The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

It is the best of sites, it is the worst of sites ...

Genoa's picture

It is the best of sites, it is the worst of sites ...

To borrow a phrase from a classic, TFL is truly the best and the worst of sites for me.

The best, because I have learned so much reading the posts here, and it is the first place I turn when I confront a problem or question about making bread. The worst because it fuels the perfectionist in me, always setting the bar higher to achieve the "perfect" crust, crumb, etc. I have to be careful to step back and enjoy the process (and the results) as I learn to bake delicious bread for my family---even if I haven't achieved the near-perfect standards so many of the talented people here have produced.

I have been lurking here for a very long time, reading and learning all that I can, and I just want to say thank you to the knowledgeable and helpful people who so generously provide such a wealth of information.

Now I'm off to the Gear section to ask a question which, unbelievably, doesn't appear to have been addressed before (at least as far as my search of the forum has revealed).

pmccool's picture

It is a marvelous site, isn't it?  Glad to have you as one of this merry band of bread heads!


saltandserenity's picture

My son calls us bread freaks.

hanseata's picture

TFL is really bad!

it pulls you in until you get lost in a maze of enticing entries. It fills you brain with too may ideas and your mouth with too much saliva.

It's bad for the character, too, there's no modesty in giving "know-it-all" advice and basking in praise.

It also has something religious, it's full of people looking for the holy grail, and many hapless sinners humbly confessing their errors. Not only that, they do it with photos!

Instead of feeding my starving pets clamoring for their dinner I'm writing this post, recklessly indulging my addiction. Really, really bad!!!

davesmall's picture

Not only is well designed, well organized, and well managed, it also runs on a good platform supporting picture uploads, effective searching, etc. 

The audience here ranges from high-end perfectionists seeking to outdo Poulaine and Reinhart to beginners who don't yet know the difference between sour dough and Bisquick, but want to learn.

There is something here for everyone, whether you're trying to create a masterpiece or an easy every day bread.

My only complaint is that I've been on a quest to duplicate San Francisco Sour Dough bread for the thirty years since I left the Bsy Area and moved to Texas. I am talking about the bread that you find on most all of the better restaurant tables in San Francisco. It has a thick crispy crust, a moist chewy crumb, large holes, and a very sour but pleasant taste and aroma. I've tried dozens of recipes and ordered various dehydrated starters, but so far no luck. The results have produced excellent breads but more like a European sour dough and not nearly so sour as the real thing.

jyslouey's picture

I've learnt so much from TFL and although there are topics that are way beyond my understanding and abiity, I still read a lot of the posts in the hope that I may learn more and improve my bread making skills.  I recently made a raisin loaf using a recipe and technique from David (aka breadmantalking) and Ricihard that I've never tried before and in spite of all my worries that it would be a flop, the bread came out almost perfect.  Another loaf is now undergoing the 1st proof as I type and I'm hoping that this one will turn out better than the last loaf now that I have avoided the mistakes I made the first time.  Thank you TFL and to all my fellow TFlers....

breadmantalking's picture

How did the second batch of raisin bread come out? BTW, thanks for the compliments, I'm glad to help out when I can.


David at:

jyslouey's picture

using s&f plus a bit of kneading, 90 min first rise, approx 45 min 2nd rise with more raisins and a little bit more molasses and cinnamon this time.  It doesn't look much different from the first loaf but the taste is better due to the extra cinnamon and raisins.  I shall post the new pics in the raisin recipe post as it may not be appropriate to post it here.  Thanks.  I may also venture to make a Challah at some point..  I've made this before using my cooking school recipe, but it's not rich enough.  It's a very sticky dough and using the stretch and fold method may improve the texture.



Possibly the only Hongkie on this website. 

amauer's picture

I also have to get things not by any means "perfect", but want to get all that others achieve here as well. So, I do the same types over and over at times. Last week I accidentally put rye in my raisin bread that was intended on being a whole wheat sourdough raisin bread. I couldn't figure out why it was so off from the week before. That batch went to the crows. I didn't notice until I grabbed the same bag thinking it was whole wheat today and now see it was rye. I had 3 batches going and was in too much of a hurry. I also had made David's raisin bread too, a different recipe and that was very good too. Today's turned out rustic, whole wheaty and very nutty and fruity very similar to one posted in February for craisin pecan sourdough wheat! So, maybe I will move on to a sourdough French Baguette that I haven't been thrilled with yet. Maybe I ought to lay off the sourdough a bit and get back to some basics...All this feeding and such. Andrea