I discovered this site a few days ago, and today I made my first loaf of bread! I'm so happy I found this site. I bake a lot but I've never made a 'true' bread (I'm excluding pumpkin breads and non-knead, non-yeast breads). But because of this site I made my first loaf of 'actual' bread! It's very exciting and makes me feel very accomplished. I tried using a Santoku for the scoring, thinking that it was a thin enough blade, but I'll definitely be using a razor blade next time!
So I'm sure nobody here is remotely sick of reading posts about beginners who struggle making Chad Robertson's Basic Country Bread. Nobody at all. No problems. Please continue.
Today I baked my first basic loaf using the recipe (err, formula) described in the widely-read, wildly-quoted Tartine Bread cookbook. Very nice book. Loved the pictures.
I haven't baked bread for a couple of years now. Eating that good bread every day is what finally made me accept that I don't do well eating gluten! A friend's daughter is interested in artisan bread baking. Everything I remember about artisan bread is a low and slow rise, with lots of time and little yeast. I'd like ideas for a method that doesn't require frequent intervention. We live only a 10 minute walk from each other, but somehow I can't picture having her drop by for a quick fold every hour!