Howdy from the Midwest, and thanks for all the inspiration!
Hello from Ohio, folks. I stumbled onto this site by accident a month or so ago, and now all of a sudden find myself elbow deep in poolish and proofing and the thumping of loaves. And what a hoot it's been. I have learned massive amounts from Floyd and all y'all (as my Kentucky neighbors would say), and have found myself delving into Julia Child and all kinds of other references I haven't used in years -- and having a ball.
I used to bake bread a lot back when I was in college, but -- save a little futzing around with a bread machine -- have not done much bread-making for years and years. I have always loved to cook and have gone through a lot of mini-obssessions -- soups, pastas, salad dressings, what have you. As I grow more, ahem, mature, I find myself more and more interested in mastering the basics, like learning to make a great stock or roast the perfect chicken and so forth. Now, bread has taken over my brain, which I guess is a natural back-to-the-roots progression.
In any case, Floyd's lessons and the wonderful war stories and recipes (and pictures!) posted on this site have given me an invaluable education, and I look forward to graduating from your basic pain ordinaire to ryes and whole wheats and, gasp!, sourdough!