Greetings! I've taken the bread baking plunge!
For quite a few years now I've wanted to be able to make a nice loaf of bread at home. I've tried and failed many times over the years, but never bothered to really dig my heels into it. The most successful bread I've made in the past is probably the infamous "No Knead" bread baked in a dutch oven.
Well, recently I've decided to tackle bread baking. I love bread. I love baguettes, Kaiser rolls, Naan, sourdough, rye, soda.....I don't think I've ever had a bread I didn't like. When I was younger I'd go to the local bakery, buy a fresh loaf of bread and sit down and eat the entire thing. Of course, I don't do that any more and am actually watching my carbohydrate intake, so I am not even eating bread at the moment.
This site has been an excellent source of information and inspiration. The level of skill displayed by the members of this site is astonishing! I can only hope to achieve half the success as some. For the past few weeks I've tried making numerous types of bread. Most were dismal failures, but I've had some success with both IDY breads and levain breads.
One of the first things I did was seek out a local supply of "quality" flour. Luckily for me, there is a mill close by so I drove over and picked up 10kg of strong unbleached flour (amongst other flours and grains). I proceeded to make some 1-2-3 levain breads and some IDY/ADY breads with eventual success. However, as I pursued higher hydration breads, like some levain breads and baguettes, I ran into serious issues. Ultimately, what I discovered [20kg later] is the flour I am using just doesn't absorb water like you would expect a bread flour to do. My most recent, and best, bread was made today using grocery shelf unbleached AP flour.
So, I have a bit of a dilemma that I need to resolve. I recently picked up a 20kg bag of this strong flour and am not sure I want to keep using it. I am likely to just mix it in with some AP flour to see how the results turn out. I live in Canada, so getting the popular artisan flours used by many on this site is a bit of a challenge; and honestly, I really shouldn't even have to resort to that. We grow plenty of wheat here! So I should be able to get some good flour too!
I'd be curious to know what other Canadian bakers use for making bread.