The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How have you learned to make Artisan Bread?

Blue Skies's picture
Blue Skies

How have you learned to make Artisan Bread?

Hi, I'm curious how everyone has learned this craft.  Through books and practice?  Baking Schools?  You Tube?  Divine intervention?


I'll share my experience, and then I want to hear yours...


I was given Jeffrey Hamelman's 'Bread' book a few years back.  Had no formal training and very little practical experience...just a love of eating good bread.  I mean I REALLY love good bread.  After reading the theory sections and thinking I understood much of it, I gave his Pain Rustique (Rustic French) a go.  Not sure how to describe the result.  Let's just say that after staring at the lump with my head in my hands for awhile, I decided to buck up and try again.  Next day the new lump was a little bigger.  The next was bigger still.  After a dozen or so attemps, I was actually able to, with a straight face, let my family taste my bread.  Not bad.


After months of practicing his Pain Rustique and attempting a few other recipes I felt that I could actually make pretty good bread.  I lurked on this forum for awhile and tried some of the more creative steam injection tricks...even bought a 6" half size hotel pan and a steam cleaner/injector.  Bread was getting better.  I'd say it was getting closer to local bakery quality.  Then, the wife did one of the things that makes me realize she's the one for me. She enrolled me in a bread baking course.


The instructor was a guy named Carl Shavitz who runs an artisan baking school in Italy and started doing a couple of courses in the U.S.  He was coming to Washington State (where I live) for an intensive week-long course at a great B&B.  It was all hands-on (no mixers) and the bread was baked in a wood fired oven.  Holy carp did we make some good bread.  White w/ Overnight Sponge, Grissini w/ Hazelnuts, fantastic sourdough, bagels, ciabatta, unbelievable foccacia, etc.  We had all our meals together (courtesy of the owner of the B&B) and ate huge quantities of great bread...and drank a fair amount of wine.  I can't even tell you how amazing that course was.  The attendees are even planning a reunion!


Anyway, I came away from the course making better bread than any local bakery and fully inspired to make this my future.  The bread has amazingly gotten better and better.  In fact, I'm starting a micro Artisan Bakery selling just 3 types of bread (for now): Sourdough, Rustic French, and Challah.  I already have a few regular customers and (to be confirmed over the next 2 weeks) 2 weekly wholesale accounts!


OK, enough of tooting my own horn.  What has your experience been?  Who did you learn from?  Who really inspired you?  I want to know.


Best,


Todd

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Todd.


Welcome to TFL!


It seems you followed one of the precepts we often preach to new bakers: Choose a small number (like 1 to 3) breads and make them over and over until you've mastered them and understand the ingredients and techniques. It works.


I baked bread for a while some 35 years ago but quit after a really good French bakery opened here. About 3 years ago, I was missing a couple of my favorite breads that i couldn't get locally - Jewish Sour Rye and San Francisco Sourdough. So, I got a couple new books and started baking again. My first efforts were ... not good. I searched for more information on the Internet and found TFL.


TFL was and continues to be a source of inspiration, information and support which has accelerated my progress by orders of magnitude. it's a great community. My library of bread books has also grown, and I continue to learn from and get challenged by them. Hamelman's "Bread" is one I've learned tons from, both the basic science and the making of some types of bread I wouldn't have otherwise learned to make.


I've never taken a bread baking course. In fact, I've never watched a professional make bread or even made bread with another dedicated home baker. But, that will change in about 10 weeks; I'm enrolled in the Artisan I course at SFBI (San Francisco Baking Institute). I hope this will be the first of several course I take there.


So, that's my story. Now, tell us more about what you are baking these days. We love to see photos, too.l


David

Blue Skies's picture
Blue Skies

David,  you are absolutely correct.  1 to 3 loaves makes perfect sense.  I've learned there are so many subtle and not-so-subtle influences in the bread making process, that the only way to get a handle of them is to try the same thing over and over and check the results  Isn't that the infamous definition of crazy?  My oh my, how fitting.


Good for you for signing up for the SFBI course.  They are obviously very well respected.  I would highly recommend to anyone a course or internship or something that gets you hands-on experience with someone watching over your shoulder.  Hamelman described his techniques very well, but I now know I wasn't doing much of it correctly until Shavitz set me on the right path.


By the way, if interested, here's Carl Shavitz's website  http://www.artisan-bread-school.com/courses.htm ...and the website to the B&B that sponsored his classes http://www.hainshouse.com/index.html .  Rumor has it that they are going to do another one in October.


I'll add some photos later (when I figure out how...)


Best of luck with the course!


Todd

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

Hi David,


How did that course go?  I've checked it out and have been dreaming about it.  Someday . . . meanwhile I've been experimenting with bagel recipes--Brooklyn style (dear ol' Bklyn, the "mother of us all").


Joyful

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Joyful.


The course starts next week!


David

RikkiMama's picture
RikkiMama

Hi David,


You'll be in my corner of the world when you attend the SFBI class next week.  I actually work only about 10 minutes away. 


I attended a bread shaping workshop at SFBI in June and really enjoyed it.  Got to practice techniques with someone providing guidance.  And left with a bag of fresh baked bread.  They also provide nice lunches, especially the freshly baked wood fired pizza.  I'm registered for their Specialty Bread weekend workshop in Dec.


You'll have to let us know how you liked the class.

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

His book The Handmade Loaf was the main reason why I got involved in bread baking on a more "serious" (for lack of a better word) way


http://bewitchingkitchen.com/2009/07/15/the-handmade-loaf/


 


I agree with you that picking one bread and trying to perfect it is the best way to improve - his White Levain bread, made over and over, set me on the right path in the bread baking journey


 


Apart from his book, at the risk of sounding too cheesy - I have to thank the folks here, their patience with "newbie" bakers is incredible, and the amount of knowledge available here, hard to find anywhere, books included.    


 


 

Blue Skies's picture
Blue Skies

I haven't looked at Dan Lepard's book yet.



"...his White Levain bread, made over and over, set me on the right path in the bread baking journey"



So, you're one of us crazies!


I have a few books I like, but to be honest:  While my Hamelman book is truly falling apart from using it so much, my other books look almost new.  In fact, I have a [insert one of the most famous bread authors name here] book that I haven't even cracked the spine on.  That says nothing about [the really famous author]. It says everything about how much there is to learn from any of the good books.


Some day I'll open that book...and probably spend years wearing and tearing it apart.


Todd

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Todd, and Welcome to TFL!


