The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello all!

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andreq's picture

Hello all!



I'm new here, but been lurking around for quite some time.


I've been baking bread for about 2 year now and I love it! Actualy, my grand-mother was baking homemade bread (back when she was still alive) and I've always been facinated by this. She was making the most wonderful "Pain de ménage" (big white 2 pound loaf in a bread pan). Since her lost, my mom (her daugther) started making some bread and I think that's when I got interested more in baking bread.

Last summer I've been given a nice Cuisinart Bread Machine (thanks mom!). I use it for making nice simple loaf when I don't have time for more complex recipe.

I still prefer nice oven baked bread. I think the shape is half of the exprience when eating it ;).

2 month ago I've tryed making a Starter without much success... my failure was mostly du for not getting enought information. I didn't really like the "feed it twice a day part", but after some reading I think I should try again with a stiff starter (am I wrong with the name ??? 50/50 hydration = ?)


Some info about me :

I'm a guy

I'm 24 years old (as of today)

I live in Quebec City, Canada (in a "small" apparement... which has the tiniest cooking room ever, but the place is nice!)

I have a nice girlfriend who like homemade bread and sometime bake some in the bread machine :) (love you !)

I got a computer (programming) job.

I have a cat (it's a Chartreux, pretty nice, got it from someone!)

I'm deeply in the DIY mantra... my next post will be about making banneton (brotform) by myself! (you'll see I'm quite specific... to much programming I guess)


That's about it!


Here I leave you with a little Panda Bread I made back this summer. It's looking good in a plate, but it didn't taste too good (it's a Milk Bread... like lots of milk)


p.s. English isn't my maiden language but I think I manage it quite OK. Just let me know if you find something weird in my grammar.


Floydm's picture

Welcome to the site!

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

And Happy Birthday! Since I didn't have time to shop for a present, my belated birthday gift to you is a new word. Kitchen. That's the cooking room---the most important room in the house :-)

Welcome to TFL!

andreq's picture

Haha!! I know this word ;)

I had a little brain freeze when I wrote my post. I was like "huuu... what is that word you use to describe the room where you cook?" 


Thanks for the welcome word!


p.s. My birthday is 2 day before christmas (do the math...) :)

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Ahh, my apologies. I thought yesterday was your birthday because you added "as of today" after your age. Where I'm from that means I turned 24 today. But that could just be a regional difference in usage---language is funny that way. I would either say that you were 24 years old, or that you were 24 as of two days before Christmas. But no matter how you say it, you are much better at English than I am in any other language! I think you will like it here :-)

andreq's picture

Yeah that sounded a little strange when I wrote it.

I wanted to make sure people look at the thread date when they read that I'm 24 "now" because I will not be when this thread is 1 yr old ;)

dcochran's picture

glad to see your post.  i am a neighbor: southern New Hampshire.  while i am of irish descent, i live in a section of Manchester that is known as "little Canada."  French was commonly spoken here when i grew up as spanish is today.  i was quite fluent in french when i was a kid but that has been long deleted from the gray matter.  oh well....this is a wonderful site that can be intimidating but it helps even a casual, recreational  bread baker such as myself.              dan

ehanner's picture

Yes, welcome to the site. I think you will be fine here. This is a warm and friendly collection of like minded folks.

Quebec is a great place. Very pretty town. There are lots of IT types here for some reason also. You are among friends. I like your creativity and look forward to seeing your work.


BabyBlue's picture

Welcome Andre!

My mother also made "pain de menage" when I was little... and I would trade it for wonderbread at school with my friends!!  Not so anymore....

I lived in Quebec City for 4 years a while back, went to University in Montreal (McGill) before that!  My first language is also French, but I have been speaking English my whole life, as we have lived all over the country. 

I started baking bread using a bread machine, then progressed to using my kitchenaid when I wore out my second bread machine making bagel dough...  I now do all my breads by hand!  I am milling my own grain using a Nutrimill though, and that has changed all my breadmaking ways!  I am new to this site too, I came because I was having trouble with my bread using real whole wheat, and now my bread is beautiful and delicious and I can give it away with pride to all my friends again!

I have a sour dough starter in the fridge for the first time ever.... we'll see how that turns out! 

See you around!

Blue  (Therese)

Daisy_A's picture

Welcome and congratulations on keeping a family bread making tradition going!

I'd be interested in the homemade bannetons as I am finding them quite expensive in the UK.

As regards your starter - as someone who has just nursed a month old starter through some ups and downs I would say it is worth keeping going with it. There are lots of threads on starters on this site that offer advice about all stages of creating and maintaining cultures. I found them really helpful. This one, for example, has a lot of information about firm and liquid starters

I know what you mean about feeding. I felt quite fond of my starter but when I had to up the timing and scale of feeds I felt at times that it was eating me out of flour and there was gloop everywhere. Now it's in the fridge I miss seeing it bubbling away and am thinking of making a rye starter!

Re: hydration - if I understand it correctly (and I may not) if by 50/50 you mean 50% flour to 50% water then this is 100% hydration or a liquid starter. As flour seems to be normally calculated at 100% if by 50 you mean 50% liquid to 100% flour that would be a stiff or firm starter.

Maybe you know you can also use ratios when feeding? I found this helpful. You will find a number of these referenced across the site. During early feedings I was maintaining a liquid starter at 1.1.1 (starter, water, white flour).  However around the 3-week stage I found the starter kept much healthier with a 1.1.2 (outside the fridge) or 1.2.2 (inside the fridge) ratio.  With ratios I can scale my starter up and down and maintain a comparable hydration or change the hydration for different recipes. I found this much easier to do by weight than volume.  One useful tip I picked up from this site is to mix the water in first so that the starter is well dispersed when you put the flour in. As my tap water is hard I also always use spring or filtered water.

I'm sure you will find some good advice and be able to enjoy creating and baking with a healthy starter.

Happy baking!  Daisy_A