The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Brand new baker saying hi

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Janet Campbell's picture
Janet Campbell

Brand new baker saying hi

Hello,


I came to baking a little later than most... about three weeks ago actually. For some reason I decided I wanted to learn how to make homemade bread and so I began my adventure in the world of all things bread. I tried a couple of recipes and found some success with my first couple of loaves of basic white sandwich bread but my husband loves multigrain so I decided for my third loaf multigrain it is. Disaster. It rose but not by much and it tasted too yeasty. My husband liked it but he's a beer drinker and I'm not so maybe that explained his reaction!


To cut a long story short, I was roaming around online and landed at The Back Home Bakery website: http://thebackhomebakery.com/index.html. Most excellent videos on kneading, folding, rolling dough, etc. On the site was a link to The Fresh Loaf and lessons on baking bread. I thought, this I can do so right away I grabbed my bag of flour and today I'm proud to say I made my first loaf of French bread that tasted just as good as our local bakery. Imagine my surprise. The dough was wet but came together quickly. It was silky and smooth and looked just like the dough on the videos at The Back Home Bakery.


As I mentioned earlier my husband likes multigrain so when I clicked on lesson two there it was... a perfect opportunity to throw some seeds into the mix and see what happens. Success once again. The dough was a bit drier maybe because of the seeds (and my husband distracting me so I wasn't watching how much water I was adding.) It was richer and denser but looked good and tasted yummy.


Two loaves in two days and both turned out great. Maybe it's beginner's luck but it did a lot for my confidence so I just wanted to write to say thank you, The Fresh Loaf, for being there when I needed a baking guru.


Is it morning yet? Can I bake another loaf?


Ciao,


Janet

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Janet.


Welcome to TFL!


Maybe your success is "beginer's luck." Maybe you just have a natural talent. :-)


Keep exploring the site. You will find many more ideas on whole grain and multi-grain breads, and maybe some kinds of breads you never thought about making but ....


David

Janet Campbell's picture
Janet Campbell

To Gavin, Betty and David,


What a great way to start my afternoon! I've never posted to any site before so seeing you taking the time to say hi and welcome is an unexpected bonus of joining The Fresh Loaf community. Thanks very much!


Another unexpected bonus. My husband asked me to leave the site for The Fresh Loaf up on my laptop. Woke this morning to the smell of baking bread! He got up at 5:30 to try the bread from lesson one. When I walked into the kitchen he was taking it out of the oven and it looked fab. However, since I had baked two loaves yesterday he decided to take his loaf over to his best friend and his family so I didn't get a chance to taste! He just walked in and said they loved it and what a nice surprize to have someone deliver fresh baked bread to their door.


Got to go as he now wants to get to the stores to pick up some baking supplies. This is good but have I created a monster and... will I ever get near the oven again???


Cheers,


Janet

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

In my opinion, too early to tell.  But you might want to start looking where you're going to install that second oven.  :)


Welcome to TFL,


Mini

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

through Mark & Back Home Bakery, what a way to go! He is a frequent and talented contributer. We are so lucky to have him. Another great mentor is the gentleman above, David. You will learn alot from him also. There are so many talented people here who are fantastically friendly and helpful. Welcome to TFL, glad you joined us.


Betty

gavinc's picture
gavinc

I love this site also. So many willing friendly experts (professional and amateurs) help to keep your confidence up when you need it.


My tip re multigrain:  I occasionally make a whole wheat multigrain.  The recipe calls for a 'soaker' of cracked wheat, coarse wholemeal, millet, oats and boiling water made a least four hours before mixing the final dough.  You can also try to grind the mixture in a food processor before adding the water for a finer-textured bread,


Happy baking,


Gavin

Janet Campbell's picture
Janet Campbell

To Gavin, Betty and David,


What a great way to start my afternoon! I've never posted to any site before so seeing you taking the time to say hi and welcome is an unexpected bonus of joining The Fresh Loaf community. Thanks very much!


Another unexpected bonus. My husband asked me to leave the site for The Fresh Loaf up on my laptop. Woke this morning to the smell of baking bread! He got up at 5:30 to try the bread from lesson one. When I walked into the kitchen he was taking it out of the oven and it looked fab. However, since I had baked two loaves yesterday he decided to take his loaf over to his best friend and his family so I didn't get a chance to taste! He just walked in and said they loved it and what a nice surprize to have someone deliver fresh baked bread to their door.


Got to go as he now wants to get to the stores to pick up some baking supplies. This is good but have I created a monster and... will I ever get near the oven again???


Cheers,


Janet

ema2two's picture
ema2two

Welcome Janet!


I'm also a relative new-comer to bread baking and this site, but have found a wealth of information and support here.


I made the 5 grain multigrain bread from Jeffery Hamelman's "Bread" and it was excellent.  Many of the multigrain's I've found are sourdoughs, but this is a straight dough (rises from baker's yeast) with some of the grains and seeds made into a soaker (litterally soaked in water for a while before mixing them into the dough).  It was straightforward to make, didn't have many long rises, and tasted magnificent!


There are also several versions of Peter Reinhart's multigrain bread called "Struan" in his books (Brother Juniper's Bread Book, Bread Baker's Apprentice, Crust & Crumb, and Whole Grain Breads).  I made the version in Brother Juniper's Bread Book, and it was also very moist, flavorful and not too difficult for this beginner.


I'm impressed that your husband tried his hand.   A few of my kids (all boys) have joined in my efforts, but I can't imagine my husband doing more than enjoying eating and occasionally buying the flours I ask for with regard to bread baking.

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Hey Janet Campbell,


Welcome to TFL from Connecticut! You are two for two bullseyes on your website choices: Mark at thebackhomebakery and TFL.


There is, of course, a Whole Grains forum on this site which you will want to prowl around in. As others have mentioned, a soaker is a great way to introduce grains and seeds into your bread. Keep in mind that if you want both whole grains and a decent rise, it is a good idea to include a fair percentage of bread flour among your whole grain flour and soaker elements.


Of course some bakers want 100% whole grains and that is great as well, but won't rise as well as a mix including some bread flour. It's a matter of taste and texture, which you will have lots of fun discovering through recipe improvisation.


Show us some photos of your efforts?


Good luck with your baking!


Soundman (David)

Janet Campbell's picture
Janet Campbell

Thanks for the welcome, tips and suggestions. I love both white French and multigrain so as it's just the two of us I guess we'll be tossing coins to decide which type we're making any given day. My next loaf will be a multigrain using some of the fine suggestions that have come my way and when I figure out the whole pics thing, I'll post visual proof of my baking endeavours.  Proof... get it? Sorry that's a bit sad but it kneaded to be said. Ooops.


Cheers,


Janet