Getting more serious about baking bread
Lately, I have gotten a lot more serious about baking bread and thought I'd join up here. I have perused the forums here in the past but now is the time to get invovled.
I have been cooking/baking since I was around 12. I got my Mom's Joy of Cooking out one day and just started in on it and never quit. Bread however, was one thing that I never really got into until about 2 years ago. My MIL gave us a bread machine that she had gotten at a tag sale and I quickly realized that it wasn't going to be enough for me. Around the same time, we started to get more interested in making more of our food from scratch. Most of the commercial breads that we were eating were full of stuff like high fructose corn syrup and other things we just didn't want in our diet (even the whole grain stuff!)
At first I was just finding recipes around the internet and had mixed success. I really turned the corner when I checked Rose Levy Beranbaum's Bread Bible out of the library. As a homebrewer and science nerd, the idea of recipes as formulas and controlling the fermentation of the dough really appealed to me. I had never really thought of it as a chemistry experiment before. I just checked out Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain bread book and am really excited to get started on these recipes.
I am currently baking just about every Sunday and am trying to get my process down to where I can also bake during the week (my daughter only has 4 more weeks of soccer left for the Spring season so that will free up some more time for me.) I'm trying to bake as much of the bread we eat as possible which is a pretty tall ordere since although there are only 3 of us, we seem to go through a ton of bread!