Well Chuffed

suziwong66's picture

So, I'm new at this sourdough palava...I've been discouraged a few times.  The first was when I bought The bread baker's apprentice book...OMG that thing gave me hives!  Does baking need to be THAT complex?  Suffice to say I closed the book and turned to my twitter sourdough baking friends for help.  I was then turned toward The handmade Loaf...ahhhh I sighed upon open it's covers...it's metric!!! A huge win in my humble opinion.  Then I found the Sourdough Companion website and lurked for quite some time...stalking SourDom really...well, not really stalking him as much as stalking his bread making skills with an envy that was beyond green LOL  I've had a few starter non-starts...Ewan Mcgregor my starter died a grizzly death...then I thought I saved him only to discover some vile growth around the sides of the jar...Well, he was turfed quicker than if he were the real McCoy with an STD :0

Anyways...my third attemp at Ewan has been very successful.  It's an unbleached organic flour/water/malt mix that is fed twice a day.

Another Twitter sourdough friend pointed me toward The Bourke Street Bakery book and what can I say...I've found heaven between a dust jacket.  It gave me some bread info...lots of recipes and the BEST pizza dough on the planet.  I've been on the hunt for the perfect pizza crust high and low and this book delivers...it cooks perfectly whether I cook it on the pizza stone in my gas oven or in our outdoor woodfire pizza oven!  I'm a happy pizza addict!  But back to sourdough.

Here's my second attempt at sourdough that I turned out today; a battard and boule...a nice chewy crust and a fabulous crumb that doesn't fall apart but keeps it together under the pressure of a hungry mouth (mine LOL) and the flavour has a very pleasant sourness that makes you want to have 'just one more slice'...

This kind of success CAN'T be good for my waistline....i can tell, it's gunna be all down hill from here LOL


LittleMonkeyMojo 2010 March 26

Hi Suzi,

The bread looks fantastic.  A book I really like is "Nancy Silverton's Breads from the La Brea Bakery"(http://www.amazon.com/Nancy-Silvertons-Breads-Brea-Bakery/dp/0679409076/...)

I know what you mean about the Baker's Apprentice book it seems so overly wordy and involved.  I also like recipes being in metric, just makes more sense for measurements as compared to much of what's out there, but I now actually prefer baker's percentages.  Using baker's percentages really allows me to easily expand or shrink a recipe.


Mr_Punchy's picture
Mr_Punchy 2010 September 21

Nice bread Suzi.  Looks practically edible!!!  I'm going to have to dig my starter out now, as my mouth is watering.  

I agree also about the Baker's Apprentice book, though I have trudged through much of it anyway!   My copy is graffitied with metric conversions now, so is much easier to understand.  I really don't know why they don't re-publish it in metric, would make so much more sense.  I have also loved reading "Bread Builders".  I read that like a novel and it gave lots of into about bread baking from a science perspective, which some of it I found useful for me to understand the nuts and bolts of it all.  Not for everyone, but I found it useful.  


Nice work anyway!


Mister P.

Postal grunt 2010 September 21

I'd like to chime in on this subject too. I live in Kansas, although I can almost see Missouri from my house, and I much prefer seeing measurements in metric. Metric measurements make the concept of baker's percentages easier to grasp. Once I got my scale, a definite must from my perspective, and applied the basics of baker's percentages, I made steady progress on the learning curve of baking.

You'll have the same problem with J Hamelman's "Bread". As long as you can deal with the percentages, you can scale his recipes for a single loaf. Their taste makes the effort worthwhile.

LittleMonkeyMojo 2010 September 23

My guess as to why the Bread Baker's Apprentice is still in Imperial measurements is that's the way Peter Reinhart makes and has always made bread.  If the editor or publisher were to convert a recipe of his to metric and then have him proof the book he'd probably scream bloody murder, because that's not how he makes his bread.

I initially started making bread using a small handful of recipes using cups, tea and table spoons and pounds and ounces.  The math of multiplying and dividing cups, pounds, etc. just became a real hassle and I switched to grams and ml for everything.  What little sanity I had prior to my attempts at baking returned.  Now, when given a recipe with Imperial measures one of the first things I do is convert it to metric.  Though I still use Fahrenheit degrees for baking as my oven definitely has me locked there.

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