I started helping out in a clandestine wholefood business after graduating from University in 1987.   Helping out led to becoming a founder member of a workers' co-op to run the business, and gaining experience as cook, baker, financial director, and floor sweeper...and much more besides.


I crossed to NW England from the NE, with a year in Scotland in between.   Landed up working at Village Bakery, Melmerby, making 000s of Artisan loaves to supply major supermarket contracts all organic breads, natural leavens and using wood-fired ovens.   9 years on and stuck in the same business, which hasd been taken over, and changed drastically, I made the big move....


I went to College to become qualified.   Two years later had distinctions in all 12 subjects, and was already teaching.   Qualified as a teacher, and assessor 2 years on, got married and moved back to NE England.   I now lecture in Newcastle, and make bread at home too.   Just built a wood-fired oven, and about to put a couple of loaves through.


Inspirations along the way are too numerous to mention really.   I've worked with some fantastic people, and been influenced by a number of texts.   But, I've put the work in myself too.   I've loved studying, and am currently doing an MSc in Food Policy; graduate a year in Sept.   Hey, big up the Fresh Loaf too.   There are some inspirational peole on here too...many in fact!   And, I guess I should also mention the students I've nurtured along the way; a major source of inspiration.


As David said, tell us more of yourt story.   Can I wish you all the best with your business venture?   I'm sure your bread is as wonderful as it sounds!


Andy

Blue Skies's picture
Blue Skies

I'd say you've got serious street cred.  Sounds like quite the adventure!  The "clandestine wholefood business" has got to have great stories associated with it.  Were you standing on corners selling little baggies of organic rosemary and basil?


 

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Yeah, that was my question too. What was with the clandestine? Were you smuggling bulgar wheat over the border, hustling wholefoods to the hordes of Fenham?


On a more serious note - congratulations on the distinctions - great going!


With very best wishes,  Daisy_A

ananda's picture
ananda

we built a brick oven in the back yard of one of the co-op member's homes!


Then we stripped out the cellar, and created a warehouse.


After that we invited the Environmental Health Dept to come and approve the premises!   They did.


Sometime later, the landlord re-surfaced [about 5 years in!] and wrote a letter through his solicitor, demanding we stop baking from his property.   Of course we had never informed him of our activities in the first place!


You know the trend for dining in people's homes?   Well, this business was a successor to one which was a cafe in someone's home.   There were no agreed prices.   Turn up, have something to eat, and offer a contribution according to means.


The business was vegetarian, bordering on vegan.   We baked only using organic and bio dynamic flours from Little Salkeld Watermill, and ran a very "right-on" wholefoody type shop stocked with goods courtesy of Suma, Halifax.   All of this in the 1980s.


Does that justify "clandestine"?


Best wishes


Andy


ps. just tried the bread from my first proper bake on the wood fired oven on the patio.   Ultra brave; I managed to bake a "Pain de Campagne" loaf, weighing in at over 1.6kg, plus a Pain de Siegle, which is lush.

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Sounds fantastic! Well ahead of several curves...


Glad the wood fired bake went so well. Must have been great to bake in the oven for the first time.


With best wishes,  Daisy_A

ananda's picture
ananda

Certain people went to prison for stealing a lorry load of nuts from Suma!


They worked in the business, but before I was involved!


A

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Good grief. That sounds a bit extreme all round. Suma is a workers' co-operative isn't it?


Sounds a bit extreme of a workers' co-operative to bang up other Wholefoodistas, rather than seeking an out of court settlement.


On the other hand, sounds a bit extreme of Wholefoodistas to railroad another co-op's lorry? What were they - the radical wing - into forcible redistribution of nut wealth?


Food for thought, again.  Best wishes,  Daisy_A


 


 

BakerBen's picture
BakerBen

Hi Todd,


Let me welcome you too to TFL ...


I was a software engineer for 30 years or so and got laid off in the BIG Recession almost exactly 3 years ago now. After looking - and working a bit - for a year I decided to follow a dream. I had always loved good food, and bread and baked goods in particular. I had always thought if I could do something else in life I might become a baker. From an engineering mind set I thought of how I could accomplish this dream. I decided to enroll in a culinary program at a local technical school - I wanted to gain some professional kitchen experience and food science at a cheap price from a legitimate and knowledgeable source. The technical school also was starting a Baking and Pastry Art program and I thought that may be a good resource too.


Well, I attended for a year and completed the one year Culinary Technology Certificate program and it has helped me a lot - have professional kitchen skills and I am ServSafe certified. Most of all I met and grew to know many students - most of whom were much younger but very inspiring. The majority of students were in there twenties and were and/or had been working in various food service related jobs for a while and were attending formal classes to better their skills and opportunities - it was nice to learn from them also. I did run into one obstacle at this school - the instructor who "ran" the baking portion of the current program and was heading up the formation of the new baking and pastry program.


Over the years I have participated in much formal education and I had never run into such a teacher or instructor. I am "legally" blind - 20/500 non-correctable in both eyes - and to say the least was not the typical student. To not focus on the negative side of this experience too much this instructor stated to me the first time we met - a phone conversation - that "I don't believe you can be successful in our program and I don't believe you belong here." I am not discouraged easily but I found her attitude toward me only got more negative when I enrolled in the Baking I course taught by her. Every cloud has a silver lining though - she did advise me to try and get a job in a real bakery and I did.


I worked 12-14 hours a week in a Great Harvest Bread Company bakery doing the scaling, mixing sponges, mixing dough and working production on the table. Although this was not exactly the kind of bread I was dreaming of baking I learned a great deal and the baker/owner was, and still is, very supportive. I worked there seven months and then took a break to visit my brother in Ann Arbor, Michigan where Zingerman's BakeHouse is located. It turned out that through my brother's contacts - he is one of there most loyal customers - I was able to arrange a seven day (8-9 hour days) working with the bakers at the bakehouse. Zingerman's Bakehouse is one of the finest artisan bakeries around and on top of that have an incredible business model too. The opportunity they provided to come in and "be an employee" on a short term basis does not happen very often and was a fantastic learning experience.


Prior to leaving for Michigan I had been working on setting up a more long term internship with a local French artisan bakery close to my home in NC - a bakery name La Farm Bakery owned/operated by Lionel Vatinet a Master French baker and one of the founding instructors of the SFBI and coach of the first US Coupe de Mond team gold medal winners. I worked there for seven months working full time. I learned much there - not just about baking but also the baking business. Running a bakery like La Farm - open seven days a week from 7 AM to 7 PM, a retail store doing breads, pastries, online business, wholesale business, classes, farmer's markets and wholesale to both restaurants and upscale grocery stores is a lot of work. It was complicated because the growth was happening very quickly and the organization was to say the least "not so good" - at the other end of the continuum from the Zingerman's BakeHouse operation. This experience truly opened my eyes as to how physically hard and time demanding being a successful commercial bakery operation requires. This internship ended this past March for me - sort of glad I was exhausted (worked four days a week for 10 - 11 hours going in at 11:30PM and getting off at 10:00 AM).


