The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

new from upstate NY

  • Pin It
tallchicksrule's picture
tallchicksrule

new from upstate NY

hi everybody - my name is Krista (and as my screen name says, i am a really tall chick)... i live in upstate NY and i LOVE baking. until now, however, i was not a big bread baker. recently i've just found that i derive a ton of satisfaction from turning out a loaf of bread that my family can use for a few meals.

usually i bake about a loaf a week, but my husband is really in love with having fresh bread so that will probably increase. i'm just on cloud 9 reading the entries here on the forums and learning more about baking bread!

 my biggest question right now: i'm looking for a recipe/method that will give me a nice crusty crust and those big holes/bubbles on the inside... my attempts to date using steam etc have fallen a bit short of what i want.

~Krista

holds99's picture
holds99

Krista,

For starters you might try Rose Levy Berenbaum's ciabatta from her book The Bread Bible (or any other ciabatta recipe from a good bread book).  Ciabatta is what you may be looking for if you want, as you said: "nice crusty crust and those big holes/bubbles inside" and it's fun bread to make and will give you a good exposure to pre-ferments if you aren't already familiar with this process.  Check out some of the recipes for ciabatta on this site using SEARCH.  You've hit the motherload on this site (TFL).  There are some really outstanding bread bakers that post here.   Also check out Mark and Bill's videos re: shaping, folding, etc. on this site.  Mark, who has produced and posted some excellent videos, recently mentioned he was going to be doing a video on ciabatta in the near future.  Keep an eye out for it.  Good luck and have fun baking. 

Howard

tallchicksrule's picture
tallchicksrule

thanks bunches!

holds99's picture
holds99

You're welcome.  If you're not accustomed to working with high-hydration dough (high % of water content) it's going to be a different experience for you.  The dough will seem way too wet.  Don't fall into the trap of adding more flour to firm it up.  If you do that it will mess up your dough.  You want tacky/sticky dough because that's how you're going to be able to get the large holes in the interior, along with a nice flavor and crust from the pre-fermentation (usually overnight).  Anyway, just be aware that when you make high hydration doughs, especially ciabatta, the dough will be wet.  Wetter is better.  Anyway, Bill Wraith, a very accomplished baker, who posts on this site, has produced the video below and I sometimes pass it on because it is so informative about handling dough and folding. 

 http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6265759416999738742&hl=en

HO

raisdbywolvz's picture
raisdbywolvz

Welcome to the site.  I'm fairly new, too, but I can tell you that Howard wasn't exaggerating when he said you hit the motherload with this site.  The amount of information, the tips you'll find here, the videos...  Not sure what we ever did without the internet!  This site in particular is a gold mine of knowledge.  Have fun, and happy baking!