The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Trying to come back to baking

janij's picture

Trying to come back to baking

I have been gone from baking and TFL for a LONG while.

In January we got to move into the little farmhouse we bought in East Texas.  It is an old farmhouse and it needed MAJOR repairs.  This is not the cause of my bread baking hiatus though.  My oven was the issue.  The previous owners took the electric oven with them.  I saw this a a wonderful thing since I HATE electric cooktops.  As in I burn everything on them.  Now electric ovens I don't mind, but I am also a cheap soul by nature.  So I lucked out and got a new, but very generic propane stove.  I was so excited.  I brought my quarry tiles, all my bread making supplies and dove in.  The dough would be perfect and the oven would not cook hot enough for me to get decent results.  That is frustrating.  To say the least.  I brought my sourdough starter from Houston and it worked so much better here.  But still the oven would not get hot enough to cook right.  I gave some of my starter to a friend who had never baked and he got wonderful results.  Now I have had MAJOR issues with sourdough.  It would turn to chewing gum basically.  I think it got too acidic in Houston.  Or like me it just thought the place sucked, pardon my language.  Now that I had a lovely starter and a not really working stove I got occupied painting, gardening, canning, making beer and wine, and buying and raising chickens, donekys and cows.  But I kept wanting to bake.

So I went back to square one on the oven.  I knew that the whole thing just didn't get hot enough, burners and all.  So I went back to Lowes, talked with a plumber, etc.  Then finally I started to get low on propane and called the prpane man out.  He is in his 70's at least.  I told him my problem and he said he would look at it.  Come to find out, the conversion kit for the lp to propane had not been done right by my husband.  I wanted to kiss that man.  As a matter of fact I have $50 for him in my drawer the next time he comes out.

So now I have a working propane ove.  And propane gets hot!  Plus I have an awesome starter.  And I finally, I mean FINALLY bake true sourdough bread with out having to spike it with yeast.  I have made a sanwich type loaf and Vermont Sourdough from Bread.  Or I should call it Berryville Sourdough.

So thanks to everyone here.  I kept checking in, and drooling over everyone's breads.  And it would make me sad.  But i am so happy to have figured out the problem and also to have a working sourdough!!!

I can't get the pictures resized so I am attaching a Flickr link.

As alwys this is a fabulous forum and I am blessed to be a part of it!



LindyD's picture

I love old farmhouses; they have character and history and you're lucky to have found one.  True, restoring them is a lot of work, but worth it.  Hope you have a big old-fashioned farm kitchen, pantry, and lots of acreage.

Your Berryville SD looks good - I trust you were forgiving and shared it with your hubby?

janij's picture

I was.  I didn't care.  I just wanted to oven to work!!

We have 12 acres.  Which is enough for now.  The kitchen is big and has lots of cabinets, but I don't think we have enough storage.  Can you ever have enough storage?

dstroy's picture

There is never enough storage - ever. :)


btw, if you have your pictures on Flickr you can write and then when you want to put a picture in, you can use the new tools that Flickr has by clicking on the picture you want to share and at the top it says "Share This" and in the menu you pick: "Grab the HTML/BBCode" and then you click "BBCode" and copy and paste that stuff into your post here and it'll look like a bunch of text until you save it.


Like this:

IMG_5148 by janijeane, on Flickr

janij's picture

That is cool.  I have an SLR camera and I think the photos are to large to just upload.  And I don't know how to resize!  THANK YOU!!  :)

EvaB's picture

stoves and the fact that ovens aren't so bad, but I burned half of dinner every year I was forced to cook on the electic stove, I could cook on a pump up camp stove going down river in a jet boat, but forget food on the electric stove.

Got a gas stove one year, never managed to get it hooked up, finally moved, used it for several years the only problem with it was the fact that it was an appartment sized 24 inch wide stove. Small top, small oven, frustration!

Finally wound up with a fabulous stove, and the oven is great as well, although I did find its about 25 degrees cool, as long as I compensate for that, it cooks great! And bonus, when we have a power out, I can still cook food, and heat water for coffee, and