The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Basic sourdough bread

Olof's picture

These are my first few attempts at baking with wild yeast only.

The first was a San Francisco style sourdough, recipe from Weekend Bakery. Not much rise/oven spring. The crust was crunchy but the crumb was way too chewy. The starter was 100% rye at 100% hydration

Then I tried Syd's San Francisco Style Sourdough from here. This turned out to be a Mr. Jekyll and Dr. Hyde loaf, one side rather nice looking and the other burst open. The crust was crisp but pale in color. The texture of crumb was somewhat closer to my liking though, not as rubbery as the first time around but with mine tunnels instead of well distributed holes. The starter was 100% rye at 100% hydration. Suggestions from those who have tried Syd's recipe, or from Syd self, would be most welcome.

Then there was the third time around, almost a charmer, called Vermont Bread from Home Cooking Adventure. The crust was thin and crisp, the color was more golden then in the previous breads, the texture of the crumb was pleasant yet still slightly chewy and the holes more evenly distributed. I think these bread has a more acceptable oven spring than the previous attempts. The dough after final proof has a much tighter feel. One of the two breads looks pregnant, one side protruding from a burst underneath. This bread turned against me as I was shaping it, I couldn't get the seam straight and it twirled in my hands when I placed it upside down in the proofing basket. Still, I am very happy with this recipe and think this could be the beginning of a long relationship. For this recipe I converted some of my 100% rye starter to 25% rye and 75% white flour over the course of 5 days at 100% hydration. I also changed the overnight starter of the recipe. Since my starter is used rye at mealtimes I used 40gr rye from the final formula for the overnight starter and added 40gr white flour to the final formula instead. Beginner's luck perhaps, but more of a gut feeling that this might agree better with my starter than to be feed white flour alone.


korish's picture

Yesterdays recap.

11 hours since I started my bake n blog day, I finally completed my bake. At first the dough was giving me some trouble, by being stubborn and not wanting to double fast enough, luckily my wife came up with a great solution, I took it into our baby room where we keep it warmer, and with in two hours it popped wright up.

I divided the dough into 1.5lb loaves and let it rise free formed on my granite counter. Last week I tried using tea towel but all my loaves got stuck to it and the bread fell flat as I was removing it from them. All together I had 16 loaves of bread and 20 paninis. As with my previous bake I still had trouble mastering the slashing, I will need to practice more with that.


One of the accomplishments is that I was able to place the bread in the wood fired oven in such a way that I baked all of them in just to bakes, so that is great, It means that I can bake more bread with out having to fire the oven again.

On the Pain au Levain I added extra steam to the oven about 7 minutes after placing the bread in, that resulted in a much crustier crust which I liked.

The spelt bread is the best variation that I have tried so far, it's definitely going to be one of the breads that I will bake regularly. One of the main thing I learned in this bake is to just relax during the whole process and don't try to rush things, sometimes the little beasts in the starter like to work on there own schedule and we just cant do much about it. It was lots of fun and I know that my family and many of my friends will enjoy the bread for the week to come.


Please visit my site to see more pictures from the bake.


Healthy living.


JoeV's picture

BBA Basic Sourdough Bread

September 22, 2009 - 1:48pm -- JoeV

I was playing around refreshing my starter after weeks of neglect, so when it was ready to go back in the fridge I thought I would try Reinhart's Basic Sourdough recipe. It came out delicious, but it took too much time for a weekday bake. I'll do this again on a weekend when I have more time to spare. Sorry, no crumb shot this time.


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