Intimidation of a Beginner
I've read this website and blog for years. Over those years I've tried lots of different breads from lots of books. I haven't made a truly serious study of it. I'm not baking multiple loaves a week, nor am I going through formal training to become a baker. However I do have lots of books and recipes that I've tried repeatedly. The first bread I ever made was a focaccia bread from a recipe I found in a USENET posting way back in the early days of the internet. It was all I could find at the time. Throughout college I used that plus the recipe for french baguette from Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." In recent years I've added lots of bread books to my collection, and lots of trial and error. I have the "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day" and the follow-on book. I have a book on ancient bread making. I have the Tartin bread book. I'm at the stage where I want to start trying to do things more seriously. However I'm also at the stage where I can sort of wing it and have pretty good results.
Throughout the years I always had a facination for sourdough breads. When I moved to my current location I was lucky enough to have a neighbor who has been feeding the same starter for over 35 years. He gave me a sample of it and it is the basis for all of the sourdough cooking that I do. It is a very vigorous starter that I keep in the fridge and feed 1 cup of water and 1 cup of unbleached King Arthur All Purpose flour every 1-2 weeks. It has served me well and I look forward to continuing with it.
Like many others I will be posting recipes and pictures of the results of those recipes. Some will be from the standard sources. Others, like my first entry, will be the results of my experimentation. I don't always follow the rules as much as I should, but as long as the results are good (or at least good enough) then I guess I shouldn't complain. It is just a bit intimidating to make posts of such amateur results when there are so many amazing posts of delicious and beautiful breads by other members. We all start somewhere I suppose, and this is where I'm starting the sharing of my bread adventures online.