adult school teaching experience. I come from a family of bakers (long ago were bakers in Austria) and have indulged my love of bread baking since retirement.
If baking two batches of sourdough, you can start one in the evening, refrigerate it overnight to rise, and then start another batch the next morning. You end up with double the amount of bread with very little additional time.