The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

belated intro...

redcatgoddess's picture

belated intro...

this is my belated intro.. for I am not familiar w/ the 'protocol' around here, I came across the site by accident...

So, long story short.... I was a programmer who also run her own home based pastry/cake/bread business for 6 years.  When I decided to open a shop of my own, I decided to attend Le Cordon Bleu to play w/ the Pros and see how I measure up.  I do a LOT of "yes, Chef," learn the science of baking & why & how of things...  found the site when I am research for an 200 yr stollen formula. Saw a could homebaking problems that some of you are experiencing so decided to offer a couple of trick of trade.

I do main true artisan bread: no mixer, no chemical additives, no dough conditioner.. that kind of stuff.

My only wish here is to learn a couple tricks & different formula from all of you & to offer what I had learn from my own mistake in the past + the professional way of doing thing that I had learnt to everyone else. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

In fact, I don't think I ever wrote a formal introduction.  I sort of slid into the site. 

What I have noticed at this site, is that everyone usually comes here with a need, likes what they see, looks around, tries something new, asks questions and soon they're back, time and time again.  The discussions are give and take with helpful links and experimentation.  The goal is better bread.  Most everyone has their own personal journey and personal tastes.  Everyone is unique.  We try to treat each other with respect.  There is a lot of information here, so use of the search feature (upper left corner) is highly recommended.

Now you have to answer a question:  Have you ever worked with sourdough? 

Mini O

redcatgoddess's picture

I do work with sourdoughs... However, I am more towards the old fashion french/italian breads than the tangy of sourdough. :)  However, I do use sourdough starter, Mr. stinky & Ms. Purple, to make not onion bread, olive bread & etc.  Maybe I will post those recipe/formula when I get a break this weekend.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I was wondering....Did you find it?

Mini O

redcatgoddess's picture

Mini O... yeah.. I did..  The famous Dresden Stollen, which claims to be the oldest of it all... :)  2 verison of it can be found at City of Dresden

Wild-Yeast's picture

You've had the great good fortune to have glommed into the right place. 

Protocol?  Only one I guess, we like bread and help one another in that art. 

I only bake organic sourdough.  Stuck on the delicious San Francisco Sourdough French Brread taste.  Can't seem to stop baking it on a regular basis as it has truly become the daily bread of the household. 

The art is fitting the timing into schedules while maintaining the quality.  This is the part of the recipe that's the hardest to conquer and isn't available anywhere that I'm aware of.  Could be that this is the beginning of a new topic, "Art of timing the Build"...,

Oh yeah, one other thing.  Welcome aboard, have fun and tell us about the 200 Year old Stollen recipe...,


Mako's picture


I'd love to hear other peoples ideas on timing the build. I struggle with this all the time


I'll start a new thread on this subject

Soundman's picture

Welcome to TFL!

Let's see, may I call you redcat? Or just goddess, for short? ;-)

What MiniOven says about protocol is true, though this Introduction thread is a great way to say Howdy. Like MO, I didn't even know this thread existed for a long time, I was so happy to see Sourdough and Artisan Baking forums. Eventually I calmed down and scanned the enormously varied opening screen and, like you, realized I hadn't really introduced myself properly, but rather just jumped right in! Well, that's an OK way to join this ragtag crew anyway. OK, guys and gals, no throwing stuff!

Wild-Yeast, I'm trending in your direction. It's been a while since I used commercial yeast and I'm really enjoying the results.

goddess, I look forward to learning from you and hearing more about your experiences in the professional baking world!

Soundman (David)

Janedo's picture

Hi Red Cat,

Welcome to TFL. Just out of curiosity, what nationality are you? I live in the Pyrénées Orientales and would LOVE to do your course as well.

What text book do you use for the classes? I just received my Pratique en Boulangerie -Devenir Boulanger en 26 semaines by Gérald Biremont that is used in the CAP classes and adult classes. It is really the course material for the whole program but not really the explanations. It gives the formulas, like the one you showed for the baguette. It starts with a very simple straight method, like the baguette recipe you posted and then goes to more complex formulas with poolish, retarding, etc.

I think it's a good idea for people just attacking that sort of thing to start simple, with a quick recipe, to get the techniques of shaping, etc. It'll frustrate bread lovers and then they can move on to other formulas. If I had the time, I'd go through the whole book and do absolutely everything step by step like you must be doing in your classes.

Even the croissant recipes get more complex. Which leads me to believe that some professional bakers stay with the simple straight method and then others play more with the recipe and develop WORLD CLASS baguettes... like the Gosselin or the Bouabsa. Now those are the best darn baguettes I've ever tasted.


redcatgoddess's picture

Congrats on your Pratique en Boulangerie!  One of those days I will get a job at Paris & learn all the French secrets on pastry!  :)

We used Gisslen's Professional Baking at School (I think it is onto the 5th or 6th edition right now), at least at the USA branch, which explains the why & how of things in the world of baking, equipment, ingredients difference, and etc.  Keep in mind, the book also included cake, quick bread, pastry & etc.  We also use the standarized course material that is provided by Le Cordon Bleu, which is more technical.

I am Chinese, live in US, Le Cordon Bleu @ Portland, OR.  The closest Le Cordon bleu for you is at Paris.  And I think they do have open demo/workshop that you can attend if you don't want to go through the whole grilling program of 9 or 15 months.  Personally, I learnt a LOT from those chefs.  We had visiting chefs from around the world, constant demo of world cusine, and different clubs, w/ GPA requirement, to fit your liking (cartering, bread, wine & etc).  I had met so many chefs who are so passion about what they do.  My 1st Chef was trained by Reinhart and he also shared Reinhard's passion toward EVERYTHING.  He used to duct points from grades if anything is less than perfect (built character, he said).  I made neverly perfect Danish with perfect pastry cream but 1 point was duct because some of my danish is "too stressed."

I am a pastry chef, so pastry, crossiant, danish, cake, pies are more of my field.  Bread is something I like to play with.  For me, simplest thing is always the best, just like the cooling watermelon in hot summer day or Crepe & earl grey for breakfast.  There are a lot of very nice & complex receipe on this site, which is wonderful for bread lovers.  However, some of the method may seem scary to the beinnger, so I posted the simplest, easilest formula that I was given when I 1st started so the beginners or one without mixer can have a chance to try things out w/o being too frustrated or too scare to try a formula just because they don't have a $500 US mixer.