Knead to rise

Baked goodies

Knead to rise

Julia Child once said ‘Find something you are passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it’. Rajashri Manoj took this phrase to heart and found her passion in baking when she was bored at home. Three years later, she is a proud owner of the Facebook page ‘All That’s Baked’ where she shares some of her baked goodies and spreads joy to her clients.

She says, “I used to occasionally make tea cakes with our old round oven before. Then we moved to the US for a year and didn’t have much to do there. So I took advantage of the big ovens that are part of every kitchen there and started experimenting with recipes. When we finally moved back to Bengaluru, I decided to try more recipes and that’s when I really got into it.” She found baking to be a form of therapy and something fun to do when her two children were busy with school. She even attended baking classes in her neighbourhood and learnt a few techniques.

“I never wanted to go commercial and sell my cakes. I would make it for fun and because it made me happy. I didn’t want to compromise my family life because of the business. However, in 2012, a friend of mine came up to me and requested that I bake something for her and she said she wouldn’t take it if I didn’t accept payment for it. That’s when I decided to sell my goodies. But till today, I haven’t stressed myself to an extent where I don’t get sleep at night,” she explains.

Rajashri is also a part of the Facebook group ‘Home Bakers Guild’ which she says has been a great support. She says it has helped her learn a lot more and given her better exposure. While she is great at baking cakes, making breads is also one of her specialities. She says, “I used to be a dietician by profession. I’ve worked with both patient-related and corporate projects. I’ve realised that a lot of people have become more conscious about the food they take in, especially bread. So I want to encourage people to consume more whole wheat breads, Fougasse etc.” She says that her breads sell more than the cakes.

But does she also ensure that the cakes are healthy versions? She laughs and says, “To be honest, I am more of an indulgent baker than a healthy one. But I make sure that the ingredients used are only the best.” Rajashri has designed many cakes that are colourful, exciting and mouth-watering. When asked if her family members provide a helping hand, she says, “Yes, they help me out by staying out of it! My kids have grown up seeing me do this on a regular basis so it’s nothing new for them. They love whatever I make and have special demands when it’s a special occasion. My husband is very supportive and encourages me to do better.”

Like any passionate baker, Rajashri is thrilled to make these delicious goodies and see the smile on a customer’s face. She says, “It’s amazing when I see the dough rise — it gives me a high. I feel happy when my customers call back to say that they really liked what I made for them. It’s nice to know that I’m baking something for others just the way I would like to feed my family, and I get to be a part of their special occasion. I can’t imagine asking for anything more.”

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