First Loaf

Cut view of 1st Sourdough Loaf..

 Just made my first loaf, it seems very dense compared to they loaves I usually buy. Tastes ok though and toasts up beautifully. Living in Armidale with night temperatures usally below 0 degrees C and the day time temps often in single digits my starter doesn't seem to really take off, I'm thinking of buying a brewers heat pad to help it along. Any thoughts on the subject would be welcome. 


173 users have voted.


farinam's picture
farinam 2011 June 13

Welcome Snoozyv

Nothing to be ashamed of there.  As far as the density goes, it depends on whether you are comparing it to the fairyfloss that they sell in Supermarkets etc or something closer to the real thing.

Others have used microwave/oven with the light turned on as a way to provide a less frigid environment for their starter/dough.

The other thing to keep in mind is that, by and large, temperature and time are inversely related - lower temperature/longer time and vice versa.  Though, of course, nobody wants to wait two weeks for their dough to prove /;-{)}

Keep up the good work and let us know how it goes.


HopesHope 2011 June 16

I think your bread looks delicious, hearty, and substantial.   What's the flavour like.   Don't be so hard on yourself.  


I live in Canada, where the temp gets to -30c sometimes and worse, I keep my starter in a closet, I've never heard of a brewers heat pad, and I don't own a microwave. 


Be patient, and the more you bake the better you get at it, and the better the bread tastes..   You will find that the flavour changes a bit, from being sour, to sweet  and then back again.   I have also found that the longer you allow your bread to "stand" without cutting it, the more flavour it will develop.  



Mariah 2011 June 16

 Looks good to me too. I'd that any day over a supermarket loaf. I bet it's delicious. We keep our home cooler than most. Somewhere around 66 or 67. Everything I bake raises slower. Come summer when the house warms up all dough raises fast, very fast. I am always surprised and want to bake but it gets out of control the fast rises. Can't even make a trip to the store I have to be home to deflate and shape. No time to run around. It's weird and you get use to the slow rises. It's what gives flavor. If you must, add 1/4 tsp instant yeast. It will rise a bit faster. You will still have delicious bread. Yum.



jeanette 2011 June 16

Hi Sue,


Looks great to me as well! I live down south and the temperatures are similar to Armidale and I am really struggling with getting the bread to rise. I have nearly given up! If I let the starter double in size it does not seem to work. If I however use the test to see if the starter rises when a bit is added to water, it appears to produce a better loaf even though it has only increased in volume by about a third.


I leave each rest period for about an hour and my final loaf is really heavy compared to the ones I made in Autumn.


I did change from Kialla organic white flour to Demeter unbleached white flour for the starter (105 g white, 45 g rye and 150 g water) as well as for the bread and wondered if this may be the problem.


I am thinking of starting over again!!



bythepound 2011 June 16

 Hello, just wanted to add my experience.  I live in San Francisco, room temp is usually low to mid 60's.  I've had lot's of success wrapping my starter, my sponge, and even proofing my loaf with a small heating pad wrapped around container.  I use a heating pad that came out of a heated pet bed by K&H.  Doesn't get overly hot.  I rise my dough twice, each time between 4-6 hours and nice and holey!  Hope that helps.

Snoozyv 2011 June 19

 Well I went to visit my sister this weekend and she has a lovely warm house so I thought everything would go smoothly. I had my starter bubbling along nicely, I thought I would double the recipe and make two loaves but found that  even though I used double the starter I couldn't use double the flour.Anyway to cut a long story short...I managed to get a loaf in the oven ...and burnt it a bit! I didn't keep a close enough eye on the oven. Oh well I learn with every attempt...I also notice my fridge has a strong smell (presumably) from my starter, its not unpleasant but smells like I have something spicy uncovered....does this sound normal? 



thegrindre's picture
thegrindre 2014 August 24

A small box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda placed in your fridge will kill all orders and keep these orders out of other foods in your fridge as well.

I don't own a microwave oven either. Haven't found a use for one that my stove can't do better. Which is where I proof my breads with the light on. My oven reaches about 85 to 90 F. and makes a nice little cozy atmosphere for my final rise.

I don't preheat my oven either. I get max oven spring by just turning the oven on after proofing. It's amazing how high the spring can get.

That loaf looks delicious, in my opinion. Yum

Keep on bakin'


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