Meet Diana Lee

Author of Baking Low Carb and Bread and Breakfast, Baking Low Carb II

Diana Lee never intended to write a cookbook. All she wanted to do was be able to provide her family with sugar free, low carbohydrate muffins, cookies, sweet rolls, cakes, and pies. Through her participation in a number of Internet low carbohydrate support lists, Diana became aware that many people longed for just the types of recipes she was developing, and Baking Low Carb was born. (Click here: Baking Low Carb).

Diana privately published Baking Low Carb, ordering a small initial printing of 200 copies. It wasn’t too long until she had to order a second printing of the book. And then a third…

But what surprised Diana even more than Baking Low Carb‘s success was the response to the one bread recipe that she had added to the book almost as an afterthought. People wanted more bread recipes! And so, the seminal idea for Bread and Breakfast: Baking Low Carb II, Diana’s second low carb cookbook, was planted. (Click here: Bread & Breakfast – Baking Low Carb II).

Diana told me that developing a variety of bread recipes was more difficult than she thought it would be. “You’d think that once you had a good, dependable bread recipe developed, you’d only have to add different seasonings and ingredients to it to get a variety of flavors,” she said, “but it’s not so. It seemed like every single addition changed the original recipe so much that the entire recipe had to be reworked!”

Diana developed and then reworked the recipes for almost a year before she was satisfied with them. She not only taste tested them herself, but had her family and friends taste test them as well. The results are in Bread and Breakfast: Baking Low Carb II: 31 recipes for yeast breads and rolls, 52 recipes for quick breads (muffins, crackers, fritters, pizza crust, quick bread loaves, coffee cakes, donuts, and biscuits), and a special breakfast section featuring 30 recipes for cereals, pancakes, waffles, French toast, omelets, fruit spreads, and much more. That’s a total of 113 recipes for sugar free, low carb baked goods!

Why go to all the trouble to develop so many different recipes? “Well,” Diana told me, “my family absolutely must stick to the low carbohydrate lifestyle for our health, and for us, at least, the ability to have the foods we miss enables us avoid ‘cheating’ with the real thing. And being able to make the baked goods ourselves saves us money.”

When I talked with Diana, she was getting ready for a family birthday party the next day, and a low carb cake was in the oven. “My family is really what started me on all this,” she said. “My husband has supported me from day one, and my children have faithfully eaten both my successes and my failures!” Gee, I would have been happy to do that. I wish I lived next door to Diana.

Armed with Diana’s recipes, you will be able to add much more variety to your diet than if you simply order those few baked goods which are available via the Internet or in your local low carbohydrate or health food store. You’ll save a lot of money, too.

Diana sent me an advance copy of Bread and Breakfast: Baking Low Carb II earlier this summer, and I’ve been very happy with the recipes that I’ve tried. I’m particularly pleased with how the Gingerbread, Garlic Bread, and Rye breads have turned out. Even my husband and kids enjoyed them, especially right out of the oven smeared with butter.

Diana recommends using a bread machine for most of the yeast bread and roll recipes, although she also includes specific instructions for those of us who do not have bread machines. Personally, when I bake bread I like to put the bread machine on the dough cycle, do the second rising in a regular loaf pan and then bake the bread in the oven. (The hole you get when you bake the bread in the machine irritates me, and so does the fact that the resulting bread is too big for a standard sandwich bag.)

Once the kids are back in school, I’ll have time to try some of the other recipes in Bread and Breakfast: Baking Low Carb II: Banana Walnut Muffins, Blueberry Coffee Cake, Corn Crackers, Onion Crackers, Pizza Dough, Cinnamon Fritters, Chocolate Filled Danish Rolls…

Like Diana, I want to feed my family healthy, sugar free, low carbohydrate treats, and there’s a lot of lunches to pack between now and next spring. 540, to be exact. By all her hard and diligent work on both Baking Low Carb and Bread and Breakfast: Baking Low Carb II, Diana has made my job much, much easier.

There’s a real art to creating original recipes for low carbohydrate baked goods, especially with all the parameters and restrictions necessary. It’s much more difficult than grilling some meat or slapping together a low carb casserole. Creating recipes for baked goods is not merely a matter of thinking creatively and experimenting with different flavors and textures; there’s real chemistry involved. I never took chemistry, and I seriously doubt that I have Diana’s patience and perseverance, so I’m eternally grateful for her efforts on behalf of her family and the low carbohydrate community. You will be, too.

Diana’s next cookbook will spotlight low carbohydrate frozen desserts: ice creams, sorbets, and other delightful cold concoctions. I hope she can finish it before next summer!

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