The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


usank001's picture


Hello from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. I am new to this site and to bread making. I have always loved cooking but never done much baking of any kind. Am currently stuck at home due to my health, so decided I would try my hand at baking bread. Trawling through the net I found this site and what a site it is. Thanks all for the help you have provided  me in my endeavours (some successful and others not so).



richkaimd's picture

I've been baking since age 20 and am now four times a grandfather.  I love TFL.  My recommendations to a new baker are these, not that you asked:  1.)  Practice a lot and keep track of your mistakes.  Learn from them, using this forum to ask your questions.  Providing pictures of your failures is often helpful if you are asking advice.  2.)  When you've a question, consider using the search function on the upper left.  I've found that most of my questions are answered there.  3.)  If you learn from reading, start with a basic textbook instead of a basic bread cook book.  Bread cookbooks are not organized to teach all that well.  I love Breadbaking by DiMuzio.  There are others, and I own them, but they're not really for beginners.  4.)  Use Youtube for videos of things which involve any kind of movement such as kneading, mixing, making a gluten window, slashing risen dough, braiding dough, and more.  5.)  Try to find a home baker local to you who would be willing to let you watch his/her work with dough.  There's nothing like feeling dough develop to teach you where you're headed with a recipe.  You might consider using this forum to tell readers where you live more or less.  Maybe a home baker lives next door to you.  6.)  If you're wanting to make European breads, learn the distinction between low and high hydration doughs.   This refers to the Northern European dense breads (low hydration) and the Southern European breads with lots of holes inside (high hydration.)  The techniques are greatly different. 

Practice a lot, or did I already say that?  Don't expect to get everything right the first time.  Tell us your mistakes and your successes.  It's fun!


usank001's picture

Thanks for the advice especially the idea of using a textbook instead of a bread cookbook. I will definitely try that out.

I am having fun trying stuff out and my husband and I are getting fat doing it:-)


bertie26's picture


 I am also new and want to encourage you to use this site . you meet people here who really care about good bread and share all their knowlegde with you. dont worrty aboiut getting fat you can knead it off again LOL  albert

Ruralidle's picture

Hello Una

Welcome to TFL.  It is a great site for info on all types of bread baking and the folk are very helpful.  If you have any questions, just ask away and people will be along to assist.  There are quite a few of us who are living in the UK (such as Bertie26 and myself) but also watch out for lumos and Daisy_A who are both experienced UK home bakers, whilst ananda is a keen home baker and a professional who spent quite a few years working for The Village Bakery in Cumbria - he also used to work in Newcastle.

Happy Baking