The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello From Minnesota

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mrdecoy1's picture
mrdecoy1

Hello From Minnesota

Hello, thanks for adding me. Eric

Ford's picture
Ford

Welcome to Fresh Loaf.  Floyd Mann is our host.  We welcome questions, experiences, and answers.

Ford

Wendy K's picture
Wendy K

Hello everyone, I'm so glad to have found your website.  I received the Hamelman BREAD book over a year ago and read it from cover to cover.  While I found it fascinating and loved the descriptions of the recipes, I was intimidated enough to take a year + to bake my first loaf of bread.  I finally decided to just jump in a try a loaf, after all what was the worst that could happen, I'd waste some flour and yeast if it was too awful to eat.  So, I began with the Whole Wheat Bread recipe on p.122.  My first attempt, while tasty, was disappointing - dense and close-textured with virtually no oven spring.  I fine-tuned a couple of the steps in the process and tried the same recipe again.  There was a microscopic improvement, but still, leaden bread.  I tried a third time, following all the instructions precisely, everything at the indicated weights, temperatures, and times.  Same results.  So frustrating.

Then, I looked at my bag of King Arthur Bread Flour and realized that it was past the stamped date by 4 months.  I really didn't think that that would be enough to cause my disappointing results, but decided to try again with fresh flour, both bread flour and whole wheat.  I had been so meticulous about all the other factors, I just didn't know what else to try.  So, today I tried again and miraculously - it worked!!!  The loaf is much larger, rose inches higher, has a soft, loose crumb and is at last a real loaf of bread!  Who'd a thunk it!

Now that I have my first reasonably successful loaf under my belt, literally and figuratively, I look forward to baking my way through this wonderful book.  I've learned a lot from these 4 first attempts and won't be so afraid the next time.  And I look forward to the inspiration of all the beautiful photos on the website and access to your collective wisdom.