The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My fifth attempt at sourdough bread using my guts

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nora sass's picture
nora sass

My fifth attempt at sourdough bread using my guts

I have tried to follow a few recipes on making a simple sourdough, but failed like 5 times. After reading & watching videos,  finally decided to follow my own guts with the measurements & the proofing time, my bread turned out beyond my expectation. WIll slice and see soon how it would look like. But not too sure if I could remember how I did it. It is not perfect for sure but will keep on trying

mdvpc's picture

Looks good to me!

nora sass's picture
nora sass

Tqs for the support ! Hope it will taste good too :)

Darwin's picture

The loaf looks great.  I know how you feel, I hate reading and measuring things.  When I worked as a chef I always cooked by my senses, not measurements.  Good luck and keep at it.

nora sass's picture
nora sass

Thanks for the support. I was really hugging & giving my love to my dough as I was doing it, however still trying to source for a simple and easy recipe that I could work with. Once again, thank you for yr kind comments :)

polo's picture

You say "not perfect", but perfect is in the eye of the beholder.  I'd say it looks pretty darned good.  Very nice color.

nora sass's picture
nora sass

Oh.... tq u for your nice comments & support :)

JoyousMN's picture

I've been baking sour dough for 3-4 years now. I never measure. It's just too much work, and I like to experiment. If I were a professional baker, then I can see then reason to follow strict weights and proportions so your product is consistent, but as an amature home cook, I don't have to.

Good luck, have fun and happy bread making!

nora sass's picture
nora sass

Tqs for sharing the same thoughts as I do. Im not a maths person, so having to calculate especially with the hydration especially with the percentage and all those stuffs scares me :) But would luv to have a nice looking bread popping out of my oven. Since Im into my second month of getting into bread baking, I have plenty to learn and this is a great place to be for amateurs like me. Thank you again for your kind encouragement. Cheers !


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

just don't want to admit it.  You guesstimate your liquids and flour amounts, a little of this and a little of that not too much of this and a good helping of that.  Half a glass of this or one bowl of that.  It comes out but it's hard to tell someone else how you did it or to repeat it exactly.  That is fine, you come close enough.   The method or un-method requires a little more trial and error but your fingers are getting an education in feel and you are more inclined to select ingredients according to smell and aroma.  The truth is it takes more time to guess than to simply measure.  

Doesn't hurt to follow a recipe once and then do the same recipe again and go with what you feel.  Then compare them.  Alternate to improve your learning experience.  

nora sass's picture
nora sass

Thank you for your thoughts. Yes I am in the basic learning, reading watching videos, practicing a lot and hope to be able to understand more especially with the consistency of the dough and the proofing time & method, and especially the starter. Thank you once again.

rcoplen's picture

My dear, that is one gorgeous loaf of bread! Looks better than mine and I've been making sourdough for years!

nora sass's picture
nora sass

Tks... this is what they say Beauty from the outside. The Banneton keeps the shape thou'.  I wish I cud say the same for the texture. It was pretty dense with almost no big holes. I need luts & lots of practice I guessed. Tks for the compliment anyway.

le boulonger86's picture
le boulonger86

First well done!!!

Looks a great loaf, IMO it is important to measure then when you get that great loaf you can reproduce it again & again just my thoughts, I'm impressed.


Happy Baking

nora sass's picture
nora sass

Thank you for the encouragement. Though the crumbs did not turned out as it should be. I am still searching around for a decent SD recipe that is pretty simple to follow especially for an amateur like me. Guessed its practice and more practice for me. Thanks for the comments really. Hv  a good day :)

BetsyMePoocho's picture

nora sass,

Keep on keeping on.... isn't it fun?

Hey just need to give you my 2 cents worth...... I've been chasing the "Perfect Loaf" since 1997.  Managed to nail a good one every now and again.  Kinda like you are doing,,,,, hated to do all the measuring / calculations.

Well,,, a couple of years ago I forced myself to knuckle down and get intimate with the "Baker's Percent".  This was mainly due to my lack of repetability and frustrations.

I found King Author's site on Baker's Percentage.  It is a quick read and will, with some effort, get anyone comfortable with the main calculations.  Baker's percentage | King Arthur Flour.  

It really got me out of the woods and improved my attempts.  I can now repeat receipts, adjust / experiment with hydration, increase or decrease any receipt.  Even manipulate the receipt when it uses a pre-ferment.

