Greetings from Northern Illinois
Found this web site, love the international participation, all the help I have received, and cool ideals. The Fresh Loaf is Awesome!
I love making bread, especially the part where you put it in the oven and cross your fingers hoping that it comes out as planned. And when it does, rejoice! There is definitely an art and science to baking and making breads certainly embody all the trials and tribulations of baking in general.
My bread making journey when I saw a book, “Bread Winners Too!” by Mel London and bought it March 7, 1985 while on lunch break from my job as a Cobol programmer for Illinois Bell. Baking bread became somewhat of a mental and physical diversion from the stress of commuting and programming 6 days week. I learned how to proof the yeast, add in many types of tasty ingredients, make a few different quick breads, and learn to bake after years of being a culinary spectator all my life. I spent a few years with just that book for a reference and probably made at least 15 different recipes for breads, even tried making croissants on two occasions, neither really amounting to much but got my curiosity going for more.
Fast forward to December 2011 and now I’ve retired from my programming work and somehow came across the Tartine Bread book by Chad Robertson. One thing I had not learned from my early bread making days was how to get that crispy crust done right; although I had been experimenting with a baking stone and using a pan of water in the first stages of bread baking. Out comes the dutch oven combo cooker and my breads take off in a new direction until… I crack a molar, need a root canal, and now I can’t chew… my bread making stops cold. But I digress, my root canal caused a problem which took over a year to heal and now as of Fall 2013, I’m back in business and I want to make all kinds of breads!
Nice thing about bread making, even if you screw up and your bread does not rise as expected, you can still use the left overs to make croutons for soup.
Thanks for a great place to learn and meet other bread makers,