The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello from Northern Maine

pigreyhound's picture

Hello from Northern Maine


I am very excited to have stumbled on this website! Since I found it, I have been baking up a storm! Not that the neighbors are complaining since I usually wander down the road with bread to give away.


I bought The Bread Maker's Apprentice about a year ago and I have been playing with the recipes on and off. I am hoping to get some advice and support on this website for my forays into bread baking.

I am a home baker and hope to learn how to use the proper techniques to develop good bread at home. I live in the Northern wilds of Maine and I do not have access to an artisan bakery. In fact, I am lucky to have access to KA bread flour. 

I am still learning to navigate the site but I love the fact that it is loaded with so many wonderful photos.  I hope to find tips for the home baker who does not have access to wood-fired or professional ovens. 


Right now I have some pizza dough in the fridge made from a sourdough starter. I found the recipe on this site and I am looking forward to giving it a try tomorrow!



edh's picture

Welcome pigreyhound,

I'm in Downeast Maine, so probably a bit south and east of you, but the same lack of retail opportunities! No bakeries within 100 miles (at least!), but at least the IGA carries KA.

I don't know if you're looking for grains or whole grain flours, but a bit east of Houlton, in New Brunswick, there's a mill called Speerville Mill (in Speerville...). They carry only grains grown in the Maritimes, and only sell to retailers within a 100 mile (or maybe it's 150, can't remember) radius, but they carry all kinds of good stuff, including kamut and spelt. Also, Crown O' Maine organic distributors are based in The County, and they carry Maine grown spelt and oats.

This is such a great site for getting started. And for keeping on going! I've learned more in the year and a half I've been hanging out here than I'd ever imagined possible. Because of the experienced and encouraging folks here I've tried, and eventually succeeded at, breads I'd never have thought possible at home.

Pizza is still a bit of a mystery to me; the stuff I make is still better than what I can get locally, but my crusts are still too, well, bread-y. My poor little gas stove can't go above 500F, but I'm pretty sure the fault lies in my dough handling inabilities; the whole shaping part pretty much eludes me.

Welcome, and enjoy!


pigreyhound's picture


Thank you so much for the information on the Speerville Mill! I am about an hour away from Houlton, but it might be a trip for me to take!! I don't have access to a local health food store but Houlton has a natural food store so I might try that the next time I am there.

I also have a tendency to make bread-y pizza dough. I bought some of the KA pizza flour but didn't like the final results. I am hoping to figure out what else to do with the pizza flour so it doesn't go to waste.

The best pizza dough I made was by accident, actually, and I haven't been able to replicate it. I made the Pain l'ancienne in BBA, and had some dough left in the fridge, so decided to just throw it on my baking stone as pizza. Great flavor and texture. But of course, it never happened again.

I am glad you are finding support and advice here. That is what I need!!!





edh's picture

I know what you mean; the only pizza I made that I really liked was a foccaccia dough that got distracted. Never have been able to replicate that one either.

The Speerville mill is online, if you decide to make the trip.

We haven't made the trip yet; hard to justify burning the gas these days! We're more like 2 hours from Houlton I think.


ehanner's picture

Welcome to The Fresh Loaf! I hope you enjoy the friendly community spirit here. We have members from all over the world who produce great breads of all kinds. I look forward to hearing from you and hopefully seeing your work.

Just a suggestion on the pizza thing. On the front page here, way down at the bottom on the left side, there is a link toa Pizza Primer. Here is the link. This is a good place to start with Pizza. It is a quick recipe that tastes good and will teach you the basics. That done, there are lots of folks here that have posted good advice on how to make all the various styles depending on your goal. The search tool will usually get you in the ball park and you can always ask if you can't find something.

The best way to duplicate a recipe is to start by measuring the ingredients using a digital scale with +- 1 gram accuracy. That is the one tool that you should put on your must have list.

Well good luck with the pizza and again, welcome.


pigreyhound's picture

Thank you so much for the warm welcome. I do need to get a kitchen scale.  I put one on my Christmas wish list, but may need to just buy one myself so I can have it now rather than later. 


Tonight we will be trying the sourdough pizza on the pizza stone in my oven. If the results are photo worthy, I will post!



Soundman's picture


I too want to say hi and welcome! It's true that TFL bakers congregate here from all over the world. But it's a small world: I have roots in Maine (my father's family came to Bangor / Orrington during the late 17th century and stayed for around 300 years!). Currently I live in Connecticut.

I too use King Arthur flour and other products. We're lucky to have them as a resource! (But sheesh the price of flour keeps going up.) I am with Eric about using a scale: it's essential for making consistent bread, and for adjusting recipe amounts. I bought my scale from KA, and I love it!

Keep us posted on your baking adventures.

Soundman (David)

JIP's picture

As far as pizza goes the best crust I have made so far has come out of a Moosewood restaurant cookbook.  I have also been meaning to try the recipe here but I have not been able to go with the extensive preplanning that is necesarry to make his dough.