New from the South
I'm fairly recent addition to the baking craze. I started out cooking about two years ago, thanks to the inspiration of Alton Brown and Good Eats. With that said, it's not surprising that I'm an analytically minded person. I'm a Bio-chemistry major, and it was that love of science that drew me into baking last year. Now, I'm an excited learner absorbing as much as I can from books and many great online sites, especially this one.
I've been lurking The Fresh Loaf for a month now, and thought it was time to stick my head in and say hello. This site has been particularly inspiring in luring me into the artisan bread movement, and now not a week goes by that a steaming loaf of 'something' doesn't emerge from my oven, ready for consumption by ravenous family and neighbors.
On the suggestion of this site (and many others) I picked up Reinhart's "The Bread Baker's Apprentice," and it has been a great source of new and exciting recipes, techniques, and science. I'm also looking forward to picking up Emily Buehler's bread science book (it sounds like a perfect bedside read for me.) The baking-exclusive section of my library also includes AB's "I'm Just Here for More Food," Nancy Baggett's "The All-American Cookie Book," and "Baking at Home, with The Culinary Institute of America." The last of which was particularly informative, as now, when I hear "CIA baking classes," I now longer conjure up the image of secret agents with oven mitts.
I've seen scores of interesting and informed bakers on this site that I'm interested in talking with. In addition, I'm particularly curious to hear from my fellow High School/College baking peers. Any of you folks that live on the Florida Panhandle and have tips on cooking with 100% humidity, 100 degree weather, and a disappointing lack of non-mail order ingredients will also quickly become my friends. :)
In the meantime, I think I'll go work on my Unified Muffin Theory thesis paper while my French bread dough rises.