Hello from Germany
My name is Marco and I am from Germany, in the mid-20s and recently found this wonderful bread community which I am really thankful for.
So how did I get here? Well, the story began this Feburary. I didn't have any serious bread baking experience before and some day I wanted to try to make pizza for dinner and picked a random recipe from the internet, one of the quick ones with a lot of yeast that is done from start to finish in less than 2 hours. Needless to say, I wasn't really satisfied with it and asked myself why the pizza from restaurants tastes so much different. After a little bit of research I found out about things like "pizza stones" and "long and cold fermentation", both of which I had never heard before. So I just bought a pizza stone out of curiosity and tried to mess around with my dough without really knowing what I'm doing as I didn't really find useful information about indirect methods of developing doughs. I just put some ingredients together and kneaded them and put them in the fridge and kneaded them again and so on. When I finally baked the pizza, I was blown away by the taste of it.
Incidentally I found out that pizza stones are also useful for baking breads. And then my hunger for more information began to develop. Some time later I found this site and the recipe for the Poolish Ciabatta and I tried baking it. Although, based on my current experience in baking, it was a rather poor result (it was hardly browned and really flat), that time I was so happy to have made my first own "real" bread that even tasted like nothing I had ever bought in shops before.
Again a little later, I found out about sourdoughs. Luckily, I found a German website that gives detailed instructions so one week later I had my first own spelt sourdough. It actually took about two more months of caring for it before it really was strong enough to work without any additional yeast but it really changed my whole everyday life.
During the last months I became seriously infected with bread baking and tried out different kinds of bread and read a lot of online articles. A few days ago, I ordered some books like "Bread Science" to get a little more insight.
Although I'm still far away from producing really good and constant results, I am really happy about having started all this and really thankful for all the work that is done by all of you for providing all the really detailed and inspiring information. Even more I like the friendly atmosphere in this community, with people who always show a lot of patience and respect for each other.
In order to end my introduction, here is a picture of the what I've baked most recently: some croissants (without egg wash). I don't have a lot of experience with croissant doughs yet and I'm not the sweet pastry person in general, but I'm experimenting this week, so my dough isn't as smooth as it should be, but the crumb was really soft and tasty and you could seperate the inner dough layers from each other.
And here, since I don't know the English word for it, some "Nussschnecken" (Nuss = nut, Schnecken = snails) or "Nussplunder" (Plunder = sweet pastry made from croissant-like dough), which I baked a few minutes ago for tomorrow. Maybe I will glaze them with something, haven't decided yet. It's almost midnight here, so sorry for the cold lighting.