As I was taking SFBI’s Sourdough at Home course over the weekend, there UK’s The Independent ran an article: “Dough Nuts: There’s a new breed of amateur foodie – men who bake their own bread.” The majority of the weekend bread baking class were men, and those who had previously attempted sourdoughs before class were men. It was interesting that most of the woman in the class were the new bread bakers in the group.
While I didn’t speak to every man taking the class, the discussions I had were quite fascinating. We talked of the formulas being used, current breads being made, what issues were had, and ultimately what equipment we used.
As you can imagine, there was a variety of baking tools. One person was building a wood burning oven, one person modified their home oven for steam injection, and another person build a dedicated proofer from a refrigerator. I took the easy way out and bought a bread oven, but the ingenuity of my fellow home bakers was quite impressive.
Not to be outdone, I’m going to have to modify the Haussler. While there is a steam drip tray, similar to some wood burning ovens, there isn’t that much steam production. Because I don’t want to waste floor space with a cast iron pan, I’ll go with force induction. At this point in time, it looks like I’ll re-purpose our espresso machine for the greater good.
And I think that’s it. Bread baking is one of those hobbies that offers a confluence of activities that draw men: craft in making the bread, creativity in the variety and style bread, and creation or novel use of tools. We only need to have home bread baking competitions to complete hobby.