The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

New from Missouri

Jethompson's picture

New from Missouri

Hi Folks,  I'm from the Kansas City area.  I've been away from baking since 1991.  I was a baker for a large restaurant in Stanley, Kansas fir 20 years before that.  I baked breads desserts and various other item to supply two restaurants.  Largely a self taught baker and although I didn't made hard crusted breads often, they were my passion.  I just never seemed to get a consistant hard crust.  I had a good hard roll recipe, but only occasionally did I get the crispy crust.  Same w/ Italian bread.  During the last of my career I studied under an baker from Italy, but he spoke only Italian and I spoke only english.  I'm still seeking the secrets of consistant Hard, crispy Italian bread with the egg shell looking cracks in the crust.  I have loved this website and hope to keep making good bread.

Talk to you later.  JT

Franko's picture

Welcome JT,

This is a terrific site for amateurs and pros alike. In fact, the amateurs have just as much or more info on the breads and crusts that guys like you and I are looking for, as some of the pros. Like you, I've been baking for my living for a lot of years but never had the exposure to the type of breads often discussed on this site. I've learned more from this site since becoming a member than I have since taking formal training back in 87. Don't abandon your own experience by any means, but keep an open mind to the new techniques and procedures , and I guarantee that the good folks on here will help you to achieve your goal in the same way they have helped me.

It's also a good idea to get a hardbound book for reference as well. For your level of experience I'd recommend Jeffrey Hamelman's ' A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes' . The book is well written and the formulas are solid. Come to think of it I've never seen anyone on this site have anything but praise for it.

Good to have you with us!



Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

You're not the only person from the KC area on this site. I'm up the road in Leavenworth, KS and there are a few more that will probably introduce themselves over the next few days.

The pursuit of the perfect crust is what keeps me learning so you aren't the only one. Just dive in, the pool of knowledge here is deep, wide, and a lot of fun.

pmccool's picture

You realize that "a large restaurant in Stanley, Kansas" almost rises to oxymoron status, right?  Especially in the years before 1991.

Welcome aboard!  Maybe I can look you up when I get back from my stint in South Africa.  There's probably enough of us from the KC area, especially if we stretch to the west to pick up Postal Grunt and to the east to bring in Debra Wink, to have a good-size TFL meet-up.