Learning How to Make Bread

A little while back, I kind of just decided I was really interested in learning how to make bread. I don’t remember why the idea popped into my head, but immediately Josh got on board and we signed up for a Josey Baker bread-making class in San Francisco.

Our first loaves! This is how they look right before we put them in the oven.

Taking the class changed everything, I am a hands-on learner and I loved being able to watch the process right before my eyes. The entire process of baking bread takes over 24 hours, so the class is made up of each step so that you can experience the entire process, but it is out of order so that class takes only 2 hours. Overall, the class was a bit on the pricey side ($100/each), but it was great and I would recommend it to anyone! It comes with a sourdough starter (so you don’t have to make your own at home), proofing baskets, and a loaf of bread.

We learned how to make a country loaf, which I later found out to be whole wheat sourdough (50% whole wheat flour, 50% bread flour). But from there, you can add make variations by adding nuts, olives, seasoning, etc.

Prepping the additions for the Olive Bread from the Tartine Bread Book.

It took me about 4 tries to finally be happy with the country loaf that I make and now I have moved on to variations, such as a sesame seed loaf and an olive loaf. Right now, at my house, we are going through about 2 LOAVES A DAY! Granted, there are 5 of us, but I can’t seem to keep them on the table for long.

Olive Loaf from Tartine Bread Book.

Now, I am not going to give away any recipes, since none of them are mine, but I would definitely check out the Josey Baker Bread Book to get started! I also invested in the Tartine Bread Book, which has some great variations, plus some recipes in the back for what to cook with your bread, including jelly, sandwiches, and even pan con tomate, which is a house favorite!

To get started (besides the recipe), you only need:

Things that are handy, but not necessary:

  • Scoring knife (can use a regular knife instead)
  • Proofing baskets (can use a regular bowl instead, but I do recommend because the basket is what give the bread it’s cool patterns!)
  • Scale (you can convert to cups, but remember that not all things have the same density! Honestly though, purchasing a scale has come in handier than just bread, I also do recommend this as well.)

And be sure to check out Josey Baker’s blog!

Happy baking!

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