The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello from Minneapolis, MN

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yam's picture

Hello from Minneapolis, MN

Hello all,

I've just stumbled upon this site and followed the first lesson to create a loaf of passable bread.  That simple introduction has broken over 30 years of trepidation to baking.  I actually feared baking as "I can't bake."

Nonsense.  I can bake, and this site has helped.  The weird thing is that I have cooked professionally, so I know my way around a kitchen, but I use the cook's convenient excuse, "I can cook fine, but I just can't bake."  Now, I've just completed an orgy of leavened goodness.  I have baking books, but I've taken two of them and followed the first recipes and completed them both.

The first recipe from Jim Lahey's My Bread, had me create a bread that my wife and I just cut into; we're absolutely stunned at the result.  I can't believe I went from fearing yeast and flour to something that magnificent.  I messed up and made the dough a touch too wet and it stuck to the towel on the second fermentation, but I was still able to get it into the hot pot and cook up a loaf of bread that, a week ago, was completely unimaginable to me.

I have now also just put my first two loaves in from Ed Brown's The Tassajara Bread Book.  These two books couldn't be more different and that's why I made the first loaf in each.  Ed's more hands-on method of stir, knead, punch, punch, roll and bake was the type of baking that I feared most; I thought I would mess up in some way and then regret that I started again.  I followed his marvelous examples to the letter and I may have a couple of nice loaves waiting for me (they haven't finished baking yet -- I'm nervous as all get out).

Anyway, I appreciate this site and push I got from the simple first lesson.

I fear that once yeast and flour get in your veins, you're doomed...


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Caught the flour bug alright.  Welcome to TFL!  How's the snow?  Heard Minn got hit with a little.  Nothing like snow outside and fresh warm baked bread inside even in the wee hours of the morning!   Glad to hear you jumped over your shadow and your life will never be the same... (the shadow knows...)

Well, those loaves must be out of the oven by now.  Take a picture for us before it cools too much.  Hope you got some shots of those first loaves too.   Clear a shelf in the pantry for all your new baking stuff and loaf along with us!

Mini in S.Korea


yam's picture

I have a blog called Recipes and Ruminations and I've posted pictures there.  Thanks for the warm welcome.  The bread turned out well enough.  It looks like I need to work on my loaf shaping as the oven spring nearly took the top off...

clazar123's picture

I felt the same way 2 years ago and can now produce some delicious breads. I had to overcome years of "unlearning" what I thought I was supposed to do to make bread.When I realized I needed to start from the beginning, I finally started learning.

This is a fantastic site to journey on.Worldwide experience of all levels and wonderful support.

Have fun and keep baking! That is how you learn. And look around at all the tools you can re-purpose in your cupboard. Look at all the pots and casseroles with a new eye.My favorite "loaf pan" is a corning 1 1/2 qt rectangle. One 3-4 cup (of flour) recipe makes 2 nice loaves for our household of 2.

Optionparty's picture

There is the "St. Paul Bread Club" & they are also on Facebook.
They have several meetings in various areas of the TC's.

You can meet other bakers, and gain from their experiences.
Techniques are difficult to learn from reading only.


yam's picture

I've sent an email to be allowed access to the forums.  Thanks for the hint.

JoeV's picture

Now you have entered the slippery slope from which there is no escape. Bread will forever be part of your life, and you'll never be the same again. You'll critique every loaf of bread and every dinner roll that finds its way in front of you at mealtime, and you'll not rest until you have baked that "perfect" loaf of bread. Welcome to our world. Bwahahahahahahahaha...