The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

the new guy takes aim

funkdenomotron's picture

the new guy takes aim

Greetings! Wanted to create a blog, and give a bit of history and aspirations. I have looked over this site a few times and finally decided to join. I am 31, I have been baking for almost 2 years. I was an army brat, and grew up in Frankfurt and Stutgartt. I first started with pretzels, and have come up with a realy good simple recipe that can be made with packaged yeast or starter. I live in south florida now though, and I'm not so sure the wild yeast here is quite up to snuff. Perhaps the heat and humidity play a role, the first batch and second batch yield a good bread, but the starter then tends to sour too much and turn into a grey lump of bla. I am also quite the avid ametuer chef, and take pride in measuring nothing. This is not a skill that is transferrring well to baking breads. I have been trying to bake a good baguette. Traditionally I have started with my yeast and warm water, then add slowly the flour, of course type depends on what I want, until I get a good dough. But there are books that say to measure and add all at once. There are books that say to knead vigorously for 8 min. There are books that say to knead lightly for 15 min. Some say to add the salt last, some immediatley. Some want a cold rise, some want a warm rise. Some want 3 rises, some want 1. To spray or not to spray? So I will be interested in some recipes and techniques, and I will try and figure out what i am doing when i make pretzels and post. Aufwiedersehen!      


berry29's picture

Looking forward to a good pretzel recipe. Please post soon! :-)


Floydm's picture

Do you use lye when making pretzels? I've certainly heard that is the only way to make them authentically, but not something I've been willing to do at home. I'd be interesting in reading your recipe and technique.

Welcome to the site.

Paddyscake's picture
holds99's picture

I also live in Florida and bake sourdough bread regularly without a problem.  You mentioned your starter; "tends to sour too much and turn into a grey lump of bla..."  Sounds like it needs to be refreshed/maintained more regularly, then built up for a couple of days, to get it up to speed and active, before you bake.  Mike Avery and Sourdough Lady, as well as others, have posted numerous suggestions for the problem you describe.  I would suggest using the SEARCH feature on this site and check out some of their postings, as well as others re: maintaining and building your starter before baking. 

Good luck to you and glad you have joined us.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL