ive been reading this site for a few months, and have officially been a member for five minutes.
I keep a bakers journal here at home, but thought it might be enlivening to start a virtual one. I've been baking for three years. Seriously for about six months. I began a sourdough starter four months ago and haven't looked back.
Ill be posting recipes, baking schedules and photographs of my loaves--which I make about twice a week. But to start, I'll post a little history and information about my process.
Mark Bittman taught me to bake. Not personally of course. But hell, maybe one day.
How to Cook Everything Vegetarian is still a go to of mine. Not as much for breads, but the point is he got me excited. His recipes are base and delicious. He does a great job introducing just about everything.
Willing jumped off the Veggie Train a year and a half ago (after a short four year ride), but the book is good as gold.
Anyway. I started my sourdough using his instructions. And yes, I sprinkled a pinch of yeast in there day one. So for all you purists out there I apologize. But I have to say I've got a robust starter these days that competes with the hardiest.
My starter, which ill refer to as frank (a name I've never used until this moment) lives on a wire rack in the kitchen next to the fridge. No fridge for Frank unless I'm away. I try and feed him twice a day but half the week he only gets one meal. He doesn't seem to mind.
Frank eats King Arthur Bread Flour, with the occasional (three times a week ish) dash of rye. He enjoys his 100% hydration. Frank always drinks before he eats.
My "Master Recipe" is this, which you'll see is very similar to Susan's from this site. My dearest thanks for her blog:
Starter Poolish 503g
Water. 70-166g (60%-78%) [Depending on loaf]
Flour. 284g (usually at least 10g rye)
Salt. 1.5 tsp
I am by no stretch of the imagination a professional. Enthusiast, sure. and for the most part me, my family and friends like my bread very much. I hope to communicate that I find baking bread to be rewarding. I've found there is no need for dogma. Im continuously changing routines and hydrations--figuring out what works for me in my schedule, while pursing a better loaf of bread than the last. Thanks again, and I hope you enjoy.
And please, all hints, tricks, observations and advice is welcome. I've already learned so much from you all.