The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello from Indiana

MamaD_Cooks's picture

Hello from Indiana

Hi! I am a new baker and I am eager to learn different methods to baking bread.  I grew up with my dad making fresh bagels and breads and always wanted to do it.  I finally was able to buy a Kitchenaid Mixer to knead the dough (I have carpal tunnel problems so doing it by hand would be really painful) and I am so excited!  I am looking forward to working with sourdough starters and wheat breads.  My dad pretty much makes the same 3 loaves over and over, but I would like to make more diverse breads.  I'm excited to learn from all of you and bake some delicious breads!


richkaimd's picture

Note:  I just copied and pasted this in from a note I wrote to another newbie.

Considering that professional bakers learn their trade from experts, why shouldn't you?  If you're not going to go to a school, you can learn from a bread baking text book.  I don't mean a bread cook book; I mean a real school text book.  If you want to learn bread baking in an organized fashion, rather than hit or miss, this is the way to do it.

Look at these two books:  DiMuzio's Bread Baking and Hamelman's Bread.  They're quite different.  I wish I'd had the DiMuzio text when I started over 40 years ago.  I do, however, know people who start out with Hamelman's and love it.  Both books can be purchased used on-line at Powell's or Alibris.

I also think you should spend the time it'll take to watch all the videos linked to this web site.  Even if you don't understand what's happening you'll get a sense of things and know what to go back to.

One last piece of advice:  learn the distinction between Northern European and Southern European breads.  One difference is that Northern has a "cakelike crumb", that is to say, inside the crust the bread is fairly dense and has no visible holes.  Southern has a crumb which is full of holes.  Think of baguettes and Italian breads.  It is my recommendation that you start with Northern European breads first.  A basic white bread loaf, you might call it a sandwich loaf, is where to start.

MamaD_Cooks's picture

Thank you!  I will definitely check those out. I never thought of that but it makes a lot of sense.

Donkey_hot's picture

These are really good books, and while you are getting ready to dive into the world of artisan breadmaking, here is a simple way to start - with famous "no-knead bread".