The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

1-2-3 sourdough

Jezella's picture

Encouragement for the Newbie Sourdough

January 27, 2013 - 4:33am -- Jezella

Encouragement for the Newbie Sourdough Nut. 

I thought I'd post a little encouragement for the newbie sourdough baker. We all start somewhere and I'm new to all this sourdough stuff too and been very confused at so many points. I've read and read and read and all this has done is created more confusion. Having said this, the reading and help from others has been so beneficial. 

Jezella's picture

Have I created a starter - It smells okay

January 16, 2013 - 11:11am -- Jezella

Hello all. I have a problem in that I don't know if I have created a sourdough starter or something that will kill me. But first I will say this is my second attempt. In the case of my first I discarded the whole thing as it had bad smells. I've since learnt that this is normal and this leads me on to the possible problem I have now. In the case of my first attempt, I had the bad smell and also, at another time, the smell of alcohol.

Jezella's picture

Killing the Baby

January 5, 2013 - 5:06am -- Jezella

I must say that I'm absolutely fascinated by this whole bread subject and being new to the subject, have so many questions. Whilst reading here about starters that have been around, sometimes for many years, how do these remain alive. I tried one a short time ago and gave up as I felt I was trying to run before I could walk or in my case, walk before crawl.

breadforfun's picture

I baked a few sourdough loaves for last-minute gifts today.  Using the basic 1-2-3 sourdough recipe, my 100% hydration starter, and a mixture of 70% T-70 (from Central Milling), 15% whole wheat (BRM), 10% whole spelt and 5% rye for the final dough, the final hydration is a bit over 71%. Each loaf was scaled at about 600 gm for a final loaf weighing 500 gm.  The shaped loaves were retarded about 20 hours in the refrigerator and final proofed at room temperature for 2 hours before peeling into an oven heated to 500˚F.  They were baked at 440˚F with steam for 15 minutes, then 420˚F convection for another 20 min.

Happy New Year to all.


foodslut's picture

I was inspired by how simple this 1-2-3 Sourdough recipe was,  but my first try was less than successful (OK taste, but dense brick crumb).  So, taking the advice everyone was kind enough to offer, I tried again.

I used the same levain (100% hydration, nothing but water and Brule Creek Farms dark rye flour).  I keep it in the fridge, so I took it out and fed-and-dumped it once a day for three days until I had a doming rise and levain that (according to the Tartine test) floated in water.

Based on previous advice, I started with more all-purpose flour and less rye than my first try to give the loaves more of a chance - here's the formula I used (PDF).  This led to a dough with an overall hydration of about 71%, something I'm used to.  I mixed the ingredients, and left them to ferment for about 15 hours (before I went to bed, 6 hours after mixing the dough, it had risen maybe 20%, so I left it overnight at about 64F - this led to dough that had more than doubled overnight.

Next day, formed the dough into boules, and set myself to proof the dough for 4-5 hours.  Two hours later, though, the dough looked risen enough, and passed the "poke and 1/2 way back" test...

... so I scored them...

... and loaded them into the oven.  They baked at 500F for about 5 minutes (steam with water squirted on the inside wall of the oven), then 30 minutes at 400F.  Here's what they looked like right out of the oven....

... a FAR cry from my first attempt:

After letting it cool, the crumb & taste test:

Although not as airy as some sourdoughs I see, I'm very happy with the crumb.  The sourness is about mid-range:  not the sourest I've tasted, but not subtle.  I think I'll be using this to accompany strongish lunch meats or cheese.

It was about 14 hours between the last feed before the dough and my using it - I wonder if using it sooner might make the sourness a bit more subtle?  Don't get me wrong - I like the reasonably assertive, but not overwhelming tang, but I'm thinking of ways to make it a bit less tangy.

Thanks to everyone who helped me get to this point - I'll let you know how future loaves turn out.

williampp's picture

First post

October 20, 2010 - 4:16am -- williampp

 Have been looking at this forum for a couple of years

So I decided it is time I posted

I will try to attach 3 photos of my latest loaf

Starter at 100% 197g, Bread flour 295g, Rye flour 33g

Whole wheat (whole meal) flour 164g, Water 271g,

Butter 5g, Lemon juice 8g, Salt 8g, Rolled oats 82g,

Sunflower seeds 57g, Sesame seeds 16g. Hydration 65%.

I use a bread maker to do the kneading. 2 minutes on slow


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