i recently found the fresh loaf site, and have been nibbling and gobbling my way through hours of posts, recipes, links---what a treat! though i've been baking bread for many years, i've pretty much stuck to an old (old, old) reliable bread machine recipe, and, decades after dumping the bead machine and receiving a heavy-duty mixer, i adapted that recipe to make focaccia, pizza, ww breakfast, and quite a number of bread-like things that i'd rather not mention. but living in hawaii, about which i promise i will not complain, makes me hunger for the great artisan breads i've eaten on the mainland. no bakery here puts out anything similar, possibly due to the even temperatures and misty humidity. don't know--just hungry for great bread. so....i've been branching out and baking and collecting some new equipment and reading about baking and baking some more and having a very happy time!
one comment on the web site--excellent, helpful, easy to access, most generous site that it is--and this is not a complaint, either: there are so, so many recipes and formula and tips and what-not, it is immediately apparent you can do just about anything you want with flour and water, and you'll have bread at the end. or at least a bread-like food form, delicious to ducks. i'd been searching for the "best" recipe when i found the site, and now i'm very clear that is like seeking the "best" song. it is a little scary with all these winds of possibility ruffling my recipe pages, but i'm certain i'm completely safe here. thank you for that.
okay, today i used the psomi bread recipe to make a wonderful orange prune breakfast bread--because the recipe looked yummy, and i didn't have some of the ingredients, and i've had this bag of prunes sitting in the cupboard since my mother was here. no buttermilk in the house (possibly no buttermilk on the island, at least i've never seen it) so i used yogurt, and no sesame seeds but plenty of orange peel to zest. there's plenty of yeast in this buggah, so i got a nice rise, soft crumb, and an easily managed dough. half the loaf disappeared when it came out of the oven after lunch--and we were full, we thought, already. the second loaf will tell the tale of the crumb and interior structure as it's actually cooled intact (so far). no photos, but just picture a whole grain loaf from a bread pan with flecks of orange peel and teensy bits of prune (i think it smushed up in the knead).
i must say, when i read the threads i often think, geez, if you're wondering why your bread didn't turn out like the picture above the recipe, just note that you made so many, many alterations that it's a new recipe entirely. hah. i can't seem to follow a recipe as written, and not only because i don't have the ingredients or the right pans or whatever. i think baking taps into a deep creative reservoir, and each bowl of dough is a fresh expression of our humanity. that's what i tell the family when they ask, "what was this supposed to be," anyway.
a hui hou