The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

A brief, abriged history of my bread making

umbreadman's picture

A brief, abriged history of my bread making


These two loaves are my first. I think they were the Country Bread recipe out of Hamelman's book. I didn't really know what pictures to take at that point, so this is all I have. Don't look too shabby...I remember them lacking a little in salt though.



These are my first ciabatta loaves. They were really good. I made these with a stiff pre-ferment. I was still figuring out how the oven works and all these loaves up until my present ones would be a bit underbaked on the inside. 


In between each of these batches were numerous undocumented loaves. Though they are not with us today, let us remember their wondrous journey and hope they are now in a better place. 




The first time I've ever gotten the little 'ears' to work on a baguette/batard loaf! Incredible! 




 My latest batch, Pain au Levain with a little whole wheat in there. I had take my starter out of the fridge only a few hours earlier, but eventually it did its work, though I probably should have given it more time to really get going. Either way, I finished baking them at 1am yesterday and without tasting them, set them aside to cool, a feat that would be excruciatingly difficult under normal circumstances, but I was exhausted and just wanted to get to sleep. I'm going camping today on North Manitou Island in Lake Michigan, and am bringing a chunk of this loaf along for sandwiches.


Well, now I've got all my progress up here. I'm glad I can finally share these with everyone.



mkelly27's picture

Nice looking bread. And you say you're  a beginner? 

Did you post on a michigan hiking site about you're upcoming camping trip?, if so I almost joined in. 


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

umbreadman's picture

Yeah, I've only been making bread for maybe 1.5-2 months now. I learn rather quickly, especially when it involves food, ha

About the post, no, I don't belong to any hiking sites, this was just a planned trip with my girlfriend for our two year marker. What an amazing place though, can't wait to go back. I saw some pretty incredible things... 

browndog's picture

Fun seeing the progress. I've had a couple miserable failures with the whole wheat pain au levain myself, am still screwing up the courage to tackle it again. Mine were compost specialties, turtle-shaped with nearly no ovenspring. Yours look lovely.

Cautionary Tale:

Several years ago some friends and I did a two day horse camping trip. Naturally I made the bread and we packed a block of cheddar, sausage and tomatoes for sandwiches at lunch. Found a clearing by a brook, tied the horses, pulled out the fixins', looked at each other and said, "We don't have a knife..." We stared and fumbled and thought really hard before accepting the fact that it was go hungry or go caveman.

umbreadman's picture

 its so easy to forget the simple, everyday tools on trips like that. though i think it might be fun to just tear into the food like that in the face of nonexistant cutlery :) I had picked a giant zucchini from my garden and brought it with a cucumber and a chunk of bread to maybe have some simple sandwiches for the drive...but didn't have a knife.

Caveman - 1 : Civilized eating habits - 0.