The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Groeten uit nederland ... greetings from the Netherlands!

anna's dutch oven's picture
anna's dutch oven

Groeten uit nederland ... greetings from the Netherlands!

I've been learning a lot about baking artisan breads at home, and am extremely happy that I came across this forum. Learning about sourdough, and all the different options for baking available, etc... amazing! Baked my first loaf yesterday - and it was delicious!

I don't have any of the "proper" equipment yet - I'm just working with normal (cake / quickbread / etc) home baking equipment. No baking stone or cast iron pots, though I do luckily have a Dutch braadpan (enameled cast iron) that works quite well.

Just wanted to say hi, and introduce myself a little bit - I'm hoping to learn a lot here, and share my own gained knowledge in the long run.

I'm Anna, 26 years old, and living in the Netherlands. I'm German by birth and family, though I lived in the United States of America for 16 years as well. I've been cooking and baking as much as possible from scratch for some years now. This year I also have started growing a lot of my own vegetables. Hopefully, as of this week on, I'll also be baking all of my bread myself as well.

No kids, or pets, and only one man :) though I have a pretty busy job and a 1 hour, twice-daily commute, so I'm finding ways to get creative with timing for my bread baking. I also don't have a freezer yet (yay...), so I can't prepare more than I can consume (well, unless I give it away).

Thanks for all of the great information available that I've already found. I'm looking forward to digging more!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

No need to run out for special equipment, a scales, bowl and oven is all one really needs.  :)  Lots of gear already in the cupboards waiting to be used.  


PaddyL's picture

I don't have scales, or any special equipment, and I bake bread weekly, sometimes more often than that.  Measuring spoons, cups, a good bowl, and when the arthritis is bad, my stand mixer.  Welcome, hope to see more of you!

Mirko's picture

Welcome - Willkommen bei TFL!



chouette22's picture

Welcome on this fabulous forum, you will love it! We are all bread enthusiasts for whom their own baking is not enough, thus we read up on flour creations from around the world. It's so inspiring and motivating and so much fun!

Viel Spaß!

dabrownman's picture

All you need is a mixing bowl. spoon,. dutch oven and a work surface and you are set - a scale and an instant read thermometer would be nice to have though..... just so you can get some consistency, bake to the right temp and do some of the posted recipies.  But, there is never a rush on these things since bread has been baked for 6,000 years withot them:-)

If you want to learn about bread you have come to the right spot.

Happy Baking

anna's dutch oven's picture
anna's dutch oven

Thank you, thank you! :)

Luckily I have a very good digital scale that measures to the gram. I've also got an instant read thermometer, due to our making cappuccinos and lattes the traditional way.

I'm glad to hear that it's not all about special equipment, though. I think I was starting to scare my boyfriend with enthusiastic links to various websites (and their prices!). It's a bit overwhelming at times.

I read someone's comment on this forum that bread baking includes a very steep learning curve. Well, sir, I tend to agree! I've used more math, biology and chemistry in the last few weeks than in all the years since school. :)

henkverhaar's picture

Although you can get by with standard kitchen equipment, I wouldn't want to be without my baking stones and bannetons anymore - and my kneading table, and my Assistent stand mixer

Maar verder, welkom hier ;-)

hanseata's picture

A scale and an instant thermometer is enough to start out with. Instead of a baking stone, you can use a rimmed baking sheet, turned upside down, and instead of (fairly expensive) bannetons take a little cheap basket or colander, lined with a kitchen towel. To create steam, check several threads in TFL (it depends on the quality of your oven and its insulation). I place a baking sheet above or below the breads and pour 1 cup of boiling water in it.

A baking stone, or (as I use them) unglazed terra cotta tiles from a home improvement store, is good for keeping the temperature more constant, since it stores the heat. A banneton or Brotform gives the loaf a more attractive look.

I assume you already have a kitchen timer, because that is a really necessary tool.

Happy Baking, und liebe Grüsse aus Maine (früher Hamburg)


anna's dutch oven's picture
anna's dutch oven

So far, I've baked my loaves (all two of them! haha) in a pre-heated oven and a pre-heated pot. I'm not sure how great my oven's insulation is. When I moved, I left behind my lovely stove/oven, and my current house has a kitchen whose origins seem to lie in the 70's. I was planning to try placing a rimmed baking sheet (as I don't have any cast iron cookware yet) on the bottom of the oven, and filling it with hot water. I suppose the insulation question will answer itself soon enough, that way!

I really like your suggestion with the basket/colander instead of a banneton. I can make that work. My local thrift shop offers hundreds of various baskets for nearly nothing as well.

Would you then cover the basket/colander with a plastic bag? I've been covering my bowls with a loose layer of plastic wrap and then a kitchen towel.

Most of the baking stones I've found here are round pizza stones, which for some reason I don't like. I did find a relatively good looking square one for €30 on Amazon, though I'll take a look at the home improvement store for some unglazed tiles as well.

And yes, I do have a kitchen timer. :)

I thought by your username that you might likely be from Hamburg - hansestadt and all. I'm born in Hamburg, myself. Most of my family still lives there, even. Funny the routes our lives take, eh?


Boulanger D'anvers's picture
Boulanger D'anvers

If you're looking for a proper baking stone I can suggest a company called Groene Bouwmaterialen in the Netherlands.

This is where I ordered mine and except for baking in a dutch oven I don't use anything else. I was able to fit a 41x41cm in my oven and it provides enough space for 2 medium sized loafs.

hanseata's picture

Yes, that's what I did, too, with the baking sheet for steaming (preheat it with the oven), my oven bottom warped after years of heavy duty use, but otherwise it worked just fine.

For covering the rising baskets (dont forget to sprinkle the towel with flour) I also use loose plastic foil, and a kitchen towel. And from every stay in a hotel I bring a shower cap home (who cares about wet hair, when the caps make perfect bowl or basket covers!)

The round pizza stones are usually too thin, anyway. I had some that broke while baking, before I lined a rack with terra cotta tiles.

Happy Baking,


anna's dutch oven's picture
anna's dutch oven

Great place for the baking stone! The prices are afforable too, thankfully. I think my oven would fit a 41 x 41 cm one as well, though I'd have to measure it. This is where I miss my 90 cm oven a lot. Who knows, I probably have to move in October.. maybe there's more options then.

Karin - when you line the rack with terra cotta tiles, do you mean small ones or just one large one? Don't you have problems with dough in tile cracks?

Anyone have experience building their own kneading / work table? ;) I'm a bit scared of the €600 ones I've seen so far. Why so expensive?? I can't fit one in my current kitchen anyway, but it sounds like a great project for the future.

Only baked yeast-based bread so far, but planning on making my starter tonight. Need to pick a method first, though, as I've seen three or four different ones. Juice versus water, AP flour versus rye, etc.

It's great to get so many suggestions so quickly! Thanks :)


henkverhaar's picture

Kneading table: I got a small (50x60 cm) table-on-wheels (high, about 85 cm; it has wheels on 2 legs) from IKEA, put 'wing' extensions on the tabletop (dowel-and-glue), and an unglazed floor tile (60x60) on top of everything. That's all...

grandmamac's picture

I make my bread on the dining  table in the dining alcove of my main room because it's heated and my kitchen isn't. I knead and fold in the bowl and shape on a glass pastry board from my kitchen. It works well.