Hello from an aspiring amateur
I've been baking bread at home off and on for a few years now, sticking mainly to straightforward general cookbook recipes and techniques for yeasted white loaf breads, sourdough breads, hamburger buns, and the occasional whole wheat bread. Nothing fancy, but the results are nearly always satisfying.
I bake once or twice a week. I realized not too long ago that I haven't purchased bread at a grocery store in over a year! Baking and eating my own bread is just so much more satisfying than eating the packaged commercial products from the grocery. I am still very much a beginner, but I've gained enough experience and confidence to be able to produce consistent results with the breads I've practiced.
Recently I started to bake french breads, batards and boules, both regular and sourdough. My results have been mixed. Making good bread from just flour, water, yeast and salt, with no fats, sugars, or eggs, ... or loaf pans ..., is more challenging than I thought it would be. I definitely need a lot more practice shaping and slashing loaves.
I'm having frustrating problems with one of Hamelman's recipes from "Bread, A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes." I'll be posting a new thread about it in the whole and multigrain section shortly. I hope that's the right place for questions about Hamelman's Pain au Levain with Whole-Wheat Flour recipe.
The Fresh Loaf is an amazing site. I'm happy to be a new member of this wonderful forum.