Since then I have been following TFL and learning a lot from many many people, reading various books on bread and baking more at home. I have also developed a couple of sourdough breads - a basic white and a 100% WW sourdough bread - for the Great Harvest bakery I originally worked at. The sourdough white has been selling for a month or so now - baked on Wednesdays and Saturdays. An also participating with NYBakers as one of 200 test bakers - a lot of fun.


Based on my experience over the last couple of years my goal is to eventually open a "small" wholesale micro bakery and possibly do it with a wood-fired oven. I don't want bread to "break me" either financially or spiritually - I want baking to always be enjoyable and educational - may be this is unrealistic but I am currently not willing to compromise my goals.


I wish you the very best of good fortune in your endeavors - nothing but success. I am sure we would all like to hear more about your business plans and journey - current size, type breads you plan to offer, market served, current equipment, etc and most of all your dreams of where you would like to see your business go.


Good baking,
Ben


 

Blue Skies's picture
Blue Skies

Ben, I totally 'get' your dedication and perseverance.  Good for you staying on your path and even forging new trail when obstacles require it.


I will want to hear more about your story as it continues...


My business plan is based on a few cornerstone concepts:


1. To make bread that is so good that people will be happy to pay extra $ for


2. To invest as little capital as possible.  I've bought needed equipment on Craigslist for 1/8 to 1/4 of the cost of new. 


3. To market through grassroots / alternative methods.  For instance, since I live in a rural part of the state with a few very small communities (the nearest stop light is over 10 miles away) I've been giving random friends and acquaintances loaves of bread on a moment's notice.  No one knows when or if they're getting something from the bakery.  Word of mouth is spreading and orders are starting to come in.  The commercial accounts that are currently on the edge of coming my way are for organic farms selling farm shares of their produce.  The current trend is for them to provide 'value added' products to their weekly box.  That can include eggs, cheese, flowers, honey, jam, and bread.  These accounts fit absolutely perfectly with my plans.  I'm really hoping they come through.


4. To fill my bake day with as much volume as possible.  Right now that means I bake 1 day a week...and only one type of bread that day.  So, this Monday I'm making rustic french, next will be sourdough, and next will be...


5. I will likely not make much money.  That's a choice my family and I are making. 


I haven't yet quit my day job.  I'm a general contractor for residential new construction and additions/remodels.  I work tuesday through friday, 10 hours a day.


I'm hoping to bring the bakery up to speed more and more and correspondingly lower the number of days per week doing construction.  That will probably be an extremely difficult balance to maintain until the bakery is the primary form of income.  Also, in Winter here there is VERY little construction work, so that is a good time to focus on the bread business.


Todd

BakerBen's picture
BakerBen

Todd,


Thanks for your kind reply.  Just curious about a couple of more things: where are you located, and hwat type of equipment do you currently have (e.g. mixer, oven etc). 


I think your plan sounds great and very doable - if we were closer I would like to help you get started (making assumption that we are not based on your statement "too cold to build in winter" - I am in NC and it is never really too cold to build). 


Best in living your dream!


Ben

Blue Skies's picture
Blue Skies

So far, the only equipment of importance are the mixer and oven.  Though I appreciate hand mixing, I personally feel that mixing, of all things, can be given over to engineering with little to no defects in quality (as long as some care is taken).  I'm using a hobart planetary mixer.  Wouldn't mind a spiral or even an artofex...what a cool machine.


The oven I'm using is a Bakbar (made by Moffat) combi convection oven.  It works just fine.  The steam injection is pretty whimpy, so I supplement with a hot pan and fresh water during loading.  I'm currently on the lookout for a bigger oven though because if the accounts come through, I will need more capacity there. 


I'm located in the mountains of south central Washington state.  A bit of a commute from NC...  Thanks for the offer though!  Help is always good!


Todd

sastalnaker's picture
sastalnaker

Hi Todd. I'm fairly new to TFL, but have been reading this thread and when I read that you're in South Central WA I thought I'd find out where. I live just Southeast of Yakima. I've been fantasizing about starting a micro-bakery, not that I have any real qualifications, other than a passion for good food. If you're not too far away I'd love the chance to meet and talk.

plevee's picture
plevee

Thes stories are fascinating and inspiring. What further amazes me are the people who post what look like ideal loaves here registering for baking classes; I would have though Dr Snyder, Shiao-Ping and Susan NP from Wildyeastblog.com and many others, had already reached the pinnacle of bread baking. I would love to hear how these expert bakers feel the classes change their breads.


Twenty five years ago I started to bake when I came to a small town on the Oregon Coast and had no access to good breads. I think Bernard Clayton and a small food processor were my first tools, then The Village Baker found in a post-Christmas sale. Dan Lepard's book, 'The Homemade Loaf' converted me to hand kneading and the combination of TFL & J. Hamelman have continued my education.


Patsy

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder


I would have though Dr Snyder, Shiao-Ping and Susan NP from Wildyeastblog.com and many others, had already reached the pinnacle of bread baking.



First of all, thanks for your kind words.


Second, the deep down dirty secret is: There is no "pinnacle." There is only what I call "an ever receding horizon of perfection." I believe this is true for any art and for science and sport and ... for living well. The pursuit is the purpose.


I cannot speak for either SusanFNP or Shaio-Ping, two bakers whom I hold in the highest esteem. I can say that when I discussed my desire to take a course at the SFBI with each of them, after considering that I already knew a fair amount, the consensus was I should take the Artisan I (introductory) class. I am looking forward to the modeling by professionals and their feedback on my own skills. I am sure I have some bad habits and gaps in my knowledge and understanding, and I hope these shortcomings will be caught and corrected. If not, I will be disappointed as well as surprised.


Even with baking nearly every weekend, I have never had the opportunity to bake many loaves of the same bread every day for five days. There are motor skills in shaping and scoring that develop best with many repetitions. I'm looking forward to that.


At home, we fuss over oven temperatures and steaming methods, basically trying to get the results the professionals do with commercial steam-injected deck ovens. Well, I'll have the chance to actually use "the real thing!" I can hardly wait!


