The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hi from Beijing

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RSI's picture
RSI

Hi from Beijing

Hi, another lurker here. I've been following this forum now for a few months, since I started baking really, and learned a lot. Joining this nice, kind community hopefully will extend that experience even further.

After four years here in Beijing I'm seriously fed up with bad bread (or very expensive). Being from the Netherlands, I just longed for a nice whole wheat loaf. Since all ingredients are easy to find, just not the final product, I decided to learn how to do it myself. I found Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book on discount here, and liked the idea of 100% whole wheat. I tried the Loaf for Learning several weeks, with mediocre but slowly improving success. Hearing so many good things about BBA and Hamelman here, I got those for my birthday last month. So I should be settled bookwise for a long time to come (which is a pity since I'm a massive bibliophile). Read trough BBA already and really enjoyed it (switching from the Laurel's Loaf of learning to Reinhart's Pain the Campagne as my learning loaf), will throw in some study of Hamelman soon.

I'm having a great time, and the idea of being able to supply my family with a healthy, tasty loaf the further I get, really keeps me going.

-Ruud

bakingbadly's picture
bakingbadly

Welcome, Ruud!

Likewise, good bread is difficult to find where I live (Cambodia) so I took up baking. It has been over a year since I started and now I intend to open my own bakery! 

Stay diligent and keep baking. I'm sure you'll be baking world class breads in no time.

Zita

RSI's picture
RSI

Yeah, quite several people already jokingly said I should open a bakery. Who knows what the future will bring. Let's first get something reproducible and nice for myself...

Thanks for your encouragements!

yy's picture
yy

Nice to meet you, Ruud

Where in Beijing do you buy your ingredients? I went to a decent restaurant supply store for pans and baking molds in the Fengtai district, but I wouldn't know where to start looking for high quality flours.

RSI's picture
RSI

Nice to meet you too.

I know the shop you are talking about, I've been there several times myself too. That was a happy find indeed, certainly since it is not too far from where I live!

My ingredients I get at the moment from a small shop near Yonghegong (Lama Temple). You get out at Beixinqiao on line 5, exit B if I remember correctly, and walk north (follow the street towards the Lama Temple). Very soon you'll find a shop on your right hand selling all kinds of flours (bread, whole wheat, rye, oat, corn,and more) and other ingredients (bran, sesame, whole grains, flaxseeds and again,more). You buy it per weight, not per bag. I found out about this place on these pages:

http://www.hawberry.net/baking-bread-china-guide-ingredients-supplies/

which is also the place where I found out about the hotel supply store. I can't guarantee the high quality since I don't have enough experience to judge that yet, but it seems to work so far.

Where in Beijing are you?

 

yy's picture
yy

Thanks for the tip! I live in the U.S., but I was born in Beijing and I visit relatives there every couple of years. They live just outside the 2nd ring on the west side. Next time I might bake them what we westerners call "good bread" and see how they react.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Where you come from is one of the great bread places.   would hope that you would use your  heritage to n=make bread the Chinese never, ever dreamed of eating.   Hopefully, you will share it with them as we share it with everyone.

Happy baking to you! 

RSI's picture
RSI

Yes, after four years of mostly soft, cake-like bread (tangzong as I learned over here), I just need to have a normal, proper slice of bread. I hope to indeed show eventually that bread is more than sweet fluff. My wife is on the first testing panel, tasting everything leaving my oven. After I get more skilled it will be her family's turn, and after that, who knows who I can share it further with...