The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello from Los Angeles

TrojanBrewer's picture

Hello from Los Angeles

Hi all,

I am new to the group. I have always wanted to learn how to bake bread/pastries and honestly I know absolutely nothiny about baking. I've used mixes successfully from costco and the grocery store. But I am very excited about learning so hopefully I can pick it up quickly!

I am a homebrewer and I am more skilled in that area. I have some awards. So I am hoping some of the knowledge I have in brewing will help in baking.

If anyone has any feedback or advice on how to get started as far as buying equipment, books- I already own Artisan Baking by Maggie Glezer and I read through it back in June. Or maybe you can give me some ideas for my first projects? That would be awesome ;)! Cheers

Darkstar's picture



As a former homebrewer myself I can tell you that there are plenty of similarities between brewing and baking.  Yeast and fermentation would be the first two that leap to mind.  You'll find an just as a lagered beer has a more refined taste than a top fermented beer you can create more complexity in a bread by making a poolish or some other pre-ferment.  Just as in a bottom fermenting brew the pre-ferment adds to the time it takes to make the bread but the end result is most definitely worth it.


Not to say that there is anything wrong with a quick ale.  You can use the same bread recipies that have a pre-ferment and simply ignore it to make the same type of loaf in a more quick-and-dirty style.  It will lack some of the character that a pre-ferment lends but in the end both make very good and edible breads.


Bread like beer in it's simplest form is kind of like the old German Purity Law Reinheitsgebot.  It starts with flour, yeast, water, and salt.  From those four simple in gredients a miriad of styles can be created.


Honey whole wheat bread is yummy but has more than the four basic ingredients.  Think of the honey as an adjunct.  It serves a purpose in the final loaf but doesn't conform to the basic 4-ingredient definition of bread;  but that doesn't make it wrong.


Ok...I need to stop now.  I think I could keep going but probably should not.


Check out the great lessons Floyd has put on this site.  They will give you a great basic understanding of how the four ingredients combine to make bread.  Once you learn the base you can expand from it.  The best part is even mistakes are usually quite edible. 

TrojanBrewer's picture

Thanks for the welcome. There's so much great information on the site I must have missed that link. I just checked it out and printed out the first lesson. I am all set for this weekend !

When I get more familiar with the terminology and get some bread making under my belt I will definitely delve into the tougher stuff. Speaking of beer and bread, know of any good beer/bread pairings? I'm going to keep exploring, I'm sure there is a thread on beer and bread pairings. Cheers!

StephenJ's picture

Look for Swedish Limpa Bread is an ingredient here. I'm sure there are other recipes where beer is used in the recipe. You could also use it while you bake and even after baking:)