The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Just starting to get serious about bread

dsadowsk's picture

Just starting to get serious about bread

My grandfather was a baker, but I never had any interest in baking growing up, just the eating! But during the past 9 months the bug has been biting me. I'm ADD and therefore don't do well with details and organization, also I'm not the greatest with fine motor skills, so real baking seemed beyond me. I therefore started with a bread machine, 1st letting the machine do everything (edible but unexciting breads, not optimally shaped), and then letting the machine do the dough and finishing in the oven.

I baked some OK stuff, using Beth Hensperger's bread machine book and Beatrice Ojakangas' Whole Grain Breads by Machine or Hand, but still they were only so good. I thought about using Lahey's book, but the idea of planning out all my steps over a 1 to 2-day period seemed beyond me. However, Hertzberg's and Francois' Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day has been working well for me. I love throwing a dough into the fridge and baking a loaf when I have a few hours to spare. Many of the loaves I've made with that book have a great taste and crumb, but still are kind of flattish. But the baguettes have been a huge success. I'm shaping them (thank you, YouTube) almost in my sleep; they come out wonderful.

I wont bore everyone with a blow-by-blow of successes and failures, but here are a few pics:  a whole wheat boule, baguettes, and bagels. 


gmagmabaking2's picture

All of those look very good. Looks like you are a great baker!

hanseata's picture

Happy Baking,


HeidiH's picture

And unlike mine, your bagels don't look like shriveled toes!  Excellent bread in those pics!

dsadowsk's picture

Followed the recipe in America's Test Kitchen's Baking Illustrated. My wife and I love the ATK Best Recipes series.

spsq's picture

I love reading stuff from ATK.

Your breads are lovely, making me crave bagels.....