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Old 01-11-2024, 04:18 PM
Location: West coast
5,281 posts, read 3,076,286 times
Reputation: 12275


I’ve always been a decent cook.
I got into this about 4-5 months ago when I couldn’t find good local bread.
It’s really fun, challenging and somehow very relaxing for me.
There is like a creative zen thing to it for me.

Sometimes I go way way out there when I do inclusions.
I’ll do cooks with,
Bacon, jalapeño and cheddar
Clams, garlic and parmesan
Garlic, rosemary and parmesan
There are a few other combinations I do as well like raisin cinnamon or walnut cranberry.

I mostly just do a plain flour bread or a blended bread flour with 15% dark rye flour for table fare.
There are some elderly retired folks in my hood and it is really rewarding giving them a fresh loaf.

Anyways it’s a lot of fun.
Are any of you doing this as a hobby?
Here are some pics of my cooks.
Attached Thumbnails
Artisan bread-img_4052.jpeg   Artisan bread-img_3933.jpeg   Artisan bread-img_3899.jpeg   Artisan bread-img_1417.jpeg   Artisan bread-img_4010.jpeg  

Artisan bread-img_1398.jpeg   Artisan bread-img_3952.jpeg  
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Old 01-11-2024, 04:50 PM
24,538 posts, read 10,859,092 times
Reputation: 46844
Would you mind to share a bit more about your breads? Thank you!
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Old 01-11-2024, 04:54 PM
Location: Northern California
130,259 posts, read 12,099,804 times
Reputation: 39036
Looks wonderful, I wish you were my neighbor I might make a bread out of a box or bag, but not from scratch, it scares me
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Old 01-11-2024, 05:36 PM
Location: West coast
5,281 posts, read 3,076,286 times
Reputation: 12275
Sure I’ll share any information I have.

For me this journey started about 5-6 months ago while I was learning to make pizza.
We live near water and I thought clams on pizza would be cool, so I picked some clams and off I went.
I mean clams, garlic and pasta work right?
That turned out really well and then I thought clams would go good in sourdough kinda like a Frisco bowl of clam chowder but I thought I’d bake it instead and that did well too.

I built my own sourdough started watching a few YouTube videos.
It took about 8-9 days to get a nice strong starter that’s often referred to as the mother.

I used my well water and dark rye flour at first using a one to one ratio.
I had to feed it everyday.
After it was well established I started feeding it white flour because I didn’t want all my cooks tasting like rye.
I figured I’d have a neutral mother that can be used for numerous different things and I could always just add rye if I wanted that rye flavor.

I’ve spent most of my life living near San Francisco and I dig sourdough.
I think the microbes up here in this Washington marine environment is not much different San Francisco and might even be better because it’s cleaner.

This is both easy and challenging.
I mean it’s not rocket science and even when I mess up I still have a loaf that tastes pretty darn good even if it’s flatter than ideal.

It takes me 3 days to make some loafs.
Day one - 5 minutes, feeding the mother to get ready for a cook.
Day two - 4 hours, but I only work about an hour or two total at 5-10 minutes per hour minutes so mixing dough, placing it in baskets and doing a clean up.
Day three- 1 hour baking
I have a lot of projects at the house I’m doing so I just find time to fit in my baking obligations.

I don’t use a stand mixer.
I was really scared about this practice at first because I have arthritis but it’s pretty easy on me and I only have to stretch and fold the dough for a couple of minutes at a time so I’m not kneading the dough like the old fashioned way.
Thank God.

There are a few things (actually there are a lot of things) I would really like to get better at.
I’d really like to say I can do great baguettes but I’m still mediocre at this.
Same with a few other disciplines.
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Old 01-11-2024, 06:17 PM
23,596 posts, read 70,402,242 times
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Bows in your direction. I don't even attempt it.
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Old 01-11-2024, 06:25 PM
7,072 posts, read 4,820,754 times
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Wow! So beautiful. Very impressive, Andy!

My breadmaking is limited to the no-knead kind, but I’ve adjusted the recipe a bit and it comes out pretty perfect and consistent every time.

It “looks like” artisan bread, but it’s not. Tastes good tho.

Last edited by puginabug; 01-11-2024 at 06:34 PM..
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Old 01-12-2024, 07:28 AM
Location: Dessert
10,891 posts, read 7,386,537 times
Reputation: 28062
Beautiful loaves!

I've been into bread making three or four times over 40 years, most recently during covid lockdown.

I never got the hang of sourdough bread, but it's fabulous for pancakes, English muffins, and more.

I kneaded by hand many times, but nowadays, I much prefer a bread machine to take it to the "dough" stage, then shape and bake out of the machine. You can get a bread machine for $10 or $15 at a thrift shop or garage sale.

Basic ingredients are simple; flour, water, yeast. Of course many recipes call for sugar, milk, butter, potatoes, etc., but don't get intimidated and feel you have to use a mix; that'll cost much more than scratch baking.

You can make so many delicious breads! pita, naan, focaccia, french, mmm mmm

Biggest problem with baking bread regularly is weight gain!
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Old 01-12-2024, 07:34 AM
Location: North Carolina
3,057 posts, read 2,034,410 times
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Wow! I'm going to try and not get motivated to learn to bake bread but am impressed with your output MechAndy.
If I was snowed in for a week it would be a goal but luckily I live in North Carolina haha.
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Old 01-12-2024, 08:55 AM
Location: Islip,NY
20,935 posts, read 28,420,556 times
Reputation: 24913
that bread looks so yummy. Put some butter on it and I am all set. I would actually buy these if you were selling them at a farmers market. was it difficult to do? I make quick breads from scratch and orange marmalade bread but that's it.
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Old 01-12-2024, 09:05 AM
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, 615' Elevation, Zone 8b - originally from SF Bay Area
44,572 posts, read 81,167,557 times
Reputation: 57798
Mine is not nearly as impressive, I mostly just do sourdough. My starter is about 5 years old, and I often make one loaf to eat and two more taken out of the oven early to freeze and finish baking to eat hot another day. Last night I did pizzas and that sourdough crust was great, nice and chewy.
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