The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Words of Encouragement for New Bread Bakers

bagel_and_rye's picture

Words of Encouragement for New Bread Bakers

My husband and I organize a not-for-profit group called the Chicago Amateur Bread Bakers. To-date, we are 28 home/hobby bakers, passionate about making yeasted, artisanal breads. We get together in-person twice a month, to share our experiences and learn from one another.

We welcome newbies, old hands, and everything in between. We define a newbie as one who has tried baking bread at home at least two or three times.
Recently I have received some interesting questions from Chicagoans who would like to begin baking yeasted bread at home. A number want us to teach them. Other simply are wondering where to begin. We encourage all of them to attempt bread baking at home two or three times, on their own. And then ask themselves, how does it taste? What do you like about the bread? What have your learned? Did anything frustrate you? What would you like to try doing differently next time? What questions do you have for more experienced bakers? Your first bread is likely to "fail." You may make a royal mess in your kitchen. All of this is encouraged: these "failures" are often the best teachers . . . more


pixielou55's picture

I tried to join but I couldn't without a photo of me. I don't have one - seems like a silly reason to not let me join!

flournwater's picture

I'm not personally interested in joining but, with reference to your specific problem, these types of sites often ask for a "photo" but they don't care whether its a personal image of yourself or of your cat.   Just upload anything; it'll probably work.

bagel_and_rye's picture


Thank you for the explanation and suggestion, flournwater! That's exactly right--any photo will do. (In fact, one of our members did upload a photo of her cat.)

The photos serve as mnemonics: They aid us organizers in remembering each member's name and something about that person.

Pixielou55, please join us when you feel ready. We look forward to meeting you.

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