Most people, including my closest friends don't know that even though I love cooking, I enjoy bread making even more.

I can't explain it too easily but if you're curious as to know I'll do my best to explain. To do that allow me to use an analogy I promise to keep it short.

Why do marathon runners run? There are a lot of reasons.

Finishing something difficult could be a top reason. The feeling of accomplishment and achievement through overcoming physical and mental challenges is certainly a high in the human brain.

Hand making bread to me is just like that. You start from A and you get to Z. From the raw ingredients to a beautiful dough with a shiny exterior and an exquisite feel to the hand. If I could make a jacket of of bread dough to keep myself warm and cozy, I would.

Making bread by hand to me is also a zen like experience. You get in a zone and focused on that one task. You're not thinking much about anything else. Except kneading that dough until it gets glutenlicious! <--- Yes that is a made up work, don't bother looking it up.

For awhile I kept my baker's hat in the closet because I got burnt out after doing it for so many years. And I lost touch with my love with baking.

Now that I'm living in Thailand where I can't find my favorite Chinese bakery items I rolled up my sleeves and decided, you know what, I'm going to make my favorites and just get fat.

I started off last week with "bolo bow" pineapple buns a real Chinese classic in the bake shops of Chinatowns across NYC. It came out I admit better than the utility pineapple buns cranked out of most Chinatown bakeries.

And just recently I started making my own baked "char siu bow" baked BBQ pork buns just like the ones in my favorite restaurant in Manhattan's Chinatown, Hop Shing.

Sadly, Hop Shing has closed. But their memory will live on as I try to re-create their perfect char siu bows.