"The process of bread baking is at once a simple endeavour, yet at the same time it can be one of enormous complexity. The merest of ingredients are required, and these few are easily procured, requiring little intricacy in their preparation. And since so few ingredients are needed or necessary to the bread baker, from one bake to the next not much seems to change. One style of mixer suffices and can mix a full range of doughs. some couche linens, a few stacks of proofing baskets, a decent scale, a durable work table, a couple of razor blades stuck on slender lames and a sturdy oven. The needs are few. And yet from the time the grain is planted until baked bread is on the table, the hands and skills of dozens of people have been engaged. Farmers in the fields plow, plant, cultivate, and harvest. Grain is transported to the mill to be tempered, ground, sifted, analysed, and bagged — brought from berry to flour. Flour in the bag is tucked and hefted to the domain of the baker. Here the final magic is performed for the flour is nothing by itself — it needs the baker to bring it to fulfillment, to coax all the flavor he or she can from the inert grain. The flour, unable to sustain life on its own, is transformed by the hands of the baker into wondrous bread, nurturing and nourishing. What we hold in our hands months later, the original planting of the seed, is the final resolution of the labor of many: a loaf of bread — ephemeral, fragrant, live". -- From the book Bread, A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes, by Jeffrey Hamelman.
It does take some failing, one success, reading, asking, watching, listening. Some more trying, a burnt loaf, an under cooked one, less water, more hydration, steam, a cast iron pot, different flours and why not grains and a mill. It's an adventure of discoveries, a learning of patience, and suddenly all becomes a lifestyle. Loaf after loaf, you get better and learn more. Excitement comes from a crackling sing of a good crust, an airy crumb, unfathomable flavors. Here's the beauty of it all and why I never bought a loaf of bread ever again. The baking of bread, of real sourdough bread. My obsession.