Some direction needed
I'm a Canadian currently living in South Asia. I'm rather new to baking but I love to cook and I'm quite comfortable in the kitchen. Bread here is either terrible, or decent bread is only available a fair distance from my house. Thus I've begun baking 2-3 loaves a week for my wife and I. I have a few limitations when it comes to equipment and ingredients so I thought I'd tap into the collective wisdom and experience here for some ideas about what types of breads would be worth learning to make.
First of all my oven is a small and propane fueled. It has no regulating thermostat and depending on the season its max temp is somewhere between 360-400F. It has only one burner on the bottom. The insulation is pretty bad, so even quickly opening the door to rotate a loaf can cause the temp to plummet to 350 or below. I do have a ceramic pizza stone that I usually place my baking sheet on top of. This seems to help the temperature from dropping.
Our house is unheated and made of concrete. Most of the year the temperature indoors will stay above 20 C but in the winter it can get as low as 5C (you can see your breath indoors). This can certainly can effect fermentation both overnight and bulk. I try to place the dough in the sun during bulk fermentation or place it on top of the stove while the oven is heating up for the final rise. From now (April) till mid November it should stay fairly warm in the house.
The last limitation I have in ingredients. Flour is either white or brown. The white seems to be all-purpose, and the brown is what you would use to make roti. Whole grain might be available but I've yet to find it. I might be able to get whole grains themselves and mix them into the dough with the brown flower. I did get a large pack of instant yeast imported from Holland thats been working well for me.
My goal would be to have a few relatively low maintenance breads in my repertoire that once learned I cam whip up easily that give some variety in flavor. I've been making this bread for a while with good results. Considering how little active time it takes it actually tastes just as good as this rustic loaf thats twice as much work. I made the Ciabatta from the fresh loaf handbook the other day. It was delicious but even though you spend hardly any time touching the dough, babysitting the thing for the hours of fermentation plus the baking makes it not practice for day in day out bread. More of an every 2-3 weeks recipe.
I'm thinking of starting a sour dough in hopes of getting some more flavor depth, but I wonder how much extra work that creates if I'm only making a max of 3 loaves a week.
Thanks you for reading all of this, I'd love to hear any suggestions you have.