The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello from Indiana.

Brian3659's picture

Hello from Indiana.

 I have perused the site for awhile now and love it. There's so much good information and helpful advice. Hopefully I can contribute a little to the discussions as well. 


Floydm's picture

Thanks, Brian.  Welcome!


richkaimd's picture

Regular readers will have heard this before from me:  consider the difference between a bread cookbook and a textbook.  The former is a list of recipes with an order determined by the author.  It sometimes includes instruction in this or that about the making of breads.  A text book is specifically intended to teach a subject from the ground up, more often than not giving the reader enough general and specific knowledge to allow him/her to make educated guesses about things which cookbook readers cannot come to answers about.  I recommend a text book if you've never owned or studied bread making from one.  If you think of yourself as closer to being a beginner, get DiMuzio's Bread Baking.  A new copy doesn't cost more than $22 at Alibris.  If you are a serious home baker and want to struggle through the intense experience of a serious tome with EVERYTHING in it about bread making, try Hamelman's masterful book (whose name I cannot remember right this second.)  Beyond that are books like the CIA's text on bread and pastry.   If you're in the mood, these books will make you feel more grounded in bread baking than ever before.

What's above is copied and pasted in from a note I wrote some while back.  I always say the same thing to beginners:  people who want to be excellent bakers go to school first.  Why shouldn't you do the same by studying from a textbook?  They learn from the foundations on up. 

I also suggest that until you've read through a text book and maybe even do all the exercises in one, you really won't be able to distinguish between good and bad advice.  I always recommend the DiMuzio text because it's so short and yet thorough.

Don't forget to watch all of the videos linked in the banner above.  Even if you don't understand them all the first time through, you'll have something remembered in your head about them and can do back to them later.

Practice, practice, practice.  And quit when it stops being fun.  It's a hobby, afterall.