The Making Of: Baking Artisanal, Organic Bread with @bakerhands

To learn more about Tara and her baking techniques, follow @bakerhands.

Tara Jensen’s (@bakerhands) love of artisanal baking took root in the pine forests of Maine where she grew up. “My childhood is marked by memories of snow banks, piles of leaves and painting with my mother at the table once the dinner dishes were cleared,” she says. “Spending my life in beautiful but remote environments impressed upon me the importance of self-sufficiency and traditional crafts.”

Tara started baking while studying at the College of the Atlantic. After graduation, she spent the next years of her life traveling the coasts and learning the trade from bakers dedicated to the artisanal and organic food movements. “I would make bread all day and paint all night. Now that I run my own micro-bakery, Smoke Signals, bread has become my primary mode of self-expression.”

When a friend introduced Tara to Instagram, she immediately saw it as a place to share and connect with a global baking community. “I’ve always enjoyed visual documentation and storytelling. Instagram encompassed both of these interests in an easy-to-use format with instant connection to others,” she says. “I may spend 12 hours at the bakery without seeing a single soul or saying a word. Instagram has been my teacher and social connection on these long, solo bakes.” For Tara, the community on Instagram is also a resource for learning more about her craft. “Each picture posted and shared is a gold mine of information. Now, when I’ve run into troubles, I have the wisdom of bakers worldwide at my side. I consider the baking community I have on here to win out any textbook I’ve encountered.”

For more great bakers on Instagram, check out @uneclef, @tartinebaker, @chickenbridgebakery and @jarkkolaine.