The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

New to Bread making. NYC

jjaazz30's picture

New to Bread making. NYC

Hello Everyone!

I came across this site a few days ago and I am very excited because I really want get into bread making. I only made bread a couple of times and they both came out ok. I want to practice a lot to improve my skills the problem is I don't want to waste the bread I make. I can only eat so much for one person and I'm afraid that after freezing or giving away bread I will still have some left over. I would like to practice once or twice a week but each recipe makes a lot of bread (to me). I would like to know what other members do with the bread they don't eat. Please note I can't donate homemade food to shelters because of health laws and I don't want to throw it away. Any suggestions?

lazybaker's picture

Leftover bread can be made into breadcrumbs, bread pudding, and, my favorite-- French bread pizza!

You can cut the recipe in half or thirds. Baking time will be shorter since dough is not so large.

pmccool's picture

It usually comes in the form of family, neighbors, co-workers, friends.  If you have any of those, you'll never have to worry about an excess of bread.


LindyD's picture

Welcome to TFL, jjaazz30.

Get a good book on baking bread, a scale (if you don't already have one) so you can start to weigh your ingredients (much more accurate), learn baker's math, and you'll be able to scale down any recipe to fit your needs so that you won't have any excess bread.  

Here are a few links on baker's percentages to get you started:

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Welcome and may your bread baking journey be improved by this website :)

A 'health law' preventing one from giving food to the homeless.  Apperently their other option of retrieving rotting food in a garbage bin is safety at its finest.  Gotta love laws.  What a shame.

Good luck!


sphealey's picture

At first you will find your friends and neighbors going into "zucchini mode" when you approach their homes, closing doors and windows, turning out lights, hiding in the bathroom, etc.  When they exit this mode and actually start asking you for bread you will know you are getting there!

The most important thing to start is to build confidence with small successes.  I recommend getting a copy of Rose Levy Beranbaum's _The Bread Bible_ from the library, reading it, and making one or two of the simpler recipes consistently for several weeks.  The old King Arthur video "Artisan Bread", unfortunatly no longer for sale but possibly available through library, is also very good for explaining the basics of wetter doughs.  If you don't have a breadmaker you might consider picking one up at a garage sale and using it to mix and knead the dough for a few weeks so you can get experience handling dough and baking without the common sticking points [1] of first knead and rise.  Make some tasty loaves a few times in a row at the outset and you'll be ready to really starting your journey.

I agree with the comments about a scale and bakers' math, but be aware that there are several bakers' math systems [2]; don't be put off if one book uses slightly different math than another.  In fact, be aware that several of the best bread cookbooks speak very authoritatively about "THE way that professional bakers do x" and yet give conflicting advice!  Posters here on TFL are always correct of course ;-)

Above all:  have fun!


[1] double-meaning intended

[2] yes, there are

cranbo's picture

to add to what others have mentioned, also bread salad (panzanella), french toast, croutons...

breadcrumbs can even be incorporated into new breads (search these forums for "altus")...the ultimate in bread recycling!