David

Chausiubao's picture
Chausiubao

I was always a very contrary person, and being someone that enjoyed cooking I got into baking simply because it was cooking, but wasn't cooking. And neither did I want to bake desserts; that would be no different from all the other baking enthusiasts I knew. So I turned to bread, as I knew not a single bread baker. Mind you this was all in high school.


Soon after entering college and getting a kitchen of my own I started baking bread with advice I got from www.discusscooking.com, a forum veteran there then directed me to TFL as I was asking questions beyond the scope of that particular community. TFL in addition to the aid of a fresh copy of The Bread Baker's Apprentice launched me on the course of bread baking.


Now I've completed coursework in baking and pastry arts, and am working in an artisan bakery, and that in and of itself has taught me volumes.


--Chausiubao

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Patsy,


Wonderful as this virtual community is at TFL, and amazing as the information is recorded by experts such as Mr. Hamelman, there is something extra to be learnt from baking classes.   And, as a teacher, I hasten to add, that my truely most beneficial role would merely be to facilitate this:   spending time with like-minded people, all focussed on the fundamentals of learning even more about something they are all already passionate about...no matter what their current level of expertise.


it doesn't always come off, and, Ben, I'm really sorry to read you had such a dreadful experience with your teacher...not on, I suggest!   However, the very best courses , from a teacher's point of view, run themselves.   The students simply gourge themselves on what's on offer, and from there they run the show!


Be part of something like this, and your baking will reach new levels.


Sorry, I've jumped in here; the people you mention are true experts, and I should let them speak for themselves.


All good wishes


Andy

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Andy.


No need to apologize! I appreciate your sharing your perspective from "the other side" of the student-teacher relationship. 


In my response to Patsy (see above), I neglected to comment on several of the points you make very well. In particular, while we have a wonderful virtual community here, it suffers relative to face-to-face interactions. 


I've taught (pediatrics) for 35 years and before that was a student for lots of years (9, post university). In my field, the teachers are important role models and the last resort sources of urgently needed information. However, the bulk of learning comes from one's peers. This has many implications, among which is that the quality of one's fellow-students may be more important than the quality of the faculty. Maybe this is more important in medicine than in other professions, but I bet not. I think about your comments elsewhere that the achievements of your current students will help you attract a better quality of students in future years. I fully appreciate how important that is to the quality and success of your program.


So, the opportunity to take a course at the SFBI or with Jeff Hamelman is not just to be exposed to a "master." It's also to learn side-by-side with others attracted to that quality of training.


David

Blue Skies's picture
Blue Skies

I was asked to post some photos, so I have done so over in the Photo section of the forum. 


Was that the most appropriate place?  Or would most people just post photos within the discussion from which the request was made?


More stories!  These have been fantastic.  More stories!


Todd

Aussie Pete's picture
Aussie Pete

Hi There Blue Skies,


I started about 10 years ago with a bread making machine and a packet of white pre mix bread flour. Then about 2 years ago I wondered what would happen if I removed the dough once it was kneaded and let it have a 2nd rise in a loaf pan. Result was a nice bread with the shape I wanted. I added milk, oats, rye or cornmeal etc for variation of flavour. I now started using my bread machine for "dough only".


About 8 months ago I bought some ciabatta bread wondering what it was having heard about but not eaten before. Liking it I googled Ciabatta and found "Artisan Bread" and this site. My first recipe I found that seemed "simple" enough was Jason's quick Ciabatta. I then proceeded to a 24 four hour starter for a ciabatta loaf.


After a lot of reading and absorbing as much as I could from this "bread web site family" It was here I discovered there is flour and there is flours and found confidence to try a sourdough starter. I tried and failed 3 times. Then I read Sourdoughlady pineapple juice and flour starter. BINGO.....I had a winner.


I now have two different "mother" starters in the fridge. One made on Germain mixed grain flour and another made on wholemeal and white flour.


The rest they say is history...............Thats my start.

breadfriend's picture
breadfriend

Interesting to read this thread. I've taken three bread making classes, all 5 days in duration. The first two were very disappointing, bored and boring teachers having us produce pretty lifeless bread. This was particularly annoying as one course was held at an award winning bakery and the other run by someone with a comprehensive book on bread to his credit. At the second of these courses one of my co-students told me about someone she'd had a day of tuition with, and what a fantastic teacher he was. Unfortunately I lost his name and had no way of contacting the source of the information. To be honest, I'd pretty much lost my enthusiasm for taking bread making classes. Then I found the name of that teacher, booked onto his course and it was a truly fantastic experience. How amazing then to read the posting that started this thread to find it's the same man, Carl Shavitz of Artisan Bread School. Not only was the course life changing, but the after course backup has been exceptional. I cannot recommend his courses too highly. Grab one if you can. He only takes a few people on each course.  Find it at www.artisan-bread-school.com

Blue Skies's picture
Blue Skies

Hey, that's great! 


You too must have learned how to squidge, and keep your loaves from being higgledy-piggledy, and always know where your chit is.


(For the rest of you, these are highly technical terms that would require extensive explanations and diagrams and possibly youtube videos to fully appreciate.)


...and you're right.  Carl's been suprisingly good about replying to my questions since taking the course.  He must have little email elves working for him.


Best,


Todd


 


 

patricia hains's picture
patricia hains

I took Carl's five day class a year ago and yes, it was life changing.  Where and when did you take the course?

Blue Skies's picture
Blue Skies

Hey Pat!


Rumor has it you are organizing a reunion. 


I'm in!


 


 

patricia hains's picture
patricia hains

The rumor is true!  I am organizing a reunion...I will get the word out when I get a date settled with Carl.  I can hardly wait. 

lindasbread's picture
lindasbread

I learned to bake bread from my grandmother, who baked sourdough rye bread without commercial yeast. She baked her bread in a wood fired oven, which was the "community" oven in the midle of town. It's a little building, where the women of the town gathered to bake bread and cake on a Saturday , and chat a lot of course. Later on in life I forgot about bread and was busy with my education. After I imigrated to the US, I started baking whole grain sourdough bread, got a mill and developed my own recipes. I also wrote a  step - by - step instruction book which I sell. I got diagnosed with Hashimoto last Summer and can not bake with wheat or gluten containing grains anymore. You can believe me that I cried over it for month. I just had opened my business, teaching whole grain sourdough baking and was invited by the local college culinary chef to teach bread baking classes.


