The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello from Connecticut

  • Pin It
Soundman's picture
Soundman

Hello from Connecticut

I missed this forum entirely, sorry! I made my first sourdough starter back in early May, and I was so excited, I Googled 'Wild Yeast' and found the blog of baker Susanfnp, who told me about TheFreshLoaf. I went to TFL straightaway and was dazzled, what with Sourdough Starters to learn about and Artisan Baking and a great archive (thanks, Floyd!). I bumbled right in, withour properly introducing myself. Now, 2 plus months later I finally read, slowly, through the forums and see Introductions!

So, I have been baking bread for five years or more, learning and reading all the while. Whenever I am unsure about a technique or a fermentation time or a retarding issue, I look on TFL. You bakers are an inspiration!

Just today I was thinking my lame was getting -- no no, I won't say it -- dull, so I checked on TFL. I learned that back in January 2007 Gloria Mielke mentioned sfbi.com as a source for lames. Sure enough they have a handle with disposable razor blades, and will sell it to you a lot cheaper than some companies sell their disposable lames!

Finally, I live in New Haven, Connecticut, right on the Long Island Sound, hence my handle, Soundman. To everyone else outside of the world of the web I call myself David. Well, there are several others so named, so Soundman will have to do!

Thanks again to everyone at TFL!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Soundman/David. (from one of the other Davids).

Welcome to TFL!

So, tell us more about the kinds of breads you are baking? As you have certainly noticed, we like pictures too.


David

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

I originally am from Connecticut..Simsbury. I have been here in Oregon for 5 years. Look forward to hearing about your bread baking adventures..keep us posted.

kayemme's picture
kayemme

i'm in RI... nice to see you here.

Soundman's picture
Soundman

For some reason, it's nice to know where people are from. Sometimes I can infer it from the flour you're all using (Golden Buffalo, probably Midwest).

Paddyscake, I suspect right now is a good time to be in Oregon rather than the Northeast, as kayemme mentioned in her post 'why is this happening' (for the last 2 weeks, the natural 'air conditioning' I depend on, namely a breeze coming from the Sound, has been OFF, and it's dreadfully humid.)

kayemme, nice to know you're in the neighborhood!

To David's question about bread I am baking, in case you haven't seen my earlier post, my 3rd attempt at sourdough yielded some really tasty loaves. Here's the link: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/7721/sourdough-boules

Of course they're far from perfect, but my first 2 attempts were so lackluster, literally, and getting the rise and some deep color were gratifying.

I have to give TFL a lot of credit for pushing me to be a better baker. For one thing, you all have demonstrated, amply, your skill and dedication to learning and experimenting as well as to fantastic bread baking. I am as yet a weekend baker, and my wife and I depend on a whole wheat bread I bake each week for breakfast every day. It's tried and true, and seldom comes out bad (except for the time I mixed in some sourdough starter and the starter KILLED the commercial yeast! Ha Ha I can laugh about it now.)

The WW bread is about 40% WW, and the flour is mostly KA, Bread Flour and Organic White Whole Wheat. I find, as others have mentioned, that using White WW can make for a bland "where's the wheat?" flavor. There's a small mill in Littleton, New Hampshire that mills to order, and I got some high extraction hard red wheat from them. I mix a small amount in with the white WW and it really adds amazing flavor.

I have made Reinhart's Pain a l' Ancienne and Ciabatta pretty successfully, but when I have the time I am dedicated to becoming a good sourdough baker. The wild yeast, the wild yeast!

Thanks again for the welcome!

Soundman (David)

holds99's picture
holds99

Soundman-David,

Glad you have joined us. 

FWIW I have tried many different tools for scoring; lame, box cutter, single and double edge razor blades (attached to coffee stirrers), Exacto knives, etc. Eric Hanner , who posts on this site, in one of his posts said that he had found a great scoring tool.  He recommended the PureKomachi high carbon stainless steel 5" serrated tomato knife (thank you Eric).  I took Eric's advice and purchased one and it is, in my opinion, "THE" solution to the scoring problem.  It cuts almost as clean as a scalpel and you can cut as deep and/or shallow as you need, even into high hydration doughs.  The blade is coated, except for the serrated edge.  I presume this is so the carbon steel doesn't rust.  If you're interested Amazon had the best price when I bought mine but you can Google "PureKomachi" and I'm sure there's a number of sites that offer these knives.  Amazon had a package deal on the tomato knife and the bread knife (also serreated) so I bought both.  They're amazing knives.

Good luck with your baking adventures and keep us posted. 

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Howard, thanks so much for the information and the welcome. I'm off to Amazon to get a PureKomachi of my own! It can't hurt to have 2 options, and I'm growing my own tomatoes this year, so I'm sure the PK will at least have one duty, maybe two.

Soundman (David)

holds99's picture
holds99

Soundman (David)

A thought occured to me as I read your post.  When you wash your PureKomachi knife use only soapy water and a sponge to clean it.  Don't use scouring pads or scrubbers as the abrasiveness of these will remove the protective coating from the carbon steel blade.  Also, when mine needs a little sharpening I simply run the blade lightly across a butcher's steel (against the sharpened, beveled edge) and that sharpens it right up.  I expect to see some awesome scoring on your loaves when you post some pictures :-) 

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Howard, thanks again for the tips. I tend to avoid the steel wool on anything I care about, except maybe stainless steel pans. Where'd you get your butcher's steel?

Soundman (David)

holds99's picture
holds99

Soundman (David)

Mine is made by Zwilling J.A. Henkel (Solingen, Germany).  I bought it years ago when I purchased my first three Henkel knives.  But you should be able to find a good one at any kitchen store that carries quality knives.  Don't know if you have Target, Bed Bath and Beyond or Gourmet Chef stores in your area, but I remember seeing either Henkel or Wusthof at those stores. 

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

Soundman's picture
Soundman

I forgot to mention, my handle was intended to hint at the fact that I'm a musician. Any other makers of music among the bakers on TFL?

Soundman (David)

ClimbHi's picture
ClimbHi

Oh, yeah!

I've been known to pick a bit -- mostly appalachian accoustic stuff.

ClimbHi
Pittsburgh, PA

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Hello, ClimbHi. Glad to meet another noisemaker on the TFL. When I was in high school (and quite a bit younger) I couldn't get my fill of jug band tunes, and regularly sat in with banjo and guitar players, trying to add my licks on the piano.

Music and bread-baking are both good for the soul!

Soundman (David)