I began baking bread in 2009 after being laid off from my job. It was not a life long desire to bake bread. In fact, I hadn't even spent much time in the kitchen at that point. But somehow, I became enthralled with bread baking. Might I even say, passionate about bread baking. And because I suddenly had lots of time on my hands, I practiced almost daily. Not necessarily baking every day, but reading about, or buying supplies for, or tending a starter for baking. I credit Peter Reinhart's book, Whole Grain Breads with capturing my interest and leading me on to read other bread baking books as well. For some reason, I kept track of each bread recipe that I made, along with my comments about what I learned, what went well, what didn't. And I learned many "do not ______" next time. It's been a fascinating thing -- this study of bread making. And I am still such a novice.
Along with being a novice bread baker, I may be even more of a novice internet user. (Where have I been hiding, huh?) I only discovered this site today! A couple of weeks ago, I started a blog of my own about my breads which I call "Ardys 'n Bread". That's my first name--"Ardys". I've always felt it was an unfortunate name and probably spent the first 35 years or so, of my life, encouraging the use of nicknames. Well, at last, my name seems to have come into its' own. My blog site is http://ardrichards.wordpress.com. I have been thoroughly enjoying writing about bread, and I've realized that my real goal with the blog is to reach out to other people who might be interested in making bread for the first time, and offering some guidance and practical information on the subject. Little did I know that I should have been posting my blog with The Fresh Loaf. Although I have to say, the work of the bakers that I have seen on this site inidicates that they are so far beyond me in experience , that I would have little to offer to this group.
I am, however, glad to have found this site, and thank you all for welcoming me into the fold of bread bakers.
P.S. If you come across anyone by the name of "Ardys" (female name, Scandinavian) under the age of 60, I'd appreciate you letting me know that there is another one of us out there. I have an aunt with my name, and many times people have remarked after meeting me, "I once knew someone by that name. She was in her 80's." I, myself, have never actually met another person with my name (aside from my aunt, and there was a neighbor lady named "Ardis" who died when I was a child). I believe the name is a revision of the Norwegian name "Hjordis". (should be a / through the O) Are there any more of us out there?
Ardys 'n Bread