The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Stephanie Brim's picture
Stephanie Brim

I'm a simple girl.  My only requirement of my kitchen appliances and untensils is that they work, and work well, for the application I intend to use them.  This, among other things, is why I replaced the oven that came with this house as soon as financially possible.

I'm a gas person.  Always have been and always will be.  I can't cook very well on an electric stove.  When we went looking for houses before our baby was born, I looked at the range in every house and said no to almost every house that had an electric one.  We didn't really have the money to get a new one right away at the time.  Almost every house...except this one.

There were other very nice things about this house, though.  4 bedrooms.  1.5 bathrooms.  Big dining area that could, someday, turn into a very dreamy kitchen for yours truly.  Big patch of rhubarb on one side of the garage.  Big patch of blackberry bushes on the other side.  A peach tree in the backyard.  Plenty of room for a garden, and a patch that was partitioned off with beams of wood that could easily be turned into some sort of melon or strawberry patch without the rest of the garden being overgrown.

The not-so-nice things were many as well.  Electric range.  Carpet upstairs that didn't look as though it had been changed since the 70's.  A kitchen floor with linoleum so old that it had little bits of dirt permanently ground into it.  Very little counter space.

We got it anyway due to the aforementioned very nice things.  I've always wanted a space for a garden.

Fast forward a few months.  I'm about 5 months pregnant and the annual friends and family sale is going on through Electrolux.  My boyfriend works at the plant here in town, and his sister works at the Beam plant.  So we get the list of things and start perusing, not really thinking of getting anything.  Lo and behold, on the last page, sits my dream: a 5 burner gas range with 5 cubic ft. convection oven.  Big enough to do 4 9" cakes in.  Big enough to bake even the biggest batch of bread that I felt I could handle.  If we'd gone to Lowe's to pick up the same oven, we would've paid close to $1200. In the sale, it was less than $600.

My grandparents wanted to get us a housewarming gift anyway, and so we asked both sets to chip in and then we paid the rest.  I *cried* the day I used it for the first time.  Cookies come out perfect.  Bread bakes up so beautifully.  I thought the crying thing was just because I was pregnant, but sometimes I still get a little teary-eyed when I think about how great it is to have a range that won't burn things on the bottom and leave them raw on top.

So I wanted to say thank you to my oven.  I feed it good dough and it gives me good bread.  Such a harmonious relationship.

MommaT's picture

'routine' for daily baking

September 15, 2008 - 8:53am -- MommaT

Hi,

Now that I've developed a very healthy and robust starter AND have mastered a couple breads that are favoured in our household, I'm trying to get myself into a routine for daily baking.  Why daily, you might ask?  Needless to say, my husband (and 7 y.o. son) have a penchant for extremely fresh bread.  If I make two loaves, e.g., the second one is consumed at a MUCH slower rate the second day.

Stephanie Brim's picture

I'm new here.

September 6, 2008 - 11:35am -- Stephanie Brim

I've been wanting to start baking our bread for some time now and once I found this site I knew it was that time.  I'm a stay at home mom living in Iowa with a 9 month old daughter.  I'm making a variation on French bread as I type this...first rise is going well and if it tastes good I'll probably post the recipe.

I hope I learn a lot while I'm here!

martinah's picture

ARTISAN BREAD- what exactly is artisan bread? what qualifies it as artisan?

March 25, 2008 - 2:32pm -- martinah


I'm from Germany and have always made my own bread. Since I moved to America 3 years ago I have always wondered what exactly Artisan Bread is? What makes bread Artisan?
It's just a question that's always foated through my mind. Maybe you can help me out.Martina

mcs's picture

sticky bun - video

February 13, 2008 - 7:51pm -- mcs
Forums: 

Hey there, In the spirit of JMonkey who has nudged the fresh loaf in a sticky bun direction, I'm putting up video #4, "Sticky Buns". It's more of a recipe specific type of video, not really a tutorial, and without commentary. It's a little different than the others, but maybe you'll find it inspirational enough to make some. Hope you like it.


-Mark
http://TheBackHomeBakery.com


 


 


mcs's picture

kneading and folding re edit - video

February 4, 2008 - 7:39pm -- mcs
Forums: 

Hey there everyone,

This is the *new and improved* version of the kneading and folding video I posted a couple of days ago. As per some of your suggestions, I addressed the volume levels, intro commentary and video angles. I like it a lot better, and I hope you do to. In addition, I used Hamelman's multigrain dough this time, instead of whole wheat. (Floyd, could you put this video on the first thread also instead of the first video? I removed the first one already from YouTube- thanks in advance). Next video will be on shaping.

-Mark

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