The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

new baker on the block

jconsford's picture
jconsford

new baker on the block

Hello, my name is Jonathan and I am going to start baking bread for a spanish restraunt here in el paso.  I was wondering if you had any tips or advice for a novice baker.  Also if u have any recipes for bread that has of spanish influence that would be amazing

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Welcome to TFL. Coco de Cristal / Pan de Cristal is a popular type of Spanish bread these days. Search the forums for info about it and recipes that some are working on. 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

into the search box and hit search.    You might find something you like. 

jconsford's picture
jconsford

My bread has been coming out as my boss says "like cake" with a uniform crumb.  He wants a real rustic bread with lots of holes, I read some content on here and ive been using bread flour instead of unbleached AP, so im going to change that and i need to make a starter or preferment, autolyse, and fold the dough.... any other suggestions?

cranbo's picture
cranbo

If you want rustic with lots of holes, you'll want high hydration (70% or more) and a long, slow cool fermentation. Stretch and fold is a good technique for this as well, to build a nice irregular gluten structure. 

If your bread is ending up too "cakey" it could be a number of factors. The level of sugars/fats/proteins in your recipe could be too high. You could also not be developing the gluten enough by underkneading. If it's too uniform (think Wonder or store-bought sandwich bread), you probably kneaded too much

Look at the Tartine Country Bread recipe as a good starting place. 

 

 

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

I commend you for your wishes to become a good baker.  My own experience of over 40 years is that it is a slow process which, because there are so many variables to learn, will take quite a long time.  I hope you can find a mentor baker friend who will take you on as an apprentice/observor while he/she bakes the kinds of bread you want.  Even that will take lots of sessions.  You can also learn from a book written by an expert.  I always recommend working from a text book rather than from a bread cookbook with some essays on the subject of bread baking.  Text books take you from the ground up giving you a foundation of knowledge that essays in bread cookbooks simply can't.  I recommend DiMuzio's Bread Baking.  It takes you from novice to very well informed, is written well, and has graded exercises along the way which, if done diligently, will help lots.  You can also click on "handbook" at the top of this and every other TFL page.  It's important to understand that you cannot know the level of expertise of the answerers of questions you might pose on this website, especially if you're a beginner.  If you read through a text book at least you'll have a basis on which to judge.  You can overwhelm yourself completely by starting with Hamelman's Bread.  It's not for beginners.  Ask yourself why serious bakers study at schools for months, if not years.