The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hi all! VERY new to baking yeast breads, but learning!

msgenie516's picture

Hi all! VERY new to baking yeast breads, but learning!

Hi everyone!


I'm really new to yeast baking but I've always wanted to do it, just thought I couldn't.  But I went to BJ's Wholesale Club and found the "KitchenAid Baking Companion" cookbook.  Since it is endorsed by the makers of my "faithful" 22-year-old KitchenAid mixer, I HAD to get it!  It seems to be a fairly simple book, but it gave me the courage to FINALLY tackle baking yeast breads!  And now I'm "hooked"!


I haven't done too much yet, but I've made pizza 2 times (not bad at all), several loaves of white bread (formed by hand and in loaf pans), cinnamon buns (first time was a disaster-the filling melted and stuck to the bottom of the pan but the second time they were very nice and even better with the cream cheese frosting I added), and one rustic rye bread.  Considering it was my first loaf of rye, it wasn't bad at all.  But I did have the help of King Arthur's Deli Rye Flavoring-I liked that a lot!  And besides their medium rye flour, I used their "Sir Lancelot High Gluten Flour" instead of bread flour.


I had much of the equipment I needed but my instant read thermometer was hopelessly slow, so I "bit the bullet" and ordered the Thermapen.  I also had to purchase a pizza peel (got the "Super Peel" one) and a baking stone.  I used the baking stone for both the pizzas and the rye bread (so far).


I am really enjoying this site and I'm sure it will be very helpful!  Genie

swtgran's picture

Welcome, I have been baking since I was a teen.  I won't go to how long ago that was.  I can tell you, with the help of these folks you are bound expand your bread baking and learn many new things.  I am constantly trying new things I learn here.  Terry

matilda's picture

I began abut a year and a half ago and I personally find it addictive, especially since I started my sourdough.




msgenie516's picture

Hi Matilda,


Right now, sourdough is a little scary for me to tackle (catching wild yeast, feeding it, etc.) but maybe one day!


But I would be thrilled just to make the PERFECT rye bread.  I made one (which wasn't bad but not what I wanted), so I have to work on it again.


Thanks for your reply!  Genie

Yerffej's picture

"Perfect" rye bread can be made only with sourdough, something to keep in mind as you go forward.  Do not let sourdough intimidate you, like anything else it is easy once you do it.


Mary Clare's picture
Mary Clare

I really love "Levy's" Real Jewish Rye Bread on page 324 in "The Bread Bible" by Rose Levy Beranbaum.  Maybe it's because it's the one I made first, but I liked it even better than the sourdough version of rye in the same book.   Mmmm!!

Mary Clare in MO

LindyD's picture

All the wild yeast you need is in the flour you use to create the sourdough culture.  No need to worry about how to "catch" wild yeast.

Once you taste a good sourdough rye, you'll make it a point to feed your levain regularly just for the joy of the bread.

matilda's picture

Hi Genie,

Don't be scared because sourdough cultures are not hard to keep at all. I don't have a big family to feed so I bake bread once a week for me and my boyfriend, and that's enough to keep an active culture in the fridge and have leftovers to experiment new stuff (see: the perfect flour tortilla is sourdough )

I had troubles a couple of times stating a starter (whey and grape skins) but you really need nothing but flour and water to "capture" the yeast. The pinapple juice technique came out perfect at first attempt. You only have to feed it once or twice a day for the first 5 days and then you can feed it once every 10 days if you keep it in the fridge.

Also, rye flour ans water worked great the first (and only) time I tried (my cultures are still the first I made and I even moved them from CT to IL by car, pretty resistent...).

You will be suprprised on how easy and fun it is to work with sourdough.

Let us know if you try, and if you have troubles during the process you can still post them here and had somebody to help you!



yozzause's picture

Welcome from AUS Genie stick around and join in the fun, well done filling in your profile feel like i know you already! 

Regards Yozza

msgenie516's picture

Hi Yozza,


I'm glad you found my profile interesting. I do have A LOT of hobbies and now that I've added bread baking to the ever expanding list, I need MORE TIME!


But it's so much fun!  Good luck with all of your endeavors!  Genie

msgenie516's picture

Hi Yozza,


In my last reply, I forgot to mention that I would LOVE to visit Australia but it seems that with my hectic schedule, I don't get more than a few miles from home.


Enjoy your fascinating country!  Genie

ehanner's picture

Glad to see you have the "bug" Genie. I'm looking forward to seeing your work. Learning to respect the dough temp will assure that you get the results you expect in the time you expect. Controlling water temp is critical. An inexpensive Escali scale is another must have for repeatability.


msgenie516's picture

Hi Eric,


Thanks for the advice!  I just purchased a Thermapen thermometer (my old Polder was just too slow so I splurged!) and an OXO Good Grips scale (bought that one because of good reviews but I'm sure the Escali would have done the job, also).


Those two items set me back about $150.00 so, hopefully, I'm all set!  Luckily, I have both a KA heavy duty mixer and a Zo bread machine in case I need it for kneading and a baking stone and peel. Thanks again!  Genie