The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Just arrived from Gator Country

Qapla's picture

Just arrived from Gator Country

Glad I found this forum. Just hope I can offer as much as I receive.

hanseata's picture

No performance pressure here, but a lot of helpful, interested (and interesting) people.


richkaimd's picture

Welcome aboard! 

What follows are some suggestions to approaching the use of this website:

Practice, practice, practice.  Then report on your successes and failures to the rest of us.  We love to learn from others.

Read TFL regularly.  Follow up with reviews of questions especially relevant to your own interests.

Before you post questions, use the search function to its fullest extent.  Few questions asked haven't been asked in the past.  You'll get your answers and more through the search.

As soon as possible for you, watch all the videos.  Lots of questions are answered in the video section.  Use your favorite search engine for videos as well.

Learn the distinction between cookbook and textbook.  I recommend using a textbook over a cookbook, especially when you're at the beginning.  Texts teach from the ground up in a way that cookbooks don't.  I have lots of cookbooks and texts.  All have something to teach.  But I recommend a short textbook to start.  Try Dimuzio's Bread Baking.  It's quite elegant as a place to start.

Consider using this website to find an avid home baker local to you who could mentor you through learning Northern European (low hydration) and Southern European (high hydration) dough techniques.  Just post the general area where you and your desire to find a friendly teacher to give you hands on experience.  Barring that, take a class at a local cooking school.  There is nothing like hands-on experience in a friendly environment.


Qapla's picture

Thanks for the reminders. I am familiar with forums (I am a member of several) and highly endorse the use of the search before asking questions. However, sometimes the exact answer is not found or there is just too many threads to weed through to locate the answer one is seeking. So, I do understand why people ask already answered questions.

Guess more info might help ...

I have been baking breads and pizza for 40+ years though I do not claim to be an expert. In fact, since reading some of the threads here I see what some of my mistakes are.

I also have a daughter (living at home) who holds a chef certificate and has been to culinary school. I have access to her text books and there is one that has to do with bread.

I seldom use a cookbook and mostly "shoot from the hip" when cooking - this sometimes also applies to my bread making.

In addition to bread and pizza I also Smoke, BBQ and "slow cook" as part of my cooking techniques and interests.