The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

I should stop lurking and properly introduce myself!

Maeve's picture
Maeve

I should stop lurking and properly introduce myself!

Well, not so much lurking as learning! I'm very glad I googled my way here.

Hallo, my screen-name is Maeve and I'm addicted to bread! For the longest time I felt that I couldn't bake a proper loaf and focused on making proper pizza - I finally got that right! I even bought a thick rectangular baking stone from a place that sells to pizzerias - and I bought stackable pans - just for the dough! I also killed my former KitchenAid mixer by letting the machine knead for far too long, but that's a different story.

It all started a few months ago. I got sick of searching through the loafs at the grocery store to find one that looked even remotely edible and decided to just try and bake my own. I debated getting a bread machine, but since I already have the baking stone and a KitchenAid mixer, I figured I was halfway there and I should use what I have.

I have physical problems, so I let the machine do most of the work, but I do like to get my hands on the dough. I googled and found several recipes and baked up something better than the grocery store bakery. Then I raided my local library and found Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice. I lurv that book! I won't say I totally understand the whole formula thing, but he explained a lot and after trying several recipes settled on the biga and Italian bread.

My main plan was to bake good bread, consistently, and that would justify getting a grain mill. Well, Dad bought me one and I love the taste of the whole wheat, but I'm having problems with raising and shaping.

At the moment I'm making the biga with KA bread flour and then for the bread I'm using my milled flour - organic hard spring was all that was on the label. I would like to find an all whole wheat recipe that my family likes, but I suppose even mixing bread flour and my milled flour is healthier than grocery store bread, right?

I made chocolate chip cookies the other night using my flour and they came out like pancakes! The next time I'll try it with half the butter and see what happens.

My main obsessions are shaping, working with freshly milled flour and bagels. I perfected pizza long ago!

Thanks for having me aboard! Oh yeah, I live in central Pennsylvania with my Dad, my husband and our son who is 6 1/2 and he just loves my bread - so I must be on the right track at least!

tattooedtonka's picture
tattooedtonka

Theres lots of really nice folks here, and Im one of them. ;-) 

 Just kidding, Im actually a big meany like my name implies.

But Welcome Anyways

Tattooed Tonka

browndog's picture
browndog

You were right the first time! Don't let the name fool you, Maeve--he's a cupcake, tattoos and all.

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

I'm a newbie too and like you share an obsession to make a truly great pizza! That's what started me down this track. Then I decided I could no longer afford to throw $3.00/loaf away x 2 each week for our weekly bread. I said, "Hmmph! I can make better bread than THIS and for only pennies a loaf!!!"

LOL, yeah right. My hubby lovingly calls me Ellie May (Clampitt). Things are slowly moving in the right direction - thanks to the great people here at tfl.com! I'm so glad another poster was gracious enough to lead me here!

Anyways welcome and glad you're here. Hope to hear from you often!

mkelly27's picture
mkelly27

It's a long story shaping my bread history. Beginning in NorthEastern Pa. (home of great bread), then Southern Fla. (home of no good bread), to the hub of the Universe, Clare Michigan (home of some really nasty Amish bread baked by folks with no hot water in their kitchen).

 

If you followed along with my geographic handicaps, you can see that I started baking bread out of the need to eat "Great" bread again. I've been gaining on attaining my goal of "world class" breads from a home kitchen for about 12 yrs. now.

 

 

Two wrongs don't make a right. Three lefts make a right

HollyGail's picture
HollyGail

I'm new to this forum, also.  Welcome to all new bakers, experimenters, and people new to site. Oh, I live in Oklahoma, Northeastern part.  Not many bakeries unless you want to pay 4 or more bucks for a loaf.  I can't do that.  When the price went to 2 bucks a loaf, we decided to start making our own.

After a long time wanting to bake, I ran across a bread machine at a weekend garage sale, for $10 bucks.  Best investment I ever made. 

I experimented with my older stale flour and yeast.  After 10 loaves of throw-away bread at the beginning, I'm now consistantly making a very good part wheat, part white flour bread with a small quantity of oats, cornmeal, and Flax seed meal.  I bake every other day in the machine.  So easy and convenient.

Oh yes, I put 1 egg, honey, molasses (Brer Rabbit kind that has flavor and coloring, no sweetness), and safflower oil in for moisture and sweetning.

This is the bread we depend on for sandwishes, toast, etc.  Presently I'm working on a sourdough starter.  Tomorrow I bake my 3rd Amish Friendship bread.  First bread will be tossed as will the 2nd one.  Son doesn't like the two I've made so far. 

So glad to have found this place.  HollyGail

Oldcampcook's picture
Oldcampcook

Hollygail, glad to see another "Okie" on here.  I live just south of Mounds. Since you are from NE God's Country, I am sure you know where that is.

Old Camp Cook (Bob