Greetings From the Pikes Peak Area
Greetings from Colorado Springs, CO. I just now joined the site after stumbling across it. I have not been lurking so I don't know a lot about how things are done here.
A bit about me: I am a single guy and I like to cook for myself. I may not be the greatest cook but I like to try new things in the kitchen. Years ago ( probably over 30 years ago) I made beer bread. I don't remember much about it but it is safe to say it was not wonderful. More recently I have baked several cakes with very good results using recipes from The Cake Mix Doctor book.
Recently I developed an interest in baking bread. After educating myself a bit (thanks to the Internet) I decided to try my hand at baking sour dough bread. I made a starter and fed it for about a week before baking the bread. I baked the sour dough in a cast iron Dutch oven (to generate steam while baking). The results were mixed - the flavor was not bad at all but the texture of the bread was not great. I realize now I should have started with something easier.
Since then I have been reading through a couple of books I checked out from my library - Artisan Breads (from The Culinary Institute of America) and Amy's Bread (by Amy Scherber). I have learned a lot about gluten development and many other things I should have learned before trying to bake bread.
Over the past 20 years I have made numerous batches of beer - many from scratch - and that experience should come in handy when baking bread. Beer, after all, is really "liquid bread". The ingredients are similar: grains, water, yeast. When making good beer you have to provide a proper environment for the yeast - a skill that should come in handy when making bread.
Please bear with me as I learn. I will probably ask a lot of questions along the way. Thanks in advance.