The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Just saying Hi

Katie_H's picture
Katie_H

Just saying Hi

I started baking bread maybe 6 months ago and have been absolutely captivated by the process. I've been experimenting with both sourdough and yeasted breads, using recipes sometimes but more often just playing to satisfy my own curiosity about what happens with adjustments in the basic process. It's generally produced fair-to-good bread, but I have been really enjoying it, learning a lot - and I have roommates who enjoy the results regardless. I'm ready to start learning how to do this really well, though, and was so excited to find this community! Any tips to start? Otherwise, hello, and I look forward to 'talking' with you all about bread for a long time to come :-)

-Katie

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Hi Katie, welcome aboard. The advice available here is truly amazing. Fantastic bakers from the world over are here to help.

Sourdough is my thing. I’d imagine that you have a starter going. If so, how is it doing?

You mention playing around with recipes. Most of us are always tweaking things. But in order to learn the fundamentals, it might be best to start with a basic recipe/formula. Bake it until to are confident and consistent. Then slowly start exploring possible alternatives. At least that is what works for me.

Please don’t hesitate to ask questions or share ideas. We want to help and also learn as much as possible.

Dan

Katie_H's picture
Katie_H

Thanks Dan. It's funny you say that, I'm actually looking for a foundation recipe for exactly what you suggest, now that I'm interested in getting serious about good technique. I was thinking of using the Tartine sourdough country bread recipe because it's freely available and seems to get great reviews. Any thoughts?

My starter is doing great (proving the saying 'it's better to be lucky than good?'). I didn't know at the outset it had a reputation for being finicky, so I just started with rye flour based on a suggestion I found in a book, and maintain it as a liquid starter with whatever I currently have to hand. I've been happiest with whole wheat, but currently it's quite vigorous with AP flour. Working with sourdough is what I really enjoy, and what got me interested in baking. I'm looking forward to learning much more

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Katie, see this link. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/55230/anyone-interested-champlain-sd-bake

It is extremely long, but there is a ton of information. Of all the participating bakers on this topic, I think Kat baked more of these loaves than any other. She really excelled.

If you choose to do this bake, post images and document your progress in that thread. I and others will see your post and we’ll do our best to help.

IMPORTANT - make sure you read the post concerning the autolyse. Most, maybe all of us, have greatly shortened the autolyse time.

HTH

Dan

Katie_H's picture
Katie_H

Exactly the kind of thing I was looking for! Many thanks