The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

From biology to baking

Scientist_newbie's picture

From biology to baking

Hi all,

this is my first post here, but I've been following for a while.

I'm a biologist, but not a microbiologist. Still, I spent a very enjoyable period working with brewer's yeast some years back. Now I'd like to learn how to bake good bread at home.

I moved to a new country at the beginning of this year. My family is small - just the three of us - as is our freezer. The bread you can buy here is fine and crusty, but it doesn't keep well, ends up as hard as a rock the very next day. And, as I said, our freezer is too small to freeze our leftover bread. So, I'd like to create some bread that keeps.

I'd done some very amateur baking before, but I'm embarking upon this project from necessity. I followed the lessons on this site and baked some fine poolish bread (that kept for days!) and started my own SD starter from SourdoLady's recipe. So far, I'm doing things by volume, not weight (which I realize is the less exact way to go about it), but I'm trying to develop a feel for what I like and what I don't. I want this to be a hobby at this point, not another science project - enough of that at work - though I don't mind using my science background to make decisions in baking.

The kind of bread I like is crusty, but with a soft-ish crust, with holes, but not necessarily airy. I don't mind slightly underdone. So, kind of imperfect, but that's what I've been producing so far. I'm looking forward to learning a lot from this community; it's great to find this sort of resource on the web, and for free!

Happy baking, everyone!

Mebake's picture

Hi , Scientist!

Welcome to TFl!

All Preferments contribute to lasting bread, wheather a poolish, Biga, Levain (SD).

Fats such as oil or butter, or milk or yogurt also contribute to the same.

Welcome again to your home.

highmtnpam's picture

Welcome to TFL.  You will learn so much here...and there are lots of fellow scientists that can explain why and how.  Pam

clazar123's picture

Welcome and have some delicious fun!

It is always so interesting to hear the different flours and ingredients used by members on this international site. Will you be using wheat flour? Whole wheat? All purpose?

My "recipes" are turning into rather loose guidelines, lately, but the bread is delicious. It just makes it hard to share. And just when I think I've pretty much got it all covered, someone comes up with another technique or concept.

HAve fun!