The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

New member in Argentina

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rmk129's picture
rmk129

New member in Argentina

As a newbie bread-maker, I was ecstatic to find this site yesterday!!! I have been making bread with the help of a bread-maker for over 5 years. In December my husband and I moved to Argentina, so we gave up everything that would not fit into 2 suitcases each...no more bread-maker!!! Although there are many bakeries here, they almost exclusively feature breads made of white flour and even those breads are nothing like homemade. My husband's mom used to make yummy bread in their outdoor oven here, but nobody measures their ingredients here so it is hard to get accurate recipes unless you have time to watch someone go through the entire baking process...even the local recipe books usually indicate that you should simply add "a sufficient amount of flour" and things like that.

I am a grad student, so I spend a lot of time at home working on my thesis and bread-making is the perfect way to break up my days and make me feel productive even when my thesis is moving along at the pace of a turtle... So over the past few months I have been experimenting with different breads and so far I am fairly happy with my baguettes and basic whole-wheat/flax seed bread. They are definitely not perfect but very yummy!!!

An added challenge for me has definitely been my tiny gas oven that does not have any temperature indicator (therefore directions to set the oven to 350 or 500 mean nothing to me)...I have had to learn to go by the sound of the flames, and it is still hit or miss :) Room temperature here also has a very different meaning, especially now that it is getting colder out. We do not have central heating, so room temperature was close to 35 degrees a few months ago, and now it is closer to 15 degrees and dropping in most of the apartment...except in the hallway where the gas heater blows out :)

I look forward to following these forums and hopefully picking up lots of tips...especially tips that will help me make decent bread without lots of special equipment. I am thinking of investing in a cheap kitchen scale, because it seems to be more important to weigh ingredients rather than measure them??? Today I have already read about how to make homemade cloches out of baskets and linen...great idea!!! I made the poolish for the Daily Bread featured on the home page last night, so I will see how that goes today...and if I figure out how to post photos I would love to participate in that aspect of the site so I can get more help and suggestions!

Until next time...