Afer 10 years
Cell phones rock for casual photography!
Well, time flies. It's interesting to read "where I was at" 10 years ago with bread and it reminds me of where I was at with life. I was living in Canada and approaching bread baking as a hobby. Things were very different. Now I live in México and I regularly bake my house bread with no variations except that I occasionally bake a loaf of rye that lasts quite a while in the freezer. Today I'm passing on my load of bread books (sans 3) to the local cooking club. I am very comfortable with my starter, I always bake with it, I now know what "crumb" is, and I critically review every bake. My main problem these days is shaping. I often get loaves that are constricted in places and blown-out in other places. My most recent bake went pretty well, shaping-wise. We like a small, tall loaf, good for toasting. My other difficulty is that no matter how I try it, when I slash the tops of loaves prior to baking the skin wrinkles. It usually straightens-out when the loaves are baked and they bloom properly in the oven. Proofing remains something of a mystery. How does one judge when loaves have doubled or are at 90% or whatever? Judging the dough in a container is easy as there are marks on the container, but once the loaves have gone through all their processes and are proofing in the couch... well it's a mystery to me. In retrospect I'm so grateful that I found this website. It's full of friendly, knowledgeable people. Maybe some day I'll get back to breadsloration (bread exploration), but for now I'm sticking to the tried and true house bread.