The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

It all just started making sense....

foolishpoolish's picture

It all just started making sense....

OK at the risk of seeming like a bit of a loon...but I thought I'd share my thoughts...

I was watching the Julia Child video(s) for french bread (with Danielle Forrestier)...and it all just started making sense. 

It wasn't the techniques being demonstrated as such, although they are very valuable in their own right.  

No, it was all the theory, instruction, recipes and technique that I've been reading suddenly started to make sense...less an 'instruction manual' and more like I'm starting to internalise the interconnected factors and processes that affect each other.   Flour, autolyse, friction, temperature, proofing time, resting, tension, shaping, all started clicking in place mentally. I can see where and why I've been going wrong in the past. I'm starting to get a 'feel' for how things are done.

Now the practical application?  That's a whole different matter...and that's going to take a load more practice before I get anywhere near competent. But as far as theory and understanding's starting to make sense!




Barkalounger's picture

There's no better feeling, is there?  It's like finding treasure.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I'd give you a warm hug.  Let's open a bottle of champaign!  

Mini O

Rosalie's picture

You go through an eternal period of thinking you'll never get it right, and then suddenly you've got it!  You're still not an expert, but at least now you'll feel like you can handle whatever comes your way.


holds99's picture


You're so right.  It takes something like you described (Danielle Forestier video or whatever) to cause the epiphany.  It took me a long time and lots of frustration to understand that baking is not just a collecton of isolated acitvities (mixing, kneading, etc) but instead is a systematic process, like the eleven interrelated steps Hamelman lays out in his book; Bread.  Like you said, understanding the interrelationship of the steps, in the overall process, then executing those steps properly...Well, therein lies the challenge.  The Danielle Forestier/Julia Child video was the one that opened my eyes to the importance of gently stretching and folding the dough during bulk fermentation rather than punching it down, which I had been doing.  We just have to keep digging for information to improve our skills.  This TFL site is manna from heaven in the truest sense of the word.  Keep posting your terrific breads and their pictures.  Next on my list is your Sifted Whole Wheat Sourdough Mische, which I'm going to try to make this weekend.  Like we discussed, I'm going to use a pre-heated dutch oven.  I have a large one that will hold a large boule.  This will be my first experience using a soaker so it's kind of exciting to be doing something new.