I'm pretty new here, been baking with my sourdough starter (created via tutorials on this site) for about four weeks now. I'm really impressed with the great information here, not just the amount but in the way it's presented, especially SourDom's tutorials. The detailed loaf-shaping instructions are awesome.
Here are some pictures of my first-ever sourdough loaf:
So far I've made:
- Pane Francese (from the last tutorial, pictured above). Not perfect, but still good.
- Tried to convert my old staple oatmeal-flax recipe (also contains brown sugar and some whole wheat) to sourdough instead of commercial yeast. Turned out mediocre -- too dense -- though still better than store bought. However, I've learned a lot since and may try again (I might even use 1/8 tsp of yeast to help it along).
- Norwich Sourdough Rye (from wildyeastblog.com but heard about it here). Turned out superb! In fact a couple more loaves are proofing in the fridge right now!
- Sourdough pizza, from the recipe on rossnroller's blog site. This was nice, though I think because of personal preference I still like my regular pizza over this New York style crust.
- Sourdough pancakes, recipe again from wildyeastblog.com. HUGE hit! These are an unbridled success with the family, especially my wife. Though my 3yo misses the purple color in my old pancakes that came from the juice I used to use, and makes me add some to hers.
Anyway, I'm really excited about my new hobby. It seems funny that it was only January that I baked my first loaves of bread. It was a test to see how much my family liked homemade bread and whether it was worth buying a bread machine. Turned out we loved the bread so much that we could NOT go back to supermarket bread aka cardboard. Besides the taste, we knew it was healthier too.
And I also realised I did not want a bread machine after all, because I truly enjoyed the labour of love that making and shaping dough by hand, and then watching it bake in the oven, entailed. It's nice to have a hobby that involves creating something for your family to enjoy.
Then I found out about wild yeast / sourdough and there was no looking back!
P.S. Thanks for the advice about getting a kitchen scale, it really helped! (plus it's so handy not to have to dirty measuring cups)