Flour + Water + Salt + Air

Hi Baker junkies!

Would just like to share with other beginner bakers how much is possible with the simple sourdough process and to not get too disheartened if your loaf is not exactly as you want it ... yet!

I recently baked loaf #38 and it was finally one that I was proud of (I am a bit of a perfectionist). Unfortunately I have no photo tho, as this loaf was taken to a BBQ :o(

I used a 100% wholemeal stater and the loaf was in total 75% wholoemeal and the flours were 100% organic or chemical free. I also added seeds to the mix for taste. Despite all this the oven spring doubled the loaf size and produced an open, soft and extremely tasty crumb. The crust was nice and crunchy and the remained of the loaf stayed edible and soft for three days without any additives.

I'd be very happy to share my experiences / recipe with anyone but I just thought that a note of inspiration is sometimes appreciated on the sometimes arduous path of the sourdough baking learning curve.

I'd also like to say a huge thanks to all members of this site for the inspiring, thoughtfull and knowledgable posts that have kept me going through some pretty dense and brick looking loaves!

Ciao!

6 comments

It's great, isn't it, when you suddenly realise that you are producing some pretty damn nice bread! The test for me was buying a couple of sourdough loaves from well known bakeries and realising there was little or no difference in quality to what I was producing.

Not saying that I don't have a lot to learn, but I am at the stage where I can read what's happening and have control over the kind of loaf I want.

Keeping track of loaf # - now that is dedicated!  

I needed cheering up. Three weeks ago I messed up and the loaf was flat and doughy. This time, everything went well the dough was rising beautifully but - I dropped it trying to get it onto the oven tray and it rose - but with only a few enormous holes with bread round the edge. But I can't quite bring myself to give up yet. Thanks snuffpuppet!

It's common and normal to mess up to varying degrees! There are so many variables involved, especially for the home baker at the mercy of seasonal temperature changes and the proofing challenges that brings. Then there's the qualities of different flours, getting the shaping right, uneven oven temperatures, different behaviours of different dough formulae etc etc.

I'm many hundreds of loaves and a lot of years into my sourdough baking journey, and I still mess up in between the triumphs! If you're driven to keep exploring new areas of baking as I am, messups are inevitable. I am still learning, re-learning and unlearning constantly. If your learning stops, that's a warning that you've become complacent or are too easily satisfied! There's only one way to go from there, and we all get a kick in the pants from the bread gods from time to time. So take heart and keep on baking! It's soooo worth it.

And good on you, snuffpuppet. It's nice to read a post from someone aglow with the thrill of a good bake. That sort of enthusiasm is contagious!

Because Snuffpuppet wasn't able to post a snap of Loaf 38, here is a look at my Loaf 38.  So there Panfresca /;-{)}

 

Farinams Loaf 38

Sorry about the big holes, I was actually trying to overprove it.

Farinam

... in not realising how useful an adjunct OCD can be in artisanal baking...   

 I agree with these comments.

By all means learn from the experience of others but don't allow their advice to dominate your thinking. Try many different recipes and techniques until you arrive at the loaf that suits you.

It took me six months!