I am basically advertising here, which nobody likes, but I am sitting on 80 books which I wanted to sell during baking classes. My students and I had so much fun, I even traveled in NC and demonstrated the art of sourdoug baking. All my students can bake sourdough bread, it's a method where one doesn't have to measure and weigh much and still have a wonderful product. I loved my bread, well should not start talking about it again because it makes me cry.


 


 

Blue Skies's picture
Blue Skies

Wow, sorry to hear.  I can only imagine how tough that would be.


I've already got a lifetime of stuff to learn from, but hope you are able to at least get your money back out of the books.


I'm curious though...you can't even BAKE with gluten / wheat because of Hashimoto's disease?  


Best,


Todd 

lindasbread's picture
lindasbread

with Hashimoto's I have to stay 100 % gluten free and when I breath in the airborn gluten I get really sick. Belive me, I tried to bake, not eat the bread, but at least bake. I got sick for a week. Last time I baked with a mask over my nose and mouth, but that's difficult to do, hard to brath Still the gluten is in the air and I have to leave the room. It's like poisen, no kidding.

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Lindasbread.


Loved the description of your grandmother's baking and how you learnt from her.


Congratulations too on all you have achieved. You are obviously passionate about baking. Must be a loss to no longer be able to bake with wheat.


Don't know if it will help but the author of this site Canelle and Vanille is an expert pastry chef who says at one point that she was just diagnosed with Hashimoto's. http://cannelle-vanille.blogspot.com/ One of her most recent posts was about trying to make bread again, but gluten free. Poster sharonk on this site has a gluten free sourdough site at http://glutenfreesourdough.blogspot.com/


Apologies it you know about these sites already. Don't know it it's too early to think about this, though...As said, you seem so passionate about baking so I guess you miss it a lot.


Kind regards, Daisy_A

lindasbread's picture
lindasbread

Thank you for the link, I didn't know about the first one.


you will not believe it, since i can't stop baking, i created Gluten free Sourdough. It took me 5 days to capture wild yeast in gf flour. Now I have gf sourdough living in my fridge. I guess the experience with wheat sourdough made it much easier for me to get the right temp and consistency. I also baked witth it gluten free, soy and corn free, sugar free, comercial yeast free, dairy free bread. The tast needs to be tweaked but it came out with lots of holes and moist. I was able to keep it on the countertop  for several days without it getting hard. I baked it with steam in the oven, like a regular bread and it had a hard crust, which I nead for it to have in order to resemble weat bread. I am very happy about it. Now, all I have to do is to mix up the right kind of flour in order to create gluten free bread which tastes like german bread. I am on a mission again and no one can stop me :)

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Linda,


Congratulations on creating the gluten free sourdough! You must be so pleased. Glad that you are finding another way to engage your passion for baking. A moist, open loaf with a crunchy crusts that keeps well - that sounds great! Hope you manage to get the german bread taste.


I'm sure lots of other people would benefit from this too, even from classes, although I guess they would need to be in a gluten free kitchen. So maybe you will be teaching again some time but gluten free?  Do keep us posted.


With best wishes,  Daisy_A

Aussie Pete's picture
Aussie Pete

Hi Lindsbread,


I have great empathy for you and and the other Hashimotos sufferer. Not many people know of this sickness. It's most unpleasant


My wife suffered from it about 4 years ago and was also diagonised with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome at the same time. She was so sick I gave up work to nurse her back to health over a 2 year period. She is well now providing she takes her thryoid replacement tablets.


However I(we) did not realise there was a connection between Gluten and Hashimotos. I know my wife did cut back a lot of bread eating during her time of sickness saying she just did not want it. But now she loves and takes my home sourdough bread or buns daily for her lunches with no sise affect.


Is gluten suppose to affect all who suffer with Hashimotos  or just the unfortunate few. This has raised my curiousty over this and would love to know more if you don't mind sharing some details.


Cheers and thankyou........Pete.

lindasbread's picture
lindasbread

Hi Pete,


since this is not anything related to bread, I hope that I don't get in trouble talking about Hashimoto. On the other hand it so important that I just go ahead and share my experience.


Hashi is an autioimmune disease, as you will know. Doc. don't know how to treat it, since they can't use the usual autoim. disease treatment with steroids, so , all they do is give thyroid replacement hormones.The hormones, and a TSH of under 1 does not stop the immune system from attacking the thyroid (docs. want you to believe it)


I too was bedridden last Dec and Jan. and after month of research online, I found Dr. Kharrazian his website thyroidbook.com   who has developed a protcol to treat the underlying cause the immune system.The immune system has 2 arms, so to speak, and one is dominant and causes the attack, in the case of hashi, the thyroid.


The gluten molecule and thyroid cell molecule have a close resemblence and when gluten is found in the body the immune system attacks by accident the thyroid.


So, it is very important to go 100 % gluten free in order to stop the attack, although the immune system has to be balanced as well.


Dr. K. has a newsletter on his site, explaining gluten free living, iodine and the thyroid and hashi and the brain.  He also wrote a book, which is easy to read for everyone. I highly recommend you buying the book, you will get a great understanding of what is happening when someone has hashi. He talkes about the leaky brain, when the immune system in the brain (it has it's own) is attacking the brain because of hashimoto.


I am in the protocol since March and am doing much better. Dr. K. trained chiropractor around the country to treat hashi sufferer. It is a long process.


I am now able to work for about 30 min in the yard, my cholesterole dropped 30 points.


I was also diagnosed with fibromyalgia, which is not the true diagnosis, since the gluten caused my muscles to stiffen up and I could not walk properly, also, my immune system attacked my cerebellum and I had coordination problems. My endo diagn. me with fibro, but I hardly have any muscle pain anymore, because I follow dr. k's protocol.


I had hairloss, dry skin, hair, eyes, which all subsided.I was on 75 mcg Levoxyl and now I am OFF thyroid medication. I was lucky that my thyroid is not destroid, even my TPO's are 15000, no typo. I need a blood test again and will see that it has dropped, i am sure. Dr. K's talkes about hashi people getting either off thyroid meds or taking less, which lessens the chance of osteoporosis. Once the body heals, the thyroid can do it's job again, the liver is detoxed T4 will be actually produced, and converted into T3 and also let into the cells.


If you want to email me privately, do so through my website, just add Pete from the fresh loaf in the subject line.


I would like to know how you and your docs . treated your wife in order to get her better.


Oh, yesterday, I took my gluten free Sourdough and tried some gf flour mixes, will bake today. I let it soak over night, looks really bubbly. I am so exited. My kitchen looks kind of like in the past, when I was baking whole grain bread.


Pete, get your wife off gluten and iodine, I could save her a lot of trouble in the future.


