The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello Fellow Bread Lovers

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JerryLeeBee's picture
JerryLeeBee

Hello Fellow Bread Lovers

Hello all!

I'm an American who's been living in England these past 4 (5 in October) years.  I'm a lifelong bread lover and began baking it myself about two years ago.

I began with a simple off-the-shelf bread mix, and once I saw how easy it could be I instantly switched to full-blown flour-yeast-water recipes.

I prefer yeast which needs re-activation, as I find I get a more elastic dough (instant yeast lately has been causing my dough to tear too easily...at least I think it's the yeast as that's all I changed to correct the issue!) but have never tried 'fresh' yeast.  I don't use a bread machine, just my huge stainless steel Ikea bowl and my own two hands...but I'm not opposed bread machines either.  I figure any way you can get 'real' bread to your plate is a good way...provided it lasts long enough to touch your plate to begin with!

 I've recently gotten a bit more daring with my loaf-shaping, and have abandoned (not permanently!) my loaf tins.  I've been practicing my hand-formed loaves and they're beginning to look rather respectable.  Picture attachd for your critiques!

Hope to spend lots of time here when not dutifully husbanding and fathering!

 

RonRay's picture
RonRay

Nice looking loaves, Jerry. If you want friendly tips, and good food for thought. TFL is a good place to me :-)

Welcome,

Ron

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

No loaf tins for you, you certainly do not need them.

WTG,

anna

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Lovely.  Those loaves look delicious.

Welcome to the site!

-Floyd

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Jerry,

Your loaves are much more than respectable, they're impressive! Very good shaping and scoring, complimented with an even coloured, crackly crust..doesn't get much better than that. A crumb shot would be nice to see, but from the shape and volume I can assume it's right on par with the rest of the loaf. Nice baking, and welcome to TFL.

Best Wishes,

Franko

JerryLeeBee's picture
JerryLeeBee

Thanks all!  

Anna - I'm using a forming technique from River Cottage's bread book.  It seems to work very well.  I was always nervous about free-forming as I assumed the dough would expand everywhere like a monsterous blob...but these remain nice and tight.  Still like a tin loaf if needs demands...but free-forming is just more 'fun' to me.  Would like to try baguettes!

Franko - I'll be sure to include sliced shots of my next batch.  Hoping to do a few loaves tonight when I get home from work!  I'm still not sure what's considered a 'good' crub...but you can be the judges for me!

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTbh7YOsYmA&NR=1

Will watch this evening !  Thank you Jerry for mentioning River Cottage Baking.

JerryLeeBee's picture
JerryLeeBee

Video blocked in England due to copyright laws...what is it?

 

Have you seen River Cottage's bread book, Anna?

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

sorry that they block the video in the UK.  I havent had a chance to watch yet, but there are several smaller ones and I have seen one where he shows how to form and tighten the dough.

JerryLeeBee's picture
JerryLeeBee

I wonder if the clips come from the DVD...I keep meaning to get 'round to watching it.

Thanks, Anna.  I'll browse around YouTube and see what's available in the UK.