Have you ever felt frustrated because you made a recipe more than once and got different results each time? Have you made a mistake in the middle of making a recipe and had no idea how to fix things? Are you overwhelmed by all the baking resources out there, because you don’t know which ones to trust? Have you tried to get a sourdough starter going from a recipe that was supposed to be really easy, and have no idea why it didn’t work? Have you heard that “baking is a science” and that it has to be really precise, so you figure that’s why things aren’t working for you?
I’m Di Cannone, and I’m a self-taught professional baker. I’ve been passionate about baking since I was a kid. My fondness for mixing things up eventually led to a chemistry degree from Caltech. However, after graduating, I quickly realized that I wanted to spend my time interacting with people rather than chemicals. Then I ended up as an accidental banker, in a career that lasted for two decades.
Through it all, I continued to bake. I made birthday cakes for my employees (or other desserts when requested). It was assumed that I would bring dessert to all potlucks. My husband bought me my first cooking magazine back in 1999 to keep me occupied while I was home with the flu, and then started buying me cookbooks for most special occasions. My love of science led me to Shirley Corriher and Alton Brown and the folks at America’s Test Kitchen. I started a notebook to keep track of my baking experiments, and that turned into a baking blog that I kept up for over 5 years. One by one, I conquered various challenges–croissants, fancy layer cakes, sourdough bread. I admit, I’m still afraid of tempering chocolate. 😄 I started my home bakery business, To Di For Bakery, in 2013 so that I could share amazing baked goods with even more people.
What all that means is that I've baked a lot. I make everything in a home kitchen with one regular oven and without a lot of specialized equipment. I understand a lot of the science of baking, but even more importantly, I know how to solve problems and figure out how to make things work. I used to joke with my tellers at the bank that I could help them find their mistakes because I'd made them all myself. The same is true of baking. I can help you build your baking confidence.