The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello There!

decoratedcookie's picture

Hello There!

I am so excited to have found this site! I am a self taught baker/cookie designer and would love to have some knowlegeable people to bounce ideas off of. I love what I do and hope to continue growing my passion every day. Thanks on advance for sharing your knowlege and experience with me and I hope to contribute interesting bits as well! Happy Holidays!

dablues's picture

You will love it here! 

richkaimd's picture

Dear Istone,

After many years of baking and reading TFL, let me send you some unsolicited advice, things I've learned over time about using this site:

1.)  When you have a question, ask it here and you'll get lots of ideas.  But since so many questions have been asked already, if you're in a hurry, use the search box first.  It's much faster.

2.)  Watch all the videos as soon as you can.  They're amazingly helpful for learning what I've called the choreography of bread baking, how and where of the necessary movements.  Go back to them later, too.

3.)  Even if you've been baking for a long time, consider reading a beginner's text book, NOT a bread cook book.  Texts are different from cook books in that they build your knowledge from the ground up.  That's their intent.  At this point I have lots of both, mind you, and each has its own advantages.  I just wish I'd had a text much earlier on in my learning curve.  Of the texts I've seen, Dimuzio's Bread Baking is the one I recommend.   You can get new and used copies at Alibris or Powell's Books.  If you think you're beyond the beginning stage, look at Hamelman's text as an example of a more intense text.  There are others.

4.)  Have you learned the difference between Northern European (low hydration) and Southern European (high hydration) breads?  The moves are all different as are the products.  If you already have, then you don't need what I'm about to say.  If you haven't, I'd recommend finding a local mentor or class to teach you the choreography of the high hydration dough.  You can post a note on this website with your local area asking for a mentor.  I took a class to learn this stuff and am forever grateful to it.

Hope this helps you somehow.