Intro from MD
I guess it's about time for me to introduce myself. I am Catherine, a grandmother of 9 --soon to be 10, a mother of 4, DH and I are both retired now so I am busier than ever. I have so many hobbies that I can't seem to find time for them all but I seem to find time to bake.
I joined this forum a few weeks ago, looking for help when I was having trouble getting artisan breads to come out like the descriptions in the book. I've been so busy baking and asking questions that I haven't gotten around to introducing myself. I have gotten lots of helpful suggestions and answers and I think I'm well on my way to a new adventure in breads. I have a lively stiff sourdough starter living in my fridge. Before joining, I bought Local Breads by Daniel Leader and plunged right in...then the breads came our heavy. Since joining, I've bought The Breadbaker's Apprentice and I love all the color photos showing just how the breads should look. I'm using Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads and King Arthur's Baker's Companion from the library and I might have to buy them, too. I will get Rose Levy Berenbaum's Bread Bible from the library tomorrow. My cookbook shelves are full, so I don't know where I'll put these hefty volumes, but they are all so nice.
I've been baking bread since childhood. First it was a special treat to have homemade bread, then, after I had children, it became our daily fare. I got my stone grinding flour mill in 1976 and am still using it. Our children grew up on whole wheat bread and they wondered how their friends could eat "wonder bread". They would say it was called that because people would eat it and wonder what it could be made of.
Although I still love my old standby Honey Oat and Wheat Bread, I have always wanted to be able to make crusty white breads with a tender crumb. I'm happy to learn that the trick is the stone and the steam.
I'm still not quite sure what I was doing wrong with the first white breads I tried, but I'm over it. I must have been underproofing because I sure kneaded enough. Now I am using the fold and rest with a plenty long fermenting and proofing whenever it seems feasible and the breads are coming out just heavenly.
I made Norm's Onion Rolls today and they look beautiful! We will eat a couple as soon as DH gets home from doing jury duty. They will be deliciousf illed with barbecued pulled pork and homemade applesauce. Thank you, Norm, for sharing your expertise and recipes from the past.
Thanks to Floyd for hosting this list and for all the members who so generously offer their helpful tips and suggestions.