I would love to talk to you and or to your wife privately, I am on facebook where doc. k. is also and we have created support groups for hashi and dr. k's protocol. I need support in order to get through this. My husband did not even make me something to eat while I was bedridden (at that time i did not know about the gluten , so, anything would have been fine). You must love your wife very much.


Linda

bnom's picture
bnom

I spent the 70s living in a cabin with no electricity. We grew, threshed, ground our own wheat and I baked in a wood stove. Sometimes we used the yeast from the wine we made. Those were excellent breads!


I figured out early on that long cool rises produced superior breads. I do wish I knew back then about the stretch and fold technique...it would have saved me a lot of kneading!


What I'm grateful for is that I learned to bake bread by developing my touch/instinct.


 


 

shansen10's picture
shansen10

I grew up with a Mom and Grandma who made homemade bread, so I knew a little.  Last year a friend gave me some sourdough starter, and that got me started.  I have kept it going, took one basic class, and seek every opportunity to bake; I give away a lot of bread.


I am a "lurker" on this website; haven't made anything yet that I am proud enough of to share.  I especially love and want to learn more about whole grain breads.


I would dearly love to take a class in artisan baking someday.  It would have to include baking with a wood-fired oven.  I saw the video "Bles D'Or" and it almost made me cry.  There is something magical about bringing the grain from the earth, making the dough, baking it and eating it comunally.

patricia hains's picture
patricia hains

As others have posted, Carl Shavitz teaches artisan bread classes both in the US and in Italy on a wood fired oven.  So keep that in mind for your someday...and I am right there with you about bread.  As a fellow student said to me about half way through our class with Carl..."once you have taken this class, the bread will haunt you...So true.

shansen10's picture
shansen10

Regarding taking a class someday, has anyone taken classes at the John C Campbell camp in North Carolina?  Living in Florida, that would be the closest place I know of that  I could go to.


I've been baking with sourdough for a year and feel that I am at least at an intermediate level.  I fear paying lots of money and ending up in a beginner class.  At the same time, I know I have lots to learn.

Blue Skies's picture
Blue Skies

I know Carl has taught in Florida.  You can look and see if anything is coming up, or probably contact him at www.artisanbread.com.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

When I moved to Maine in 2001 I had baked a lot of cakes, but never seriously bread. Living in Bangor where there's a great bagel shop, but otherwise only supermarket shelves full of "Wonderbreads", I started baking my own bread out of shere desperation.


With a sourdough recipe from a French cookbook I just tried and tried over and over again with different flour mixes, different temperatures and baking times, creating many extremely chewy "bricks" on my way, until I finally was able to produce the regular German everyday sourdough rye (Feinbrot) I was used to from Hamburg.


Fascinated by "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" I ventured into the realm of white French and Italian breads and learned using cold fermentation and steam (improving my German bread by a quantum leap, too).


From there, with more time at hand, I baked more and more enthusiastically, also whole grain breads, and re-wrote all my German bread baking recipes. Since 2 years I have a home processors' license and bake regularly for a local natural food store.


In rural Maine there were no bread baking classes (now I give some) - I had to teach myself by reading baking books and a lot of trial and error.


I'm proud to say that when I last time visited my hometown Hamburg I found my breads superior to most I have had there.


 


 

PeterPiper's picture
PeterPiper

A few years ago I got a copy of the no-knead bread recipe from the New York Times. Here's how my very first loaf of bread came out:


No Knead bread


I'm glad it turned out so well!  I learned that you can make bread as good as the best bakery bread, from your own home with your bare hands.  I began to bake more and more until we couldn't eat it all, so I was giving it away to friends, neighbors, and co-workers.  Then I thought I'd start selling a little, just to cover costs.  I briefly looked into making it an official business, but my homestate of California is incredibly strict about food processing facilities, and I didn't have the time, money, or interest in renting a space and buying commercial equipment, just so I could continue my hobby.  So I sell to neighbors by calling it "an ingredient donation" and have a pretty good client base who have weekly bread subscriptions.  I have eight breads on the menu and change them a few times a year.  For me, I'm just about at the "sweet spot", where I get to bake multiple times a week, all my costs are covered plus some, and I get to work on new recipes or continue to tweak my own (c'mon, rustic sourdough!).  For me, I love being the kitchen and experimenting, and bread gives me incredible satisfaction, whether it's seeing my daughter gobble up a slice of molasses flax wheat bread, or handing out loaves of ciabatta at dinner, or seeing people close their eyes as they taste a homemade hamburger bun for the first time in their lives.  Thanks to the great people on TFL and the books by Reinhart and Hammelman, I've come from my first no-knead bread to a real rustic sourdough without any formal training.   


-Peter


http://psoutowood.wordpress.com

victoria louise's picture
victoria louise

My mom taught me to bake bread when I was ten years old.  She said my loaves were beautiful.  For all I know, they may have been ugly as sin, but her positive response to my loaves motivated me.  She died when I was twelve, but have cherished that time with her for the rest of my life (I am now 52).  But I have always loved the feel of dough, and the challenge of forming beautiful loaves.  Creating a flavorful loaf came years later. 


I absolutely love a challenge, and was inspired to make the perfect French baguette in my own humble little oven at home.  I didn't perfect my French baguette to a superior level until I opened up my own chesse, sandwich, and bake shop.  I think it took three years of practice to get it to a level I was proud of and could replicate consistently.  Iwent to Paris three years ago, and was so pleased that my baguettes were every bit as good as the Paris bakers (better in some cases).  While in Paris, I visited Poilane's.  I stood in front of the small shop, peering into the window like a child, excited for the shop to open.  The woman who unlocked the door knew how excited I was, and invited me to go down to the basement to watch the baker.  A highlight of my life!  When I returned to my shop in the states, I had to try and replicate Poilane's Pain de Compagne.  I also proudly displayed my shipped Poilane loaves (one with the P, the other with the harvest decoration) on my baker's rack.  The loaves were instantly recognized by wonderful foodie customers.  Ispired by Poilane, I came up with new original recipes for my shop, used mostly for my sandwiches.


In closing, loving bread, bread baking, is a passion that is hard for me to put into words.  The feel of dough, the daily challenge to strive toward another personal best in creating a beautiful, handcrafted masterpiece.  It is art.  It is chemistry.  It is love.


By the way, Eric Kayser is giving Poilane's a run for their money these days in Paris.  Anyone going to Paris, give Kayser's bread a try.


