Let me introduce my self - Steve B.
Let me start by saying how much I enjoy The Fresh Loaf. A great wealth of knowledge is available here which I plan on using, as well as adding to. At least I know I am not the only bread head that takes pictures of what comes out of the oven and lives Baker’s Formula percentages. With cooler weather on the way for the Chicago area I am again getting ready for honing my artisan bread and pizza skills. I just don't have the free time during the summer to bake other than an occasional pizza for the wife and kids. I really can't point to one particular moment or event that started my interest in baking artisan breads. I started making pizzas back in '83 but never really developed the skills until I started my bread baking about five years ago. The alter care ladies at church found out about my interest and asked if I would help supply the honey whole wheat loaves used for communion. I take great pride in these loaves as they are used for the sacrament, but also that my loaves are the best. This spiritually leads me to my “raboni” - Peter Reinhart. I was hooked the first time I read the Bread Bakers Apprentice. Last summer the youth group at church had a bake sale at the farmers market in Aurora and I baked buttermilk hamburger buns, Vienna and Semolina loaves. I knew I was getting good as my breads were just as appealing to the eye and palette as the Panera breads a few tents down. My goal for this fall and winter is to document all of my baking, taking notes on what type of flour(s), kitchen temp, rising time, oven temp, etc. etc.. I want to work on my consistency for each formula. I also want to take some of the interesting recipes I have collected and convert them to formulas with percentages. I am looking forward to learning and sharing with you all.
Steve B. in Aurora, IL.