The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

First EVER Sourdough bread

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Syd-a's picture
Syd-a

First EVER Sourdough bread

So here's the result of my first ever sourdough bread baking session and only the second time I have ever made bread.

I have an immature (2 weeks old), but very active organic Rye starter that as you can see is very bubbly and happy after a good feeding session.  These are 2 basic white sourdough loaves, with long proofing and low knead time.   Here is the crumb shot too. Some good air pockets here and there. Mainly around the top crust, why? Any thoughts on the crumb and texture of the dough?  The taste was definitely sour, but it will likely develop as I move my starter to the fridge to get a deeper flavour profile, but it was pretty tasty to say the least. Very moist too but still light enough and not overly doughy from what I can tell.  I had no bannetons, the loaves stuck to my cloth in bowls that also in the end were too big and they went in the oven very flat and deflated after those issues. I also couldn't score as I wanted to because they were deflated too. However, I got a good spring with some steam in the first 20 min and despite some issues I need to solve with what to proof my bread in, it was a fairly successful first time I believe. I need to solve my banneton woes though.  Ay thoughts or tips from what I have shown are most welcome. I am thinking of starting a blog, but not sure if most people are interested in forum posts or more detailed blogs here? I am very much a novice when it comes to any kind of cooking, but baking and bread appeals to me and I hope to test myself over the coming weeks with more complex loaves and techniques. Looking to get into some deep and dark ryes and pumpernickels and mix it up with some light breads too.  Thanks for looking in Andy

 

evonlim's picture
evonlim

Hi Andy, Successful indeed for a first bake! 

happy baking.. 

evon

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

loaf of bread ever, with a new SD starter, the results are amazing,  Make sure to lightly rice flour the cloth - no more sticking.  You don't need a banneton to bake great bread.  The hardest things to get right early in your baking career are to know when the dough is properly proofed 85-90%, proper shaping technique to stop the flying roof syndrome and scoring.  Your problems are all the same ones I, and everyone else, faced.  Thankfully, they are all easy to overcome with more experience.

The easiest way to cure the flying lid is to make sure that you -pre-shape the dough and gently degas it 10 minutes before final shaping and make sure you get a taunt tension filled skin on the final one,  Much of scoring problems happen when then dough is over proofed and deflates at the knife hits it,  Proofing in a bowl is hard to tell when it has proofed to 85% since it is not straight sided like a loaf pan.  The dough may be 3" high in the bowl but doubling may only be 1" more.  Then having the oven ready at the same time can be a challenge in the beginning too.

All you need is a mature starter which will happen in a couple of more weeks, some rice flour on the towel. pre-shaping and shaping practice and learning when the dough has risen enough to start the oven preheat so when the oven is ready the dough is at 85-90% proof.  You will be amazed how soon you wi\ll get it mastered.  Slashing skills take longer as my resu,lts show :-)

Happy baking

Syd-a's picture
Syd-a

Thanks for the praise and the very helpful tips. 

I agree with the proofing, if I anything I think they were a little under proofed anyway. As you say, practice will be very useful and with some better techniques it will get easier. I hope that I can get some slightly smaller bowls for proofing, but yes, bannetons are expensive and probably unnecessary. 

Thanks again

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

bought at Goodwill for 50 cents each.  For the price of one benetton, I have many different baskets that put interesting textures on bread - check out my post from yesterday.

Syd-a's picture
Syd-a

I think your point is really valid. The expensive bannetons (no less than £10/$15 each here in the UK) are just a waste of money. I saw your wonderful post yesterday, looked amazingly advanced and your basket looked great. I dusted heavily with flour, but I thnk rice flour would be better too and that will be procured tomorrow. I hope to have a new couple of loaves by midweek. Will do sOme non sourdough loaves until then in bread pans.

i will go basket hunting in the next couple of days though I think :-)

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

words.  After baking 150 different breads over the last year and a half, i have made every mistake known to bread baking.  i'm a perfect example of failing all the way to the upper middle class of bread bakers :-)  Professionals need good heavy duty baskets to get them through years and years worth of loaves.  I'm down to only baking one or 2 loaves a week - no need for the expense. equipment.  For a cloche, I just over turn my Goodwill stainless steel mixing bowl over the bread after it hits the stone. I have all kinds of DO's of various sizes and shapes that I got at Goodwill too - on dollar Thursdays.   No sense in spending a lot of money on expensive stuff to make bread if you aren't doing it for a living,  People with lesser means or younger can make great bread, as good as any, with a hand me down enameled turkey roaster - a favorite for some Fresh Lofians like Song of the Baker.  I even got one of my large baking stone  at Goodwill for peanuts.  Now I have one top and bottom of the loaf - made a lot of difference by the cheap mini oven still makes the best bread with no stone at all  in a 12"x12"x7" space - like the one this past Friday.  It is fun to hit the flea markets and thrift stores looking for 'bread equipment' too! 

Just trying and practice will lead to success and bread baking skill in no time at all.  Just stay after it and keep on baking.  You will love rice flour.  I used to put it on much thicker than I do now.  The baskets are seasoned and i just dust them.  I'm not a big fan of white loaves of read when they come out of the oven.  I want to see them baldy baked and caramelized

Happy baking

adm's picture
adm

They look great for a first attempt!

I second the rice flour - it's like "magic dust" to stop loaves sticking....

On the shaping, I take the dough out of the bulk container, making sure to handle it gently so as not to degas too much, then divide it and do a "pre shape" to get some tension, then I leave it for 20-30 minutes to rest (covered with a tea towel). Afte that, I flip each load over, fold the edges in to the centre, flip it back over and then pull towards me so the bottom get pulled underneath to build tension on the outer skin. Rotate it a little and repeat until I have a nice tight ball. This is a bit of a faff the first few times, but you soon get the hang of it. There's some great videos on bread shaping on YouTube....

grandmamac's picture
grandmamac

Hi Andy.

I'm in the UK too and about 19 months from my first ever sourdough. I really started because I found I wasn't eating any bread and there was a local baker who moved just when I'd worked my way through his different loaves to sourdough. Supermarket bread is easy to abandon.

I'd recommend watching as many shaping and scoring videos as you can and I'm sure you'll enjoy developing your skills. Every time I bake, I learn a bit more about how the dough responds, given the many different variables. I thought I'd overproofed and messed up the scoring last time but my loaf is probably the best yet!

Have fun!