The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Long time beginning bread baker

Hazel Rose's picture
Hazel Rose

Long time beginning bread baker

I've been baking bread since I was still at home some 60+/- years ago, but never really explored much. Sis makes sourdough breads and has been trying to talk me into it. I like sourdough but it always seemed a lot of work. Just recently have been exploring using a bit of dough from todays loaf as leavening in the next loaf. I mean recently as in a few days ago. I put aside a 'wad' of dough before baking to use and am now growing my first no new yeast loaf. Time will tell. I may have missed a step yesterday, we'll see. It smells nice, tho, and does seem to be rising. If this works I want to try bagels again, we like those.

Meantime I bake my regular every day loaf about every other day. I'm a machine baker, too. I like to experiment and have not, so far, had to toss any loaf tho I've had some I counted as failures, They make good bread crumbs and/or bird feed! I've started using a bit of rye flour and find it gives me a nice texture.

Anyway, I am delighted to find this site and know I am going to learn lots from all you great bakers!

WatertownNewbie's picture

Welcome to TFL.  You will find many friendly helpful persons here.  Let us know how your wad of dough turns out.

Happy baking.


Hazel Rose's picture
Hazel Rose

Thank you, Ted.

The loaf turned out okay. Interesting,  at least. It was a little sour, fine textured, heavy; I want to see how it toasts. I'm not delighted with it but I think I'll have another go at it, just to try out some ideas I have from reading comments here.

Benito's picture

Welcome to TFL Hazel.  You will find it friendly, helpful and knowledgeable here.  I hope you post your bakes so we can learn from each other.  Don’t forget, we learn more from our “failures” as we do our successes.


Hazel Rose's picture
Hazel Rose

Thanks, Benny. We had it as toast this morning,. didn't brown much as it's low sugar but it was toasy and tasted nice, a little more 'sour' than yesterday, or so I thoughtl

troglodyte's picture

Hi Hazel and welcome!

I am another beginner who has been making bread for a long time. Here is my intro from a couple months ago:

My sourdough starter is runny, like a thick batter. I keep it in the refrigerator and try to refresh it at least once every two weeks, usually more often. I also keep the discard in a separate container in the refrigerator. When I make sourdough bread, I refresh the starter first and set aside 1 cup of seed for next time.

For the bread, I use up the old discard first. After measuring the old discard, I top it off with enough fresh starter to get the total starter I need for the bread. The rest of the fresh starter becomes the new discard for a future loaf. Eventually a day comes when I have enough discard that I don't bother to make starter.

There are good reasons not to follow this method, and I admit that I get variations in rise and flavor from this approach, but my sourdough bread tastes good and is reasonably consistent. For some reason, sourdough bread disappears faster than any other types of bread in our family. 

I still follow that method, but I am also trying new techniques from this website and some new bread baking books. 

Hazel Rose's picture
Hazel Rose

I use my bread machine just for the work. I have a bad shoulder so kneading has become painful , but once the first rise is done it goes back to the 'old fashioned' way and ends in the oven. I inherited my first bread machine from my dad & it was actually one I had bought him 8 years before. I got another 8 years out of it before it worked itself to death. Since then I have bought barely used machines at GoodWill for $10. I'm om my 2nd one from there.

But my everyday bread has finally settled down. This loaf gets made about twice a week. It's mostly WW & rye flour. I've tried sour dough a couple times but without noticeable success at getting 'sour'. I think I got a decent sour this time but I'm a lazy baker and this was more work than I am willing to do as a regular thing. And I am definatly non technical! I have also enjoyed reading some of the bread scientist's posts but I'll leave that to them. I make pizza dough, occasionally bagles, & try to avoid sweet rolls more than once a year as Xmas for certain friends but that's about it for my bread making. I might give a try to a rye bread, thinking about that.

But tho I enjoyed kneading dough back in my strengthy youth, I think the bread machine is the greatest thing "since sliced bread"! 

Editing to add that at breakfast this am dh said, "I really lIke your sour dough bread. It has flavor.  Most regular bread dosen't have much flavor."  I had noticed when cutting the toast that over half the loaf was gone!

I guess that means I need to try it again!