I am new to bread baking (about 9 months) and am glad to find a community of bakers, amateur and professional, that truly enjoy sharing their stories. I love the discussions about successful and not so successful baking adventures. I’ve quickly learned that there is no such thing as a bad loaf of bread if it has some of the baker’s heart and soul in it.
I started baking after being encouraged by my wife to try something new. I’m a retired US Army infantry officer and about 10 years ago I was diagnosed with PTSD after three combat deployments.Years of therapy has helped me cope with day-to-day life and heal parts of myself. Yet I was yearning for more.
Then, I found bread. I received a copy of Chad Robertson’s Tartine Bread from my wife and started to read. Long before I started my sourdough starter (which I am still using) I found myself drawn to the stories. What I quickly discovered, as you all know, is that bread is a living thing. There is a connection between the baker and the bread. This connection extends to those who get to enjoy in the fruits of the baker’s efforts.
Baking has become more than way to fill the dinner table with healthy food. Ok, the lunch and breakfast and snack tables get filled too. Baking is a way to connect to myself and others. It is not the only, or even the primary, tool in my therapy plan. But it is a really nice addition to it.
I have added sprouted Einkorn, semolina and buckwheat to my basic country white sourdough repertoire over the last few months. The sourdough is still my go-to bread, while the others are for fun and experimentation. I recently bought a Komo Fidbus 21and started experimenting with home milled flours (with mixed results, but I’m keeping notes in my log).
I want to thank everyone for sharing their stories and tips. I’ve picked up a few pointers from here already and I hope I can share my adventures to help others along the way. Cheers.