Here is a film I found about a Baker in the UK building up his 'bread business' with his bread and his baking knowledge and sharing it with the community he lives in.
What a wonderful treat to see this film! I began my own sourdough journey about 5 years ago too! My starter jar isn't quite as neat but it has made 2 loaves of bread every 10 or 12 days for the last five years. By my reckoning that's almost 200 loaves and at $4 a loaf, I've saved almost $800 in bread I don't buy anymore. Each of my loaves cost about 50 cents to make.
This illustrates to me how powerfull the art of bread making can be...
Its a great story, but to be completely honest his bread doesnt really have that wow factor. I think hes baking at to low a temp or maybe not enough steam, the bouls are rather pale
Thank you so much for sharing the film - I grew up in the same area and it was wonderful to see his enthusiasm and lovely breads. I seem to remember that people in different areas of the country preferred darker or paler crusts, and maybe lumos could comment for the southerners who may like less bold bakes? Andy would know about northerners preferences. Obviously the Loaf customers are happy, so maybe he knows what he's doing, A.
Again I'm reminded of how breadmaking becomes a passion for so many. Having just entered the world of sourdough, it was encouraging to see where it has taken Mr. Baker and those he is teaching. I especially appreciated the footage of the students, obviously from different walks of life, learning and enjoying the process.
Daveazar531, I wish more bread recipes would tell the novice, "Adjust the time and temperature to fit the crust you prefer." When I first started making bread, I used the Leahy no-knead recipe which I learned early on cooked at too high a temperature for the crust to meet my druthers. A drop of 25F degrees made me much happier.
I prefer paler crusts so I tend to bake a loaf of bread at 375F for 1 hour. In my oven, 375F gives me the crust I like and gets the interior to about 205F. If I'm baking a high-percentage rye, I'll go as low as 250F and bake it "forever." If I want what would be, for this house, a crustier bagette, I go up to 400F or 425F.
Chaqun a son gout.
I think the reason I got into bread baking was how turned off I was by the corner store loaf of Italian bread which is always soft and chewy with barely a hint of crust. So when I see a light loaf, especially from a WFO, I can't help but shudder( it could also be oven envy since I spend my day watching How to videos of earth ovens when I should be working). Leahys bread takes the Maillard reaction to a bald new level, he even comments on how people ridiculed him for his burnt bread.
So I would not advise a novice to go with personal preference, bread baking can be intimidating and defined percentages and accurate time estimates really helped me get a feel for what I liked and how to do the basics right. Since then I have begun to test the waters more and adapt recipes more to my taste. I now know how to anticipate the results of my actions and when I fail I try to understand why my deviations did not result in success. The fine folks of the fresh loaf are always willing to do my debugging.. But you are 100% correct, everyone's tastes are different and I'm positive Tom's bread is that exquisite.
I did and do start by using the temperatures recommended and then adapt to fit my taste -- so I do agree with you. I like a chewy crust more than a sharp one so this works for me. And I am among the folks who find Leahy's bread too "burnt" to enjoy fully. Now that I think of it, when I was young, my brother used this preference that I guess I've always had to his advantage. He would make cookies but burn them just a little bit because he discovered I would stay away from them. Hmmmph.