The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello from Canadian Prairies

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Piroshki's picture
Piroshki

Hello from Canadian Prairies

Hi all,

We just returned from a Meditteranean cruise out of Barcelona.  I was blown away by the numerous cafes and bakery selling a variety of baguettes and round loaves with a substantial crust and interesting texture.  Do I have a hope of producing a loaf at home that resembles what I have coveted in the shop windows.  All I have at home is a residential gas oven, but am willing to source  ingredients and hand equipment.  Can you start me in the right direction?

Thanks.

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Welcome fellow Canadian!  Of course you have a chance!...I just started baking bread for the first time in my life a few months ago and am quite happy with my results in such a short period of time.  Take a look at one of my results below:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/30777/oakland-sourdough-success

 Also, love the name Piroshki.  One of my favourite things are Piroshki's in Seattle down at Pike Place Market area.  I would drive 2 hours from Vancouver JUST for those yummy Piroshki.

If you need any help starting up with your baking, you have come to the right place.  Most users on here are very knowledgable and would be happy to pass along their vast knowledge to you.

Good luck!

John

Skibum's picture
Skibum

Welcome to the Fresh Loaf from an old ski bum in Canmore, AB!  You have every hope of producing wonderful breads at home.  A great place to start is the TFL Lessons:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/lessons

This is a great place to start if you have no bread baking background.  Your first loaf will be good!  If you have baked before, feel free to skip to Lesson 5:  10 Tips for Better French Bread:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/lessons/tentipsforbetterfrenchbread

Baking great bread is more about technique and patience.  If you bake regularly, you will begin to develop a 'feel' for the dough.  It is not necessary to source exotic ingredients and equipment.  Here is the sum total of what I use to produce great bread in my own kitchen:

From left to right, bread flour, salt, yeast, rubber spatula, hard plastic spatula, wodden spoon I shaped into a sort of hook, wooden spoon, dougn scraper -- this one was a $2.50 plastic drywall knife -  I removed the handle, as I couldn't find a dough scraper where I lived, various plastic bowls for mixing and rising, a peel I shaped from left over 1/4" maple ply and in the pack is an old, clean drywall knife I use as the ultimate dough cutter!  Add water, an oven and OH YES definitely get a pizza stone or baking stone.  You will also need to add steam to your oven to help you get those wonderful crusts you experienced on your cruise.  If you search this site, Sylvia has a simple safe method of adding steam to your oven using wet towels.

I found this site in January of this year and have not bought store bought bread since.  Welcome fellow Canuck and happy baking!  It is a most interesting, absorbing and tasty  adventure.

Regards, Brian

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Not only is there hope, you can do it. 

Jeff

foodslut's picture
foodslut

I took a three-hour night class a few years ago, and I haven't bought bread since.  That said, I've learned TONS here, and received all kinds of encouragement and tips.

Bottom line:  yes, you can make bread as nice & good as that you saw in Spain.

Skibum - do you know the famous Mike from Canmore?  ;)

Piroshki's picture
Piroshki

Yes,Mike from Canmore was a funny character.  Too bad the actual actor has passed on.

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

You can't get any better than our good Canadian wheat!  And yes, you will bake beautiful bread with our wheat.  I do, and I'm in Montreal.