Saturday, May 23, 2009


A joined the Bread Bakers Apprentice Challenge Group. Pinch My Salt started it and it already has an overwhelming response. I guess a lot of people are like me, they want some people to bake that book with. I have made a few things from it over the years but not nearly as many as I want to. The book is chalk full of baking information. Everything you want to know about the science of bread with helpful hints and tips and of course "formulas" (as Reinhart calls it).

I started my bread baking journey years ago... 1985 was the first attempt. My heavy, brick laden bread discouraged me for a number of years. Finally, I made pizza dough in 1995 with great success. Haven't stopped yet.

I see a lot of people on these blogs say that they have yeast phobias which got me thinking and I came up with this,


Stage 1 Interest. This is when you see that others are successfully making bread and achieving wonderful results. You see bread everywhere you go and think, "man, bread is too expensive, I have to make this. If everybody else can do it, so can I."

Stage 2 Yeast Phobia. You feel a certain amount of fear or trepidation however small or large, and that fear, looms over you. The fear that threatens to make your bread into a brick rather than a moist and tender crumb that melts butter all over it. But you say, hey, it is possible, I know it is...

Stage 3 Overcoming Yeast Phobia and making your first bread. You say to yourself, I could do pizza, maybe that is not so hard or some other bread you perceive as "easier".

Stage 4 Confidence. You succeeded and patting yourself on the back you proceed to the next "yeasty" recipe!

Stage 5 Experimentation. You have made countless bread and you learn that there is pretty much not a lot you can do to "ruin" a loaf. So you mix in a little of this and a little of that. You try different rising times or different ways of raising your bread, cutting your bread or shaping it, different tools and pans...! You are a pro you can make pizza dough with your eyes closed.

Stage 6 Setbacks. Some things happened. Your bread caves (ie. picture above), or doesn't rise like it should, the crumb isn't right. You learn though because you just have to know why it happened. You move on, it really doesn't set you back.

Stage 7 Sourdough or wild yeast. You try sourdough. It's a challenge that a lot of bread bakers want to know about and grow. It's a "pet" they need or should I say knead to have!

Stage 8 Mastery of bread and sourdough. You have pretty much mastered the domain of bread making. Cheers!
*I just realized what I did wrong. I never added the molasses, duh! Tastes great anyway!


Justin said...

this is a great post -- i love the stages

Mary said...

Lori, You have the stages of bread making just right. Now if you could only detail problems and causes you'd have full time employment. Have a wonderful weekend.

Joie de vivre said...

I haven't heard of that group yet, that sounds like fun! I"ve been making my bread exclusively since the new year, I LOVE IT! It would be fun to join a group.

Murasaki Shikibu said...

Once you hit the last stage there's no going back. We haven't bought bread in months now. Because we need to feed the starter once a week, Ronny bakes bread when we do that and we live off it. ;)

Which reminds me...I forgot to feed the starter two days ago and have to do it tonight.

Ingrid said...

I'm kinda in the middle made successful pizza dough and am thinking of makin soemthing else. :)

The Blonde Duck said...

I'm in stage 6.