Discussion of <a href="/handbook">The Fresh Loaf Handbook</a>.
I just created this manual on teaching a two days oven course, its a free guide with lots of info. It covers Pedagogy, Technical logistics of the course, building your own tools and how to use an earth oven
You can now download the manual as a PDF here -
I have been wondering about what exactly it is meant when someone talks about [sourdough bread] flavor and thought the term should also be added into the Handbook's glossary.
So what does "flavor" mean exactly? Is it just how sour the bread is? For example, "prolonged fermentation in the fridge improves the flavor" - does that mean "it's just more sour, nothing else"? So far I have noticed only sourness but I am a newbie so my understanding is still full of holes. Like a cheese.
"If you’re concerned that the chlorine might interfere with the action of your leavening, the solution is simple: fill a bowl with water and leave it uncovered overnight – the chlorine will dissipate completely."
This problematically neglects the subject of chloramine, which is commonly used in municipal water specifically because it does not dissipate as easily as chlorine.
While the current handbook organization is fine for beginning-to-end reading, it's kinda hard to locate just one specific item of interest. I use books both ways ("all the way through" and "read a particular chapter"), and I wish I could more easily use the handbook both ways too. For example, I knew David's treatise on scoring was in the handbook somewhere. Even so, it took me several rather frustrating minutes to locate it.
Here's a couple ideas I think would have helped me find that material:
Reading comments today from experienced TFLers on the quantity to feed refrigerator stored starters I am left wondering if the sections on storing starter in the fridge in the Handbook need to be refreshed themselves.
Using the information collated in the Handbook I was easily able to establish a 100% hydration starter and have been storing it in the fridge and feeding it, according to the following copied from the section on making a sourdough starter in the Handbook:
For us non-French speakers, how about posting a pronunciation guide for all the french terms that crop up so often in the bread world?
We spent mucho dinero sending Daughter Number One, who had a minor in French, for all that fancy book larnin' (even a semester in Paris!), but every time we ask her what a French word means, or how to pronounce it, she just shrugs! ;-(
Having just gotten back from three months of traveling away from my sourdough starter, I was thrilled to find the Handbook on TFL. It is great! I was able to browse through the different sections refreshing my memory on bread baking. I feel the Handbook will be a wonderful resource for newbies as well as those of us with a few loaves of bread under our belts (or over).
Congratulations to all those who were/are involved.