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Breads for my daughter

By Deng Zhangyu | China Daily | Updated: 2013-11-22 07:52

Breads for my daughter

At her artisan bakery in Beijing, Jennifer Yeh bakes with skills she picked up as a hobby back in the United States. [Photo by Fan Zhen/for China Daily]

Breads for my daughter

Photos: Jennifer Yeh's artisan bakery

Breads for my daughter

Video: Boulangerie Nanda

Breads for my daughter

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When an ex-Madison Avenue television producer moved to Beijing with her family, she found the city lacked bread that they like. She tells Deng Zhangyu how she ended up making artisan loaves with a taste of New York.

Her daughter is Jennifer Yeh's inspiration and motivation, and that is why she named her artisan bakery after the little girl - Boulangerie Nanda.

"Nanda", Yeh explains, is Sanskrit meaning "daughter".

That explains the inspiration, but what about motivation?

While it is easier these days to find baguettes, sandwich loaves and croissants in the chain-store bakeries that dot Beijing neighborhoods, Yeh missed the quality of breads in New York, where she lived for many years. Good artisan breads were best for her family, she was sure.

Her solution was to bake them herself, with skills she had picked up as a hobby back in the United States as a vent for stress at work.

There are 10 basic types of breads at Boulangerie Nanda, because Yeh insists on only making what she likes, and what she does best.

"You can call me paranoid. I only do what I want to do and what I can do," says Yeh at her bakery just next to an expatriate community in Beijing's Shunyi district.

She learned to make bread during her 15 years studying, living and working in New York where she worked as a TV commercial producer for a decade.

While she never attended a professional cooking school to train in baking, her neighborhood bakeries in New York taught her everything about bread.

"I don't like cooking, but I like baking," she says. She would ask her friends and neighbors when their birthdays were, or if they were going to have Christmas gatherings because she loved baking cakes and breads for them.

It was still very much a hobby, until she came to China.

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