See ya,,,,,,


nora sass's picture
nora sass

Haha... sure its fun & frustration. Today I tried another round of sourdough but failed BIG TIME !!! It was overflowing from my proofing dish yet when I put it in the oven, it stopped rising and the bread was dense. Disappointment :(

Thank u so much for the link and will try to understand better and try to make another round tomorrow. Waiting for the day when I could hv a perfect nice soft chewy rustic sourdough.... my fav.  So I must as be as patient as you to be able to find one that suits me well. Appreciate your comments thou'

Cheers and see ya :)

TheBakingNurse's picture

I think your SD loaf looks beautiful! I love the way you slashed it, if that's the right term :D Have you heard of the book Bread Alone or the author Daniel Leader? He talks alot about sour dough and taking some of the mystery out of it. I can't speak from experience, I haven't yet attempted a sour dough recipe. I'm just beginning to bake, and I've been repeating the same loaf multiple times. I read somewhere, maybe in that book, that you should try the same loaf ten or fifteen times in the beginning of baking to really get the feel for the whole process. I can tell an improvement for sure, and my family loves the recipe I'm using, so they aren't complaining either! Just a thought though, you could check Daniel out online and see what you think! I've had great results with his instructions!

nora sass's picture
nora sass

Hi, thank you for your lovely comments. Indeed if only you knew how many of those failed loaves  went into my bin. Like you, this is my second month into bread making. I never realised that is not that simple as what people say it is to bake a bread.

The sourdough that I tried, it looked ok on the outside, but the bread was pretty dense and became dry on the second day.

Right now I also came to a point that I am practising one or two bread multiple times and hope to perfect it one day.

Anyway thanks for the recommendation regarding the book. Usually I get alot of tips from this blog as well. You may also go this webiste . It is very informative and pretty detailed.

Hope you are having much fun as I am now with the multiple bakings and wish you good luck. Perhaps we will catch up again soon and see how far we had been. I just did a NY Times famous No Knead bread and about to post my pics and ask for advices.  See you soon. Cheers !!! Nora




clayking's picture

That loaf looks outstanding.  And I some what agree that there are some things that one can experiment with, such as the amount of sour dough to use, how long to retard in the fridge, feel of the dough, and even at what temps to cook and for how long.........I was making a batch the other day and was weighing each portion and when I accidentally poured way too much water into the mix, got distracted, and really no way to pour the water back out, or if I could, how much.  So I just threw it into the mixer and kept adding flour until I got the right hydration, even had to add more sourdough starter, just guessed at it, tad more salt, etc..........results, came out great.................

Funny thing is, that I used to bake bread and rolls long time ago, but got out of the habit until recently.  So I picked up a few books from recommendations here and there and now back into the game.  Changing a few things, doing a few different things, and learning a bit more, mostly of what I've forgot, and doing more experimenting.  I've always been more of a savory cook, still do, as well as a griller, ad BBQ'er, but now adding bread to the mix, as well as homemade pasta.  Yep, I'm more a jack of all trades than an expert in any single way, keeps Jack from being a dull boy, I hope...........hmmmmm, time to find a discount seller of flour....


nora sass's picture
nora sass

Thanks Clay for the compliment. I wish I cud say the same about the texture of the crumb. I think that was what happened when I did this bread, got distracted in between & totally lost it. Like you, I am more into savory than bread making and just got into this just about two months back. I had been reading and following alot of blogs and realised that bread making is something that u need to observe the measurements quite accurately unless you are a pro baker, unlike in savory cooking, measurement is just based on your own taste bud.

You cannot imagine, how much loaves of mine actually turned out really like rock :) So rite now, as I mentioned to another enthusiastic bread maker like mine, I am just doing one or 2 loaves multiple times to get it perfect before I move to the next one.

I am sure you will find this bread making process a challenge. It is for me but also some kind of therapy. Have fun and post some pics please.

By the way, during this what I would say a trial period, I would get the cheapest flour I could find and practice and more practice.


Have fun :)


zoqy71's picture

I never use a recipe. I have a basic (but very good) bread I bake once or twice a week. The rest of the time I make it up. I even mess about with my starter. 50/50 most of the time but some times I reduce the hydration and even add different types of flour. Baking should be fun and what does not work is always food for wild birds.