Victoria Louise

BakerBen's picture
BakerBen

Victoria Louise,


It is great to have memories like you describe - especially about your Mom.  I am 56 and both my parents have passed away now - I was very close to my Mom even as an adult, she was more like a friend to me and many others.  She loved art and gardening.  All this rambling to say that I believe we are closest to the ones we have loved, and who have died, when we are doing the things that we know they loved - for me it is when I am tending my herb garden.


Now on to France and Poilane - here are two YouTube URLs which I believe were posted on TFL a while back that are on Lionel Poilane.  I hope you will enjoy them and think of Paris and good bread.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxD1PKli8mE&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4RiJs1a92U


Ben

victoria louise's picture
victoria louise

Dear Ben,


Thank you so much for he Max Poilane links.  I am such a big fan of Poilane.  And you are so wonderfully correct in your observation that we become close to those we love, especially after they have passed, when doing something they loved.  What a lovely sentiment.


With gratitude,


Victoria Louise

hanseata's picture
hanseata

What a nice story!

Maeve's picture
Maeve

I trawled for various recipes and I always saw bread recipes.  Most of them stated 4-6 cups flour, punch down, blah blah.  One time it would turn out well, other times it was a brick.  I was always frustrated.  Then I went on the great Quest For Pizzeria Thin Crust Pizza!  Found a poolish style dough that worked well, bought a Fibrament stone and that made it even better, but I always wanted to bake bread.  Especially the style of hoagie buns that a local pizza shop bakes.  Loved their bread, but the ingredients weren't always top quality.  And any bakery or grcoery store around here that does bake 'artisan' bread thinks that it has to hace a hard, crispy crust.  So I trawled the internet for tips, stumbled on to this site, found Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice in my library and it was like an epiphany - I finally discovered the reasons why I used to be so inconsistent - it was *me*, it was the recipes!  When I weigh my ingredients rather than go by volume I get consistently excellent bread.  When I chuck it in the fridge overnight it developes that sweet, nutty flavour.  I don't have to have a rock hard crust!  And by rearranging procedures a bit I finally found a way to make those hoagie rolls using PR's poolish ciabatta recipe.


 


I lurk on this site and rarely contribute because most of you have already done all the things I do.  :)  A few years ago I bought a Nutrimill and settled on a recipe for my basic sandwich bread, mostly whole wheat, some KA bread flour, some corn meal, barley syrup, olive oil, salt and yeast.  I finally have a pizza dough recipe I settled on and I'm still working on techniques.  My favourite baguette recipe was found on TFL - Anis Bouabsa's recipe.  I recently used that recipe with less water and made some bagels - they weren't 'proper' bagels, but my family liked them.  Trying to make whole wheat bagels, but it's not working as well.


 


Anyway.  That's been about the last ten years or so.  It's been about four years since I discovered this site and the BBA.  I'm contemplating tackling Sourdough next.  :)

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Traditional Chinese cooking does not involve baking, so I never even used my oven until the end of 2008. Around November, I wanted to make a cake for my mother's birthday (Feb the next year). Not just any cake, the kind soft spongy chiffon cake that Asian bakeries sell. I got online, checked my favorite Chinese baking websites, forums and blogs. Learned and practiced, by Feb, mom got a big chocolate chiffon cake (with whipped cream roses and all), and I have fallen in love with baking.


My husband and I don't eat sweets much, but we both love bread, even more so than rice. That's my motivation to learn to bake bread. Chinese breads are similar to Japanese breads, soft, spongy, slightly rich. Love them but want something more. Then I got the book "Artisan Bread in 5 minutes A Day". A lot of people here don't like that book, but it aims at getting newbies started baking artisan breads, and does it very effectively. The day after I got and read the book, I went out and bought a baking stone and mixed up a batch of dough. The third day, I baked my first loaf. That was Spring of 2009, since then artisan breads have become a serious hobby.


-Raised my starter following BBA method, it had its first birday last Apirl, still bubbly and strong


-Participated BBA challenge and finished it earlier this year. It's like "Artisan Bread 101" for me, experiencing different types of breads one by one.


-from TFL, learned so many great techniques, formulas, and bread knowledge, including S&F, various baguette formulas, the art of fermentation, how to score, how to steam, etc. Just like the Chinese baking sites, TFL continue to be my source of new knowledge and inspiration


-Started my own Chinese baking blog (http://blog.sina.com.cn/txfarmerying), introducing "western" style artisan breads and desserts to Chinese audience. The blog has reached 1 million hits last week.


-Last but not the least, I finished translating "ABin5" to Chinese back in May, now waiting for its release in China. Funny how life comes full circle!


 


Even though I am completely self tought, I do think classes and prefessional instructions are valuable. I am registered for a SFBI weekend workshop at the end of this month, very looking forward to that!


 


I am a software engineer by day, and love my job, but I often day dream I can apprentice at a bakery, so I can score hundreds of baguettes every day! I bet that will improve my skills!

amauer's picture
amauer

led me to bake bread. My mother was Swedish and made good Swedish rye, other breads and her specialties, Butterhorn rolls and Swedish Coffee Ring. When she passed away when I was 18, and my older sister in Germany, I had no choice but to learn. My Dad actually was a very good cook and he would usually make the meals and I would do the marketing, make breads and desserts. He was a young boy in a large family of a Lutheran Minister and wasn't old enough to work in the fields, so he helped his mother in the kitchen standing on a stool. I think it is funny that he once told me men are good in the kitchen because recipes are like box scores. I never undterstood the obsession with the stats and can see what he means how now the men and women present the recipes in the ratio and percentages of hydration, etc. The formulas are much easier to follow than an actual recipe and the hands on experience to know the feel is so important. My mother had a brother who loved to bake and sent her recipes and one was from back in the 60's he had won a Blue Ribbon at the fair for his French Bread. I am sure it was quite unusual in Iowa at the time. I still have those neat hand written letters with recipes in her old cookbooks. It is fun to learn what my Grandmother and mother knew about "make sponge of..." which I never undertsood until now.


