Hello from Florida
Greetings from the sunny state of Florida, where if you don’t bake your own bread, you are relegated to eating a white tasteless pasty mixture of flour and water sold in food stores as, ugh, bread. I am a regular contributor to another baking web site and found you all quite accidentally through a link when searching for a recipe for Struan. I have been lurking here for a while and I think I will fit in well. On that note, I thought it was time to introduce myself.
I began baking breads twenty-five years ago. A friend that baked breads showed up at my doorstep one day and informed me that she had no money to buy me a gift for my birthday, but because she knew I liked the breads she baked, she was going to teach me to bake breads as my present. It was truly a gift that has kept on giving. To this day, every time I bake, I think of her.
I bake everything from bagels to pizza, from pumpernickels to white sandwich loaves, from dinner rolls to challah, from sourdoughs (my starter is four years old) to breads I just make up as I go along. In fact, I very rarely follow recipes. My wife says it is a control issue thing. I look at a recipe and use it as an idea spring board. To me, bread is like mashed potatoes; wonderful by themselves, but an ethereal canvas just ripe for other ingredients to be combined with. As an example, I took the recipe for Struan on this site and added brown rice, corn meal and a five grain and seed mixture and topped it with sesame seeds.
Thank you for providing this site and I will try to contribute at least as much as I take away. ~Docpat