First edible sourdough load!



Today I baked my first edible loaf.  What an exhausting long day.  I used my 3 week old Sourdom recipe starter, and followed the instructions and timelines for preparing and baking to the letter, for the Pane Francesa recipe.  It was a very wet dough and I despaired it would ever come together.   But I pressed on and baked.  Very stressful day .. felt I needed a Bex and a good lie down afterwards.  But it baked OK and surprisingly it had a good oven spring.  It tastes good  with just a slight sour tang .. good for me.  Will persevere and try again when I have recovered. 

I want to buy a black cast iron dutch oven for baking boules, but am having trouble sourcing.  Does anyone know if I could use my enamelled cast iron Le Creuset, or would this ruin this very expensive pot?  Amazon have them but will not ship to Oz.  I am happy to purchase on line if I can source one locally.

Thanks to those generous people from this site who have advised and encouraged me to this point.



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shasta's picture
shasta 2013 January 27

Hi Sondra,

Congratulations on your success!

 Your Le Creuset will work just fine. One bit of caution, if it has a black knob on the lid you may want to remove it. On some of the older ones the knobs can melt. It comes off easy and everything else will be fine. Take a look at the last part of the video below. They use a Le Creuset.

Good luck!

petanque 2013 January 27

nice to hear yopu had success what sort of oven do you have?

fan forced ovens are challenging for bread.

I have never used a cast iron pot but it shoud be posibal to get resionabal oven spring in a domestic oven.

shoshanna 2013 January 27

Hi Petanque

I have a fixed fan forced oven.  I was pleased with the actual cooking of the bread and the oven spring, but have seen videos of bread cooked in the black cast iron DOs and the resultant bread looked impressive.

BTW the starter which you gifted to me before you went on holidays is alive and thriving in the frig, with weekly feeds. Used it to make a multi seeded bread which rose impressively, but I didn't like the amount of seeds in the bread.  Today I used the starter which I raised from scratch following sourdom's recipe some 3 weeks ago, to make the Pane Francesa from this site.  

I think I need lots of practice though.  Thanks for your interest.


shoshanna 2013 January 28

Just had to update on my post yesterday re my first sourdough loaf.  It is beautiful, with a soft open holey crumb and the taste is really excellent. Would have liked a darker crust, but it was at least chewey.  Can't believe I made this totally from scratch!  All thanks to this site for recipes for the starter and also the pane francesa bread. So much advice and encouragement as well.  Thanks to all who have helped me.


petanque 2013 January 28

The basic adage is time cooks and temperature give the colour.


So too hot the crust is dark and the centre is doughy.


Too cool and there is little colour and the bread may tend to dry out.


An increase of temperature of say 20 degrees will give a darker crust. (if it gets too dark you can turn the temperature down part way through baking) the bread has to be very dark by commercial Australian standards until it will taste burnt.


I have always wondered if turning the fully proved dough into a hot pot is likely to cause the dough to collapse but I have never done this.


I would also imagine that working with hot pots could be a easy way to get burnt.

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