High Desert Bakery is a virtual ~ imaginary ~ bakery located in the foothills surrounding Reno, Nevada.

This is a place to curl up in an arm chair or at a tiny café table, have a cup of English Breakfast Tea and a slice of Lemon Tea Bread or a wedge of peach pie or a chunk of cheddar cheese bread, to talk and to share baking tales of wild successes and abject failures.

This is a place to share what I’ve learned, what I’d like to learn, what works and what doesn’t, as well as photos of those things that look beautiful as well as taste wonderful, and those things that, far more likely in my case, look like they encountered some kind of natural disaster before getting to the table, but which taste like heaven anyway.

This is a desert, full of cotton tail rabbits, jackrabbits, blue jays, crows, magpies, meadow larks, little black alligator lizards and brown-on-tan desert lizards, squirrels, sparrows, deer and coyotes.  There’s even the occasional owl.  Weather changes regularly from cool lemon ice and iced tea to hot tea and a warm-from-the-oven blueberry muffin. Those are the recipes and experiences I want to share.

Cold Springs, Nevada and High Desert Bakery are located at 5,000 feet of elevation and an awful lot of the baking cookbooks I’ve read are written by bakers living at sea level or below 2,000 feet.  Raised in Reno, which is at 4,600 feet, more or less, I never thought much about high altitude baking, mostly because some family member before me had changed the recipes already or because, having pretty much always lived there, it never occurred to me to think of it as high altitude.  High altitude was – higher than where I was, right?  By which I must have meant what, Everest?  The Moon?

When we moved to Cold Springs and 5,000 feet and my occasional forays into cake baking led to cakes falling, I started paying attention to and seeking out directions for high altitude.  High Desert Bakery is a place for me to experiment with baking tricks for altitude, for humidity (we don’t usually have any), for seasonal changes to recipes – try making bread dough rise slowly at 5,000 feet in a 100 degree July day. There are tricks and techniques.  I want to learn them and share as I do and learn from everyone else.

I’m Jennifer Rachel Baumer, a full time writer, working in speculative fiction and writing business and lifestyle magazine articles, ghostwriting romances and nonfiction books, and writing about my passions in life: desert, foothills, running, my husband, my cats, my writing itself, my love of baking and unceasing search for people to give the baking to so we don’t eat all of it. Welcome to my world.

Welcome to High Desert Bakery.

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