The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Anonymous baker's picture
Anonymous baker (not verified)


Well Hello People...Now lets see...I am 64, of Irish decent, handicapped, artist, old hippie, a miser, an excellent cook...and a lousy baker!! 

I cook everything I can from scratch.  I make my own salt pork,  headcheese, all soups, stews, pickled anything.  Soy milk, rice milk,  tofu and some easy cheeses, oh etc etc.  BUT I can't make a good bread! 

Just in the last two weeks I have wasted a ten pound bag of flour.   So I now have bags and bags and bags of crumbs  lol Did you know that dried out olive and tomato bread makes great crumbs?  lol  I just let the faliures dry out and grind,  They make excellent savory crumb crust for pies which I CAN make.  Also good for Italian Bread Soup, and crumb crust for casseroles.

Since I am retired on handicap pension and single I have lots of time to mess up breads.  Hey I am good at that too LOL   So it's back to square one....again.

I do not have a bread machine. I do not have a Kitchen Aid whatever to knead with.  Just two hands and a kitchen counter.  so tomorrow is french bread...plain. white and hopefully risen. 

Today bread crumbs...tomorrow BREAD???


AnnaInMD's picture

hope you find this site as entertaining and educational as I have.

Anna of German descent :)

Przytulanka's picture

but do you have sourdough starter?

 I'm a Polish woman who started baking bread about four years ago when I arrived to NY. As you I had only my hands, bag of flour, yeast and the recipe for no knead bread. Now I bake  2-3 times a week and I love it. (my blog I stiil have no Kitchen Aid or bread machine. There's no need. Sourdough is a key to  good bread. And patience. 

Good luck!




RuthieG's picture

Gee you sound like you are in the same spot I was a few years back.  I can't tell you how many times I said......"I give up".....but bread making was so fascinating to me that I always found myself back in front of that bag of flour and mixer.  I used to read that you'll know when it's's all about the feel........I swear to you, there is never just one problem but usually a combination.....mine was knowing how much flour and how long to knead.  I have learned that if you put enough flour into a bread to make it a brick bat..that's what you get........I've also learned the feel of the dough.........The minute you "get it" you will know and while every loaf of bread may not be perfect, you'll have more good than bad.......


Since you say you have plenty of time, flour and other ingredients are pretty cheap......Have at it and strive to stay with it.  Pick an easy recipe and don't move on until you conquer that one......


I am almost 72 with arthritis and fibro myalgia and I can still manage to make bread..........Learn the technique, not necessarily the recipe and you will learn bread making.......all this advice from a non expert but someone who has been in the exact same spot where you find yourself........

Plaisham's picture
Plaisham (not verified)

Oh so nice to have people respond.  As to the library...have taken out numerous books but 00 flour keeps popping up. MWYM:  Will look for the King Arthur ones.  Nice to have a name to look for instead of just breadmaking. 

Anna:  yikes..Don't know if I am ready for stater stuff...still trying to get yeast to bubble in proofing.

Hey Ruthie:  lol But will I get it before I go crazy??  and yep still drying out bricks for crumbs.  I think I am impatient, waiting for it to rise.  I am getting really good at muffins and quick breads but hmmm that dang yeast stuff!!! 

 My handicap is from bone leg is steel (titanium)  and only 30 inches of intestine  have interveinous injections of electralites and and and  Has left me with heart condition (afib) from lack of magnesium. and kidneys are failing.  lol was last in line when they handed out bodies.  And dang...just got a perscription for glasses. Now that bugged me  lol

And I can't get to Seattle.  No car, no passport and no money lol  I am in Burnaby BC.

oo two annas lol  to Anna of german decent...My last husband was German.  OOO I make mean sausages.  AND Irish Soda bread. 

Well off to kitchen...soup making until I figure out what to do with all this bread stuff.  lol  you should see my freezer  lol

Dough-No's picture

I have been looking for a good Irish Soda bread recipe that can be made with ingrediants found in Canada.  If you want to share that would be great!!!!



Plaisham's picture
Plaisham (not verified)

OOO too funny... I don't have a recipe.  now lets see  take about 4 cups of flour I usually just have all purpose in house.  Then I put in about 2 teaspoons of soda and sometimes if I remember a good tablespoon of baking powder ( if I am going to use bread pan 'cause everything else if soaking in the sink or my granddaughter put it away somewhere (???) then a cup of buttermilk if I have it..or ordinary milk or powdered milk ( used watered down whipping cream one time)  and about a 1/4 cup..don't you love the 'abouts' lol some sort of fat,  baconfat is nice but only a couple of spoons or it overpowers. or soft butter or  oil . or lard etc.  a bit of sugar hmmmooo about 1/2 cup lol  and maybe an egg if I remember.  and two good handfuls of raisins.  iusually have them soaking in water in fridge cause I use in other things like muffins.  and I hate those hard bits in bread.  Then muck it about on counter and knead or punch around a few times and shape into a big ball and flatten alittle .  or put in breadpan or I sometimes cut into 4 and use those tin bottoms from meat pies.  or put into  SMALL castiron frypan.  I usually brush the top throughout cooking with butter.  I hate hard crusts and the butter browns nicely.  A 350 oven and however long it takes I check after 30 minutes.  oh yeah you can add some sour cream if it look dry...or just for flavour.  And I use razorblade to cut the top of loaf  or it will split open.  but hey a sharp knife will work too 

There now aren't you glad you have the internet address for Allrecipes!!  lol   Im sorry Dough-no  but as you can see there are a million old lady cooks and million soda bread recipes.

And I see you are from Toronto...I was born and raised in Hamilton.  All my family is Irish most from St. Catherines...which is a good 30 or more %.  St Catherines is where most of the Irish settled if they kept going from New York to get to Canada. 

Yep I definately recommend AllRecipes or in fact anywhere but my kitchen.  BUT hey it always somehow turns out tasting good.  You gotta have humour to eat in my house 'cause you never know what's on the menu lol