First Sourdough Loaf


 I had a go at baking my first sourdough loaves tonight - really happy with the loaves and their crust, although I haven't seen (or tasted) inside yet:

The starter seemed very aggressive - as I posted this morning, it took the top right off the large plastic jar it was in. Since I had nothing on hand to use as a banneton I just proved them on the bench; they held their shape quite well and got some really good oven spring:

These were basically the Reinhart ABED Pain au Levain, using mainly white flour with some rye. Tomorrow will tell how they go for taste and texture. I'd love any advice anyone has, and also ideas on what recipes to try next.



143 users have voted.


TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2010 July 14

With such success, I'd feel like trying everything and anything. :) Lots of recipes in the forum.

Karniecoops's picture
Karniecoops 2010 July 15

Nicely blistered crust!  And I bet the inside is just as good.  As for what to make next .............. the world (and this website)  is your oyster - enjoy!


BackyardPermaculture 2010 July 16

Thanks for the comments,

I'm really hoping I can make a door for the wood-fired oven this weekend and try baking some SD loaves in there.



RikkiMama 2010 July 17

Congratulations on such lovely first loaves.  What did you think of the crumb and flavor?

I also made my starter using Reinhart's instructions in ABED.  The first one didn't really do well, but I'm pretty sure that was due to using not quite the freshest flours.  The second attempt worked much better after I bought fresh ww and rye flours and used pineapple juice for Phases 1-3.   However, my first loaves were very dense.  Have since learned that I need to fed it at least twice to get it happy enough to use for baking.  Subsequent loaves have been much better.

I'm looking forward to trying some of the recipes on this site, now that I found my way here, especially one that will result in something like a traditional San Francisco sourdough. 



BackyardPermaculture 2010 July 17

Rieko, I suspect that feeding twice prior to baking will work better - my loaves were a little dense too, although not badly so.

Thanks for the helpful comments,


joe 2010 October 9

 How did you get that fabulous blistered crust?  in all the time I've been baking I have never managed that...i'd like to know the secret.

BackyardPermaculture 2010 October 27

 Thanks benh.

BTW, no idea why the crust blistered like that. I've mainly been doing wholemeal combinations since then, particularly enjoying adding a bit of soy linseed.



Mariah 2010 December 29

 A few weeks I started my sourdough culture. I had one for many years and It was probably older than me. Some accident and It was goodbye. Tried my own with Instructions from Nancy Silverton and it came out pretty good. Till some or other accident and it was goodbye. Then dried starter. Nice. Just fine. Another accident. I am getting to be an old pro at starting. Nancy Silverton and the organic grapes again. Nice culture. Bubbly, smells good. Does not seem to double, or raise very much. In the beginning I would weigh all ingredients, at some point after the disposal of the grapes, it seemed rather loose so I added a little more flour. After a dump out and adding some flour the weighing all went to heck. I have some nice starter I feed twice a day, some put in the fridge, just in case we have another accident. I baked some bread with about 2 cups of it, extra flour and about 2 tsp. kosher salt. I did have to add a tad of instant yeast. The bread rose, smelled wonderful, and tasted good. Small holes. Scoring is still an issue, but I am not too concerned about that. What I want to know is how do I progress and get back to weighing all ingredients, especially the sourdough starter that I can't guess what the hydration is? My house is cool, and small and the starter and dough often get moved from place to place. Temperature control NOT. And the salt? I wondered if I should just add flour weighing as I went along, weigh the total and figure the salt from there? It would be harder to work in. Oh I am using Morbread unbleached at about 12% protein. No other info. I have a mixer and occasionally can do stretch and folds. Thank you for any help.  Mariah

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