The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


sheri_b's picture


Eureka!  After four months of baking four to five different kinds of bread each week, it's finally come together for me!  Sorry if I sound euphoric, but it's been a long, sometimes hopeless journey, and several times I almost gave up.  If I hadn't been enjoying the journey so much, I would have given up, but, fortunately, the journey in breadmaking is as much fun as the destination.  But last night I made Italian bread and everything came together--even the scoring.  So here go the thanks--thank you to Cyril Hitz and his book and DVD which was my first inspiration.  Thanks to Mark Sinclair at The Back Home Bakery whose DVD (#2) I have watched and watched, and taken notes, and watched some more (and came to realize by watching him that the reason I mutilated so many loaves while scoring them was that I had not formed them correctly and thus didn't have the needed surface tension).  And thanks to all of you on TFL website who are so helpful, patient, gracious, generous, and just as enthusiastic after all these years of successful baking as we newbies are!   

Sheri B.

P.S.  Tonight--Eric Rusch's Cranberry-Pecan Extraordinaire from his video (Breadtopia).

00Eve00's picture

That's awesome to hear how rewarding this experience has been for you.  You know you've found "your thing" when both the journey and the destination is rewarding.....regardless on the ups and downs.  It's nice to hear someone so passionate.

Have fun baking "Eric Rusch's Cranberry-Pecan Extraordinaire"  :) 

ehanner's picture

Glad to hear you are having success. I completely understand what you mean about Mark Sinclair's DVD's. You can learn so much by watching it a few times ( more for me) and I don't think a person would every get the feel without seeing it somehow. I have really enjoyed them.

Thanks for sharing your success Sheri.


RiverWalker's picture

congratulations on your epiphany,  I think that there is definitely a threshhold of "getting it" where you learn "the way" of the gluten and drawing out the surface tension and such to get the effect.

I'm still refining putting it into practice, but once you GET what you are aiming for and the theory of how to improve, it makes practice much more enjoyable.


dmsnyder's picture

it's a great feeling. Those successes are what will get you through the next set of frustrations (and they will come) to the next and higher level of triumph (and it will come too).

Intermittent reinforcement rules!

Happy baking!


sheri_b's picture

Yes, David.  You were right.  My Cranberry-Pecan Extraordinaire was a disaster.  I forgot about it and the bottom was burned.  But I didn't mind because I had my former three successes to boost me.  I guess that was the difference.  Failures seem so temporary after you've proven to yourself that you can be successful.  And you're so right, also, RiverWalker and Eric.  I really think that something clicked.  That's one of the things for which I credit Mark Sinclairs' DVD.  I finally saw the whole picture from beginning to end and saw that all these steps are interlinked--not just separate things we do.  The whole process finally made sense to me.  And thank you to all four of you.  I felt like I was acknowledged by celebrities because I've been reading and taking to heart your advice, and your names are familiar to me.  I really, really appreciate it.  I'm not really arrogant like it sounds.  I was just so excited.