I have come a long way in bread baking :) It was not a smooth journey (with many bricks came out of the oven instead of nice open crumb bread) but it was an experience which filled with fun, excitement and of course heavenly taste bread for the whole family.
For those who have just started this hobby, no machine is not a problem, no big oven? not a problem too, no proper peel? no problem.. all you need is flour, water, salt and yeast. This last one you can even grow your own which we call a starter. The most important thing you need is read blogs like The Fresh Loaf, Wild Yeast, BYOB and see how Nyonya show off her loaves too ;P
I do have a big oven but prefer to use our counter top oven (to cut down electricity), I don't have a kitchen aid but a lot of enthusiasm. Who needs machine?? back then during the old days bakers baked without any help of machine anyway..I don't have any peel but a chopping board would do.
The fun of bread baking is really to see the magic of turning flour, salt, water and yeast into bread. So lately, I have just discover another great kitchen tool to produce beautiful loaves... The Cocotte!! Yes the good old thick base pot with a cover. To hold the dough in shape and to create steam while baking.. Sitting in front of the computer, reading food blogs does pay off.
There is nothing special about the formula/ recipe (click on my other post for recipes) but the result comes with much open crumbs plus beautiful crust.