First sourdough loaf

Cherbear

Hi everyone! I'm Cheryl, I live in Queensland Australia. I have baked bread for many years, but this is my first sourdough loaf. I must admit that I have struggled quite a bit with the sticky dough. It stuck to everything!! I think my first loaf is far too sour (even for 'sour'dough), and the texture is fairly dense.

From reading some other posts I think the sourness is probably from not feeding my starter enough. I find that my starter burns through the food in about 8-12 hours, so I started feeding it every 12 hours. But I think I might try just feeding it in the 1:4:4 ratio that has been suggested here. I'm not really sure why my bread is so dense though. Is it not cooked enough? Not at right temperature? 

Ah well, I guess you just get better through a lot of trial and error! 

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farinam's picture
farinam 2016 December 20

Hello Cheryl,

You are dead right about the trial and error - it won't happen overnight, but it will happen.

It terms of starter maintenance you might find that keeping it in the fridge will make life a lot easier depending on how often you bake.  I use the 100% hydration starter as covered in SourDom's Beginners Blogs on this site.  You can access them from the front page, right hand panel.

For a typical everyday loaf I take the container out of the fridge and extract 90g which I feed with 45g flour and 45g water and leave that on the bench to get going.  This goes to make the dough for the loaf when it is active and doubled in volume (time depends on room temperature). To my fridge container I add 8g wholemeal rye and 37g white bread flour (total 45g) and 45g water,  mix it in and put the container back into the fridge until next time I bake.

A dense loaf is often down to underdeveloped and under-proved dough so I would perhaps concentrate on getting the dough to the stage where you can stretch it into a thinnish film without tearing and then give it time to prove so that it is well expanded and pillowy.  Don't be afraid to let a loaf go too long and over-prove as that is just part of the trial and error that is necessary to learn the look and feel of various stages in the process.

For what it is worth, you might like to have a look at this essay of mine.

https://sourdough.com/blog/one-way-make-loaf-bread

Good luck with your projects.

Farinam

Eric 2017 January 12

Hi guys, I am  VERY much a begginer...can I use this this starter  in a bread maker or do I need to knead the the dough and bake in a convermtioal oven.

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