The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

I'm new here!

sarah54's picture

I'm new here!

Hello everyone!

My name is Sarah and I am an amateur baker. I made my first two loaves of plain white bread on the weekend and they turned out beautifully, a little dense (I think I added too much flour) but they tasted delicious!

I hope to learn a lot from everyone on this forum. I don't really know the lingo yet (crumb, etc...) but I'll learn.

I'm going to be making a cheese bread tonight, if I can find a good recipe and a challah on Friday.

Can't wait to get to know all of you!


BeckyColeman's picture

Sarah, try the no knead bread. 

I am completely converted to this although I have been making bread for donkeys' years including using a bread machine.  If you don't know about this and there is lots of info on this site try googling no knead bread or Jim Lahey

Good Luck with your bread making it is addictive but very worth while.

I live in Devon, England, which is rural but I don't know anyone else who makes their own bread on a regular basis.  So it is great to have a site like this to exchange ideas.

Aussie Pete's picture
Aussie Pete

Welcome Sarah,

Hope you do well. Won't be long before your a "Bread Head" like the the rest of us.

Good luck.................Pete

jannrn's picture

I have been baking bread for 35 years and baking it using a bread machine for the past 15 years. It never ceases to amaze me the things I have learned since I joined TFL. Like Pete said, it won't be loing before you are a Bread Head like the rest of us!! You are gonna LOVE this site! It is just a WEALTH of information!
Enjoy and Happy Baking!!


wdlolies's picture

Hi Janet,

You've been baking bread for 35 years and baking bread using a bread machine for the last 15 years?  I'm surprised!  I thought after baking bread for 20 years without a machine, one wouldn't want to use a machine anymore.  My aim is never to use a machine again, but than again who am I to judge.  Can you tell me what you find benefitial by using a bread machine?  I used to use one and I used to get annoyed about the big whole in one end and the fact that I couldn't use my own recipes etc.

I'm looking forward to your reply.

All the best from Ireland.


sarah54's picture

Thanks everyone!

I can't wait until I am a Bread Head like you guys!

bakerbrooks's picture

Welcome to the site! I am new here also and as you can see already the people on this site are very nice and helpful. I have been baking for less than a year and I have learned so much from this site. I recommend checking out your local library for cookbooks but don't go overboard, I checked out 25 cookbooks the first time I went to the library :) I found tons of good recipies both easy and challenging.

Good Luck!

Aussie Pete's picture
Aussie Pete

Hi there,

My bread baker is 10 years old. I had the same dilema as you with the hole in the bottom the loaf. It annoyed me. Using a 12 hour poolish or  my sourdough starter  I now use whatever bread recipe I want to bake(mainly S/Dough rolls, ciabatta and baguette) and let the machine knead and give the dough it's first rise. I tip the dough out on a floured surface and then take over to shape and rise using loaf pans, trays or my baguette tray.

I find the machine obtains a better kneading result for me after comparing a few loaves between the machine and myself. Yes, I know I should not admit that on this site(excuse me while I go and stand in the corner and hang my head in shame for 10 minutes...ok back again). Maybe my technicque is not the best. However I do fold. I can knead but the machine does it better. Time is also another issue.

Just as I write this my bread machine is kneading for me to bake this afternoon. I fed some sourdough starter last night and it's now underway stretching and pulling, pulling and stretching. I never tire of watching the glutens develop and come together. It really is amazing.

You should be able to go outside their books recipe's. However I would not go beyond their maxium loaf weight.  There should be a "Dough Only" setting on your bread baker. This cuts out the baking process.

Try it and see..............Pete

PS  Sarah, what have you baked since you started this thread?


wdlolies's picture

Hi Pete,

That makes sense.  I've used my machine for the same purpose as you, but have given it away since.  You're right though, the machine is a good little helper when it comes to kneading and rising.

All the best


sarah54's picture

I have two different breads since I joined, a challah on Friday and biscuits (not really bread) on Thursday.

I'm having so much fun, although my kitchen is full of flour now!


SallyBR's picture

Welcome, Sarah!


I have to say that this is by far the best bread baking forum in the known universe...  (do I get some brownie points for this statement?   baguette points, maybe?   :-)


seriously, I've learned so much by coming here,  you will love this place!