The product list
I'm currently fantasizing about taking the expensive plunge and buying a grain mill so I can grind my own flour. It would always be fresh. Incorporated in the fantasy is using locally-sourced grain berries of various kinds. Looking at the KoMo Classic. Breadtopia and others are fans of this one. I will have to check out the onlygrainmills.com videos for this decision.
There is also the outdoor wood-fired oven fantasy, but I have to move to Oregon or Vermont, put on organic cotton clothing, and travel with a cargo bike.
A noble pursuit: Reading bread books and perusing tools, classes, forums and websites
The thing about bread books is that they take a long time to read and incorporate into one's repertoire. I am currently revisiting some that I read, but never tried the recipes. Kneading was a major obstacle, but it is going sufficiently well to try some new recipes.
Even now, two years into this project, I am finding it a slow slog through the bread books. I love reading them and that takes no time at all, but I get distracted and digress along the way. So, as much as I want to get to the following books, I must say I am uncertain where I will be going along the way and whether I will get to them.
Note: The following list is an arbitrary collection reflecting my baking priorities and interests. Once books, items, websites or anything else are read, tried, or otherwise tested, they are moved to the reviews page of this site.
The book list
Really, really want the books with an asterisk.
*Bread Baker's Apprentice (will have to take a second look; heard the recipes are unnecessarily complicated)
Not sure about these. I have still not reviewed the books I have, though I'm getting closer. Not mentally ready for any new books at this time.
Baking and Bakeries
Building a Wood-Fired Oven for Bread and Pizza (falls into history category because no current plan to actually build an oven)
*Cooked by Michael Pollan
Probably better to have an addiction to bread books than to other substances, though when one starts looking at expensive Scottish baking courses on country lanes, lines have already been crossed.
Jewish bread and bread history
Inside the Jewish Bakery - I read it, but I have not tried any recipes
A Blessing of Bread - has many challah recipes
Undecided about Jim Lahey's no-knead recipe book. First, I want to try his classic recipe, which appears in great detail, but without weight measurements, in an old New York Times article. Downside is that the recipe is for a white bread and, frankly, it is unbelievably easy to make a fabulous white bread. And easy without commercial yeast.
Food history and fermentation
The class list
Bakerybits.com posts a list of bread making classes in England.
Sourdough Home runs classes somewhere in Texas.
My personal fantasy: Bread Matters Advanced Class in Scotland.
The San Francisco Baking Institute offers a smorgasbord of bread classes, including a few five-day classes. There are in-depth classes on sourdough and whole grains as well. SBFI also has a package deal of $75 for access to videos for a whole year. It is cheaper than an expensive bread class, plus transportation and hotel. I guess there is couch surfing.
The real fantasy is to take classes at each one and write about the experiences.