I just signed up today to say a quick "thanks" to all of you who freely exchange ideas, share recipes & techniques, and just generally encourage each other (newb and expert alike) in this sourdough journey.
I have baked bread off and on over the years, and even had a run with sourdough several years ago when the no-knead recipe in the NY Times (and elsewhere, I'm sure) was all the buzz. I'd like to say that my first foray was successful, but admittedly, I didn't explore much, and it didn't last long (the bread was mighty good, though!!)
Well, for some reason I started poking around the Internet looking for some information about making bread, and I ended up here. After spending some time perusing blogs, forum posts, etc., I was charged up to give sourdough bread baking another run. So, I got going with a starter about four days ago, which, as of this afternoon, looked like this:
I'm going to bake my first loaf tomorrow, using a simple recipe for no-knead sourdough that uses my starter instead of commercial yeast. The ingredients (3 cups bread flour, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 1.5 tsp salt, 1 1/2 cup water, and 1/4 cup starter) are mixed up and settled in for a long rest/autolyse/proof. Will get going with it again tomorrow, and hopefully post a picture of some beautiful bread.
Thanks for providing me with some inspiration to dive back in head first!!
Welcome Rich, best of luck with your first bake! I'm sure it'll turn out great.
Let us know how it goes
I think I jumped the gun a bit, and my starter, while doing well, was not quite ready for me to test it in battle. I ended up scrapping that first loaf, and am planning to baby my starter through this next week before trying to use it to raise bread.
I have a yeasted boule formed and ready to bake later (holding it in the refrigerator until it matches up with MY time line.) ;)
Sourdough = patience, right? :)
Yes, I'd say it's a little optimistic to bake with a 4-day-old starter. I'd say you probably need about 2 weeks to be sure it's stable. But best of luck with your next loaf!
Yes, the more I think about it, I was definitely too anxious. I've been feeding my starter diligently, and, while it smells great with lots of little bubbles, it isn't yet what I would call vigorous/active. I think that the ambient temps are probably playing a bit of a role with that, and I've found a warmer place to keep it. I won't really have a chance to bake for a couple of weeks, so I won't be tempted to rush things sooner than my starter is ready.
I did get to practice some of my procedures (kneading, proofing, shaping, transfer, etc.) with my yeasted loaf that I cooked over the weekend, so not all was lost. ....And, the bread turned out well, too (if not sour in any way.) :)
Thanks for the reinforcement and encouragement.