I became the person that had to bring these things to family events and still am expected to bring the butterhorn rolls, a rich butter and egg dough similar to Challah. I bought a bread book by Beth Hensperger quite a few years ago and began baking more when I got a Kitchen Aid mixer. I then much later stumbled upon this site and other Artisan bread recipes, and it had never dawned on me that I could bake good Arisan bread in my oven at home. It certainly is not like that many of you people make, authentic and on a wood stove, but my family and co-workers are quite fond of my strange obsession. I have to bake something until I get it right and make the adjustments that I need. The crows love my flops. My best first bread is a Cooks Illustrated Rustic Italian which uses the stretch and fold. The steam and oven temp were all new to me, but that is one I feel pretty good about as a "go to" bread. I am into my sourdough now and have to expand on to rye and wheat recipes. I have always loved to bake, but recently made muffins for a few weeks until satisfied with my basic recipe. I am also a good gourmet cook to a point. My son is a Chef, but I think I hold my own pretty well, especially with sauces. I love making desserts and just bought David Liebovitz' new book, waiting for it to come!!! Yay! My dogs love it too! MY bread is a work in progress as well all are.

amauer's picture
amauer

That is so fascinating! I intend to check it out! I had some good luck scoring this week (with sourdough). I have tried lots of different knives and a razor, but Sunday, I grabbed a serrated tomato type knife (looks like a small serrated fish fillet knife). Wow! I got nice cuts that opened up well and I had good control. Silly, I know, but it has frustrated me so. Andrea or Andy

Blue Skies's picture
Blue Skies

wow, I'm humbled by these stories.


This is fantastic.

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

What an incredible dialog "string"!  Here's my story:  I had baked challah weekly for years.  When we moved up to "wine country," I contacted my cousin's wife, who was beginning a commercial venture.  She was baking flatbreads and has since gone big-time.  She had started a bread-bakers' group (which didn't last too long unfortunately), and I brought my challah to my first meeting with them.  She said she'd swap techniques with me, teaching me sourdough if I'd teach her challah.  When it came time for sourdough, she gave me a lump of starter--and that was the start of it all!  That starter "family" lasted 3 years--until I froze it when going on vacation.  It died!  (Guess I didn't have the right technique--suggestions welcomed, as another vacation's coming up!)  So I started my starter again, using Maggie Glezer's recipe in "Artisan Baking Across America" (my first bread book).  It worked beautifully (here I am 2 years later w/ it's progeny)--and I've been baking "artisan" sourdough just about every week, sometimes plain, sometimes w/ olives, sometimes seeded, boules, epis, batards.  I graduated to Hamelman's "Bread," which has been a handbook for technique for me.  I've given breads away to friends and have decided to keep this wonderful, passionate "hobby" just that!  (Yup, I thought about going pro, but since I recently retired and now have a grandchild--another source of delight--who needs the hassle?)  I just began baking savory crackers (Reinhart's newest challenge, too!)--rosemary/olive oil/pepper; cheese/walnut coins . . . just the beginning!  Now, because of a friend's incredible bread, I've discovered fresh yeast and found a lovely bakery in Healdsburg that's willing to sell me a pound of it!  So I just baked my first (chocolate-cinnamon) babka--omigosh!  I viewed it as a trial run (a good idea in general I think), but it was amazing nevertheless.  Of course, TFL has been a wonderful on-line community and classroom, and I love the pictures and videos that people incorporate.  Now I just have to figure out how to include pictures of my own.  Any suggestions?


Joyful Baker

Yolandat's picture
Yolandat

Hi Joyful Baker 


I am with Blue Skies totally humbled by all of the tremendous giving people on this site. The encouragment and advice is wonderful. I have little bread advice to give but I can tell you how to get pictures on the site. I use picassa to save my pictures then resize them(I think I used 640 pixels) and save it to desktop. Then compose my comments and click on the tree icon in the top of the comment section click on the image url browse box at the end of the row. Then  load in the top line and choose file. that will take you to your computer to choose your picture. you will then see your picture in the list of files. Click on it and then click on insert. Good luck. I look forward to seeing your creations. I too started out making challah and am going on from there. 

buzzy's picture
buzzy

I've posted this elsewhere on TFL site but thought I'd add it to this thread too.


I live near Cambridge in the UK and happened to hear on BBC local radio that Carl Shavitz was giving a public demonstration at a local Windmill as part of the Lammas Festivities. I arrived at the appointed hour and the place was packed. That was my first surprise, all these bread enthusiasts. I also have to report that it was inspirational. He was, first and foremost, enthusiastic, as well as being a brilliant performer (as was his young assistant), clear in his explanations, willing to answer questions, and funny to boot. He cleverly had breads in various stages of production so each of us could witness, and have a go, at each stage. Breads were coming out of the oven at regular intervals so that we could taste the breads. They were fantastic. I'm absolutely serious, the best breads I've ever eaten. Focaccia, both traditional and sweet as well as sourdoughs. All made with flours from Foster's Mill where the demonstration took place. I'm a convert.

patricia hains's picture
patricia hains

It is always good to see a post about Carl Shavitz.  I agree with you 100%.  I took his five day course in Italy and it has transformed my life.  He is coming to the US in October of this year to do one of his famous five day classes...in Olympia WA.  If anyone is interested, go to his website at www.artisan-breadschool.com.  I have his class information listed on my website as well.  www.hainshouse.com


 

Prairie19's picture
Prairie19

What an interesting thread.


I'm a home baker and make a loaf or two per week.  Nearly all of my information about bread baking comes from books, magazines and TFL.  Here is my list of sources and what I learned from them:


The Betty Crocker Cookbook - Standard straight dough white bread.


Mother Earth News (Magazine) - Susan Sikse's recipe for oatmeal bread. "THE BEST BREAD RECIPE IN THE WORLD"


Organic Gardening and Farming (Magazine) - The sponge method (preferment) for making 100% whole wheat bread and rolls.


Wisconsin Public Radio - This is where I first heard about the NYT Times no-knead bread and how to bake it in a Dutch oven.


Jeffrey Hamelman's book "Bread" - Here I learned the importance of measuring ingredients by weight rather than volume, how to use baker's percentages, how to shape and score free-form loaves, and how to create a sourdough starter from scratch.


The Freash Loaf - Using a cloche to achieve outstanding bloom and grigne.


So there is my list.  For me the most significant improvements to my bread baking came from learning about pre-ferments, measuring by weight instead of volume and using a cloche.


Prairie19


 

Peasant Baker's picture
Peasant Baker

3 years ago, I had mentioned to the head baker that I would like to learn to make bread. A week later I was on the bread shift. A real stroke of luck.

buzzy's picture
buzzy

Just to let you know that I'm practicing what I preach.  I've signed up for the 5-day course in Italy with Carl Shavitz in May 2011.


Can't wait.


Hope to meet some of you there.

patricia hains's picture
patricia hains

Wonderful!  I took the class in May 2009 in Italy...fabulous!  Carl is teaching the five day class in Olympia WA in October.  Class is completely maxed out...You will love the class and Italy, of course! Good for you!