New member from SoCal
I am a completely novice bread baker, having longed to learn this wonderful art for years. I hope you purists won't throw anything at me, but I am making my start using a bread machine, in part because with arthritis, it would be difficult for me to knead and mix by hand. Also, although I am an experienced cook and although I do have a sophisticated palate, I have never in my entire life baked bread (except for once, many years ago, when using a Cuban cookbook, I attempted to make a Cuban bread which turned into a lethal weapon---it would have severely injured anyone it might have been thrown at!!).
I have longed for so many years to learn how to bake bread and yet was so intimidated. Finally, however, I made the choice to try, and bought a Zojirushi BB-PAC20 (the newest model with the ability to brown the top of the crust).
I am completely in love with this new hobby. Although my beginner's loaves are hardly at the "artisanal" level, I am nevertheless utterly delighted with the results. I cannot stop baking bread!!!
I hope eventually to learn to bake bread in the oven using a stone or a Cloche, but using the "Homemade" cycle on the machine for kneading and rising. That will all come in time as I learn to intuitively understand the process of baking bread and develop more of a sense of confidence. I love learning about it and am reading everything about bread I can get my hands on.
I am just so amazed to be pulling fragrant, healthy, beautiful loaves out of the machine every time. Each time I try a new recipe and it turns out well, I feel overwhelmed with joy!
I am looking forward to learning a lot from this site and to sharing with all of you the passion for this amazing "art."