bread loaf

Saint Paul Bread Club

We knead to bake!

Bread Baker Biography – Carol Sturgeleski (1/21/2005)

Who are you?

My name is Carol Sturgeleski.

How long have you been baking bread?

About 43 years.

Who taught you how to bake bread?

I learned just by doing.

When did you start baking bread at home?

Probably in 1962.

What’s your favorite bread to bake?


What bread do you make most often?

Honey Whole Wheat and Challah

Where do you get your bread recipes?

Sunset Cook Book of Breads, Red Star Centennial Bread Sampler, Better Homes and Garden Cookbook, sometimes the newspaper, and whatever recipe hits my fancy.

How do you mix your dough?

KitchenAid with dough hook, but then I always knead with my hands.

How do you proof your dough?

In summertime, I leave it in the metal bowl with a cover over it. In wintertime, I warm the oven then shut it off and put the bowl in the oven with a cover.

How do you bake your bread?

On my stone and bread pans depending on what type of bread I am baking.

What gives you the greatest satisfaction in baking bread?

Working with my hands, smelling it and knowing what I put in the bread. No preservatives.

What was the most difficult bread you ever made and was it worth the effort?

Ciabatta. It is always worth it when you can learn from your mistakes.

What was the most unusual bread you ever made?

I put sauteed onion and garlic in my Challah bread.

What was the most unusual ingredient you ever used in making bread?

I have learned you can put fruits, nuts, seeds, cranberries, anything you like in bread.

What was the simplest bread you ever made?

White Bread.

What’s your favorite flour?

Dakota Maid Bread Flour and Mississippi Coop Organic Unbleached, Bob’s Red Mill Organic. Sometimes I mix them.

What’s your favorite yeast?

Mississippi Coop bulk yeast.

Do you bake with sourdough?

Klecko gave me some of his sourdough and I made French sourdough and it was delicious.

What kind of oven do you use?

Convection Oven.

Do you use baking stones or water pans?

I sometimes use a stone and sometimes I put a pan of water in the lower rack, but don’t use water with the stone.

What’s your favorite tool for making bread?

KitchenAid dough hook and my hands.

What kind of bread pans do you have?

9×5 Bread pans and W shaped non-stick for French Sourdough and Stone.

What shape loaves do you make?

Round or oblong on Stone.

What’s the biggest batch of bread that you have made at home?

I have made 10 loaves at one time. That was when I first started to make bread and I got the water for the yeast too hot and it was a mess, but that is how you learn.

Do you bake bread year round?

Yes, but more in Winter.

If you buy bread, where do you buy it?

SuperValu, Natural Ovens.

What’s your favorite bread book?

Sunset Cook Book of Breads. Very old.

What is the bread book you would recommend to beginners?

I really don’t know. I believe if you can read you can bake. Find the time; it is worth it.

How did you find out about the Bread Club?

Klecko was demonstrating at the Mississippi Coop on Selby and I met him. Then a few weeks later I saw an article in the Highland Villager about him starting a Bread Club and I attended the meeting.

What was your first Bread Club meeting?

We met at Mississippi Coop on Selby Ave. There were about 8 people there.

What do you like about the Bread Club?

Learning from one another and meeting great people. You are never too old to learn.

What have you learned from the Bread Club?

Little different hints on yeast and how it reacts, flour and moisture in baking.