The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

newbie from Missouri

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Tom Kurth's picture
Tom Kurth

newbie from Missouri

New member here. Been baking occasionally for about 35 years now if you don't count 4-H cooking class. I like to mess with breads and sweet rolls and cookies.

Kind of on a quest to make a bread that rivals my grandmother's. Unfortunately, she has been dead since the '70's so I can't learn directly. The bread I remember would rise twice the height of the loaf pan seemingly straight up and would s-t-r-e-t-c-h-h-h-h . . . My father tells a story about a neighbor who complained, after having Lena's bread, that his own wife's bread "was as short as cottage cheese." That sounds a lot better in the original German. I'm told it was a sourdough, but I don't know that for fact. The flavor was very yeasty and the bread had great, large air pockets. A curious side-note: Grandma learned to bake from her German immigrant mother who had, for a time, baked at a hotel in Dodge City, KS during the trailhead days. She actually saw a couple baddies get gunned down on Front St.

Another thing I'm looking for is some kind of starter, not necessarily a sourdough, that I can keep in the fridge, use every couple days or so, and just save some of the dough as the next starter. Is there such a thing?

Haven't looked around here much but I'm sure I'll find many things of interest as I look further.

Best,

Tom

varda's picture
varda

But just be careful.   This site is dangerous.   You start out trying to make your grandma's bread and end up as a pastry chef.   -Varda

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

We're having a meet up of KC area TFL folks on Saturday, 21 January 2012, at the Barley's Brewhouse in Shawnee, KS from 4-6PM. So far, about ten members and their assorted spouses or SOs have said that they'll be there. You're welcome to join us if you want to make the drive over the state line.

Jim Gemborys

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

Welcome aboard.  I agree with all who say that this site is dangerous.  Here are some tips:

1.)  Practice, practice, and practice some more.  Then post your results so that we can all learn.

2.)  Read this website a lot so that your knowledge base can expand.  Watch all the videos as soon as you can so that you'll have them lingering in the background.

3.)  If you're looking to learn more, buy a text book.  Cookbooks have their place, but texts take you in an organized way from the ground up.  I recommend Dan DiMuzio's Bread Baking.  It's on the short side and yet quite comprehensive.   And it's not very expensive.  Look for used copies on Alibris or Powells Books.  Cook books like Reinhardt's Bread Bakers Apprentice (on this site commonly referred to as BBA) have their place, mind you, but they're not texts.  They have no obligation to teach all this material in as organized way as a text.

4.)  Because so much in this field is hands on, it would be good for you to find a fellow baker with more experience than you to serve as a local mentor.  So many of us learn in an isolated way.  Someone who's been down the block before and can show you the moves, the choreography of bread, is good to have.  You can use this site to find someone local to you.  If that does not appeal to you, and it's within your means, see if you can find a local beginner's course.

5.)  Never, never, never forget to use the Search Function on this site when you've got a question.  So many questions get repeated that the Search will get you lots of information far more quickly than posting a question.  But I cannot remember a question, in reading this site for many years, that was not answered in a good text book.

6.)  Oh, yes.  Practice, practice, and practice some more.

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Look in the site search box under:  old dough      quite a few hits to read   among them:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/6429/039old-dough039-vs-pate-fermente

enjoy and welcome!

crazyknitter's picture
crazyknitter

Mind if I ask where you are at in Missouri?  I am in SW MO.

 

Tom Kurth's picture
Tom Kurth

Thanks for the replies.

Doubt I'll make the gathering in Shawnee. Sounds fun but 70 miles home from a brewpub sounds like something else entirely! But thanks for the invite.

I'll definitely put DiMuzio's book on my want list.

Thanks for the tip about searching for 'old dough.' Websites like this always prompt you to 'use the search function,' but knowing what to search for is the hard part.

Alma's a tiny, tiny town about sixty miles east of KC just north of I-70.

See y'all.

Tom

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

I know what you mean about knowing what to search for.  My own experience is that the question I have in my mind is the thing to put in the search box.  "Old dough" might work, for example.  When I put those two terms in the search box, I got over 11.ooo hits in .24 seconds.  You really don't have to read them all, of course; you need only read the ones that look right to you until you find what you want.  But, since DiMuzio's book is maybe going to cost you $25, if you can tolerate that amount, and especially if you find it used (at Alibris or Powell's) you'll have your very own place to find such things. 

 

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

I know what you mean about knowing what to search for.  My own experience is that the question I have in my mind is the thing to put in the search box.  "Old dough" might work, for example.  When I put those two terms in the search box, I got over 11.ooo hits in .24 seconds.  You really don't have to read them all, of course; you need only read the ones that look right to you until you find what you want.  But, since DiMuzio's book is maybe going to cost you $25, if you can tolerate that amount, and especially if you find it used (at Alibris or Powell's) you'll have your very own place to find such things.