New to the forum, and new to baking
I just found the forum earlier today, and I am already glad I did!
As the title of the thread discloses, I am new to baking (to real baking, that is! I've baked "cakes in a box," and made cookies following very easy recipes, but thats about it). In fact, two days ago I baked my very first loaf ever. Unfortunately, my bread was dense, and I might have overbaked it a bit. I will post my questions regarding this experience in the appropriate part of the forum.
As a newby to the forum and to baking, I will most likely only contribute to ongoing conversation by asking questions rather than offering answers. If you see me asking questions in other parts of the forum, I hope you will be willing to share your knowledge with me, and to do so with the awareness than I am still very much an amateur.
One more thing of relevance I'd like to share is that as a high school student, I worked at a small gourmet bakery owned by a friend of my family. My duties almost 100% consisted of shaping the dough into specific shapes (round for Honey Whole Wheat, Corn, Olive and Tomato; oval for Italian and breads that were to be baked in pans). As a perfectionist and "artsy" by nature, I performed my duties with great conscience of the aesthetic aspect of bread making. Although not a glamorous job at all, I enjoyed it very much, and obtained from the experience a love of good, great tasting, beautiful-looking bread. Now, many years later, I am trying to re-acquaint myself with the art of baking, though this time as the baker who performs ALL parts of breadmaking. Therein lie the difficulties: though I can still shape a beautiful bread worthy of glamour shots, the technical aspect of mixing ingredients and knowing when the dough has risen enough, or how ingredients "behave" in relation to one another, those are parts of breadmaking that I still need to learn even while I follow recipes from books nearly 100% as they are given.
Ok, I think I've introduced mysel enough! :)