Lately I have become, what I like to call, a Weekend Bread Baker. Because of work during the week, I feel like I can only do justice to the bread baking process on weekends. I am currently obsessed with creating the perfect sourdough baguettes. During the week, I do spend some time maintaining the sourdough starter I’ve created. This ensures it is ready to go for my weekend bread creations.
Habits of a Bread Baker
As a current bread baking fanatic, I’ve been spending a lot of time looking through bread baking books, studying recipes, and, I admit, watching YouTube videos of other bakers working with their doughs. It’s comforting to know that I’m not the only person obsessing over flours, dough textures and my starter!
Sharing my Bread Baking Finds
While I do plan on sharing different bread recipes I’ve tried and found successful here on this blog, I also want to share all the “bread” resources I’m currently using and studying. I am finding I need to “tweak” recipes here and there for them to work with my kitchen environment and my oven and, honestly, my current abilities.
Especially when working with sourdough, I’ve found it’s important to make adjustments here and there depending on the temperature, humidity, timing, etc. What I’m saying is, I am by no means a master bread maker, but more of an obsessed hobbyist at this time.
My Current Bread Baking Obsessions
If you’re interested in Sourdoughs, then you MUST visit the website The Perfect Loaf. I will not admit how many hours I’ve spent reading and re-reading the posts here! I would be shocked to find out that there is anything about creating sourdough loaves that Maurizio hasn’t covered on this site.
Here are the books I have also read and re-read (affiliate links) Tartine Bread, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, Crust and Crumb: Master Formulas for Serious Bread Bakers, Classic Sourdoughs, and Flour Water Salt Yeast.
For my baguettes, I’m using this Emile Henry Baguette Baker. I found the best price at Amazon (affiliate link if you click photo below).
I’ve also found great recipes, tips, flours, tools, etc. on the King Arthur Flour website. You can even buy a sourdough starter on their site if you don’t want to spend the time of creating your own (but you’ll miss all the fun).
Other Bread Baking Items
Among the other items I’ve found I’ve needed are a digital scale and a pastry mat. Because we have a very old house and old kitchen that has tile countertops, I find using a pastry mat helps keep the flour and dough from getting into the grout. Luckily I have a mat I love from my days of selling Pampered Chef. Of course, you’ll need measuring cups and spoons. I also found when making a ciabatta dough that my stand mixer came in handy for all the kneading that was required (18 minutes on level 6!). For the other loaves I’ve tried and my current sourdough obsession, I actually enjoy kneading by hand so I can start to understand the “feel” of the dough at different phases.
This Weekend’s Baguettes
Here are the baguettes I baked today.
I started with proofing my starter last night and finished up with mixing the recipe, letting the dough rise and baking the loaves today. For this batch, I tweaked two different recipes and may be close to a winner for my tastes. I’ll post a recipe soon.
I’m truly having so much fun with this current bread baking hobby and hope you’re enjoying my posts and photos across my other social media channels.
Please share any bread baking recipes, tips and encouragement in the comments below.