Hi folks, I don't get to tell my stories very often, so get comfy!
I'm an on and off home baker, depending on how busy work keeps me. I got my start from my love of pizza in early high school (10 years or so ago). I started by moving from frozen to pizza kits. After that got boring, I started down the rabbit hole and learned how to make my own sauce. Naturally, I couldn't stop there, so I graduated to buying the bagged dough ingredients that you just add water and oil. Just like before though, the bagged kits weren't enough, I HAD to know how I, personally, could create the dough.
My dad had always liked to cook (still does, that's the most common discussion topic between us), but was more of a jack of all trades style of cook, so he was familiar with bread to a small extent, and was able to point me in the right direction with the pizza dough recipe from the BHG pocket dictionary style recipe book. I must have made that dough recipe dozens of times. My dough adventures topped off there for quite some time until 5 or 6 years later when I was in my first apartment, and I stumbled across a few different cookbooks/websites that got into dough hydration and I just ate that up for the next 8 months while I was there.
Life got busy again, and my cooking was limited to functionality as I just didn't have the time to experiment like before, yet I continued to accumulate cookbooks here and there on all kinds of foods, more general and italian than anything else, with a few books dedicated to bread. Fast forward to the last week or so really and I have started honing my hand kneading technique. I could knead well enough to get by, but I was always pushing down more than out, so it worked okay, but not great for your run of the mill 60% hydration dough. To be honest, I probably don't have the time to be doing this, but cooking and, more specifically, baking have been the only hobby that has stuck with me over the years because of the sheer utility of them, so its worth it. It's so rare that I find communities that I can really be active in because I could spend all my free time cooking, so I feel at home in forums like these.
Looking forward to posting when I can!