The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hey! I'm new!

R.Acosta's picture

Hey! I'm new!

I've been baking bread for a year now, dutifully working on making a good basic white bread, which I am now finally satisfied with. I was just looking for a place to find authentic bread recipes or formulas and this was fantastic.  Plus I love how everyone posts pictures as I'm a very visual person.  I am just now starting to branch out and explore the huge world of bread, and it's exciting.  There's nothing more fulfilling than biting into a slice of delicious bread that you've made yourself.  I think I've eaten more toast in the past year than I have in my whole lifetime, and I'm not stopping anytime soon :). One thing I was wondering was how long do most people leave their bread to cool before bagging it?


richkaimd's picture

Some suggestions for your baking with TFL:

I don't know how long you've been reading TFL.  If you've read this note (I write it to newbies all the time), ignore it.

1.)  Read the home page of TFL regularly.  You never know what you'll learn.

2.)  Practice, practice, practice.  Then tell us about your successes and failure.  Again, you never know what you'll learn.

3.)  If you can, find a local mentor.  You can do that by posting your wish for one on TFL along with the area where you live.  There's nothing like learning from an experienced baker what bread doughs should feel like while watching some of the choreography.

4.)  Learn the difference between Northern Euorpean (low hydration) and Southern European (high hydration) breads.  The choreography is entirely different.  Sounds like your white bread is a low hydration loaf.

5.)  If you're inclined to learn using books, remember that there's a big difference between cook books and text books.  Text books teach the student from the ground up.  Cook books, however good, have no such obligation.  You'll read here how good The Bread Baker's Apprentice is.  It is good, but nevertheless, for my money, it's not quite as useful as Dimuzio's Bread Baking.  BBA has lots of great recipes and tips, but you don't end up with solid knowledge of what you're doing.  Both and many more books on bread baking are available in used and good condition at Alibris or Powells Books.

6.)  Watch all the videos you can get to by clicking on Videos on the top banner of this page.  The more you watch them the more you'll pick up.

Good luck!



R.Acosta's picture

Wow I've already learned something new in that there are low hydration and high hydration breads (guess I'll have to do more research into the specific differences). I have considered getting a text book to guide me in my culinary adventures, since I won't be able to go back to school for a long time. Thanks for the tips!

pmccool's picture

No point in telling you to get out while you can; you're already hooked!  ;0

Regarding cooling, let the bread go all the way to room temperature.  That will take longer on some days than on others.  The thing to remember is that the bread may be out of the oven but it is still cooking while it is cooling.  You want that part of the process to do just as well as all of the steps that preceded it.  So, check the temperature instead of the clock.  If it still feels warm-ish, it needs to cool some more.

I hope to see some of your breads soon.


R.Acosta's picture

Yeah, I usually end up bagging my loaves when they're a little warm to the touch, which I've noticed ends up softening the crust. My husband sort of prefers them that way, I guess because when I first started making bread the crust could chip a tooth :/.  I'll try letting it cool all the way next time, though, I have faith it will be the right amount of crunch without cutting the roof of your mouth.  Can't wait to post pictures, thanks for the welcome!