The Fresh Loaf

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My First Sourdough Adventure!

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rmk129's picture

My First Sourdough Adventure!

Thanks to this site, I baked my very first sourdough loaf today after two weeks of preparation :) Yippeeee!!!

It certainly is not the perfect loaf (quite flat), but I am just happy that I grew yeast from scratch that caused any rising action at all (thanks to a mixture of Floydm & sourdolady's starter recipes and advice)...
Here is a pictoral account of my adventure...Day 1 is the day I began making my homemade starter.
Day first big day of "bubble action" in my homemade starter!!!
June 16 003
Day 9...getting more ambitious with a white and a whole-wheat version of my starter
...and also a mini-mug of raisins soaking in rum for a bread-pudding and many supplies for drinking yerba mate! :)
June 16 009
Day 15...this is what my starter looked like after proofing it overnight for 15 hours
(no, I didn't sleep that long!)
I think I added 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of water to 1/2 cup of active room-temperature starter the night before, but I have no idea if this is the correct method???
June 24 007
Consistency of proofed starter after stirring...
June 24 008
I used sourdolady's recipe for Deluxe Sourdough Bread

Initial ingredient mixture...let rest for 30 minutes
June 24 009
After kneading
June 24 010
After approximately 5 hours at a cool room temperature, there was definite evidence of "yeasty action"!!!
I was SO happy :)
June 24 013
A few hours later, I thought the dough was ready for shaping (even though it had not quite doubled in size)
I like to call these wet masses of dough my pre-shaping "globs"
June 24 015
I shaped one using a basket as a cloche (it is still in my fridge unbaked), and this one I tried as a freeform oval
June 24 019
Both shaped loaves went into the fridge overnight.
In the morning, the oval loaf was significantly flatter, and there were chunks of ice on the baking mat!!! Yikes!!!
I took the oval log out and left in on the counter for 8 hours, during which it magically transformed itself into a Ciabatta loaf sitting in a puddle of water ;)
Whoops! Maybe I let it rise for too long?
Oh well....I thought the final product was yummy (slightly sour taste) and I loved the texture of the crumb.
Thanks to a World Cup game that captured my attention (Vamos Argentina!!!), the bottom was quite black, but I am getting quite adept at scraping black bottoms into the garbage can :)
Final product--My First Sourdough Loaf!!!
June 24 020
June 24 023
Pizza crust from starter leftovers....
I mostly followed Floydm's measurements to make a delicious pizza crust
1 cup starter
2 cups flour
1 cup water
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil (my addition)
I had a lot of fun shaping this crust (like he suggestd, just turned it around and around, stretching the dough into an approximate circle), and it turned out well.
Sourdough pizza crust before baking
My husband likes to prebake the crust with olive oil, then bake it for a short time with well for me too!
June 24 012
What was left of the pizza before I remembered to take a photo...sign of a yummy pizza :)
June 24 024


SourdoLady's picture

Congratulations on creating something edible from your new starter! The pictures are great. Your bread does resemble a ciabatta. The texture looks really good. Your dough may have been just a little bit on the wet side. If it is humid where you live, that can make a difference and you may need to add a bit more flour. I'm wondering where the chunks of ice and the resulting puddle came from. I've never had that happen before. Are you kneading with a mixer or by hand? If you are using a mixer it is easy to over knead with sourdough, which can cause it to release the water and make the dough get gloppy. It sure is a learning experience, but also such a great challenge to have each loaf turn out better than the one before it. You are off to a great start. Keep up the good work.

Paddyscake's picture

Your first loaf looks absolutely beautiful compared to my first attempt! I still do not
have that great open crumb. I must admit, that when I toast my sourdough I like the
tighter crumb cuz then I don't lose the melted butter through the holes!
I know you are on the road to sourdough success!!

rmk129's picture

Hi SourdoLady and Paddyscake,

Thank you for your helpful and encouraging comments!!!

Yes, I do knead with a mixer (a basic mixmaster with dough hooks instead of the mixing attachments) so I think SourdoLady's overkneading suggestion is probably correct and might have had a lot to do with my loaf turning out as Ciabatta dough in a puddle of water :) I think I kneaded the dough for about 6 minutes (I thought I was erring on the side of caution...oops!). Next time I will try to keep the kneading to 5 minutes or less.

As far as the ice chunks on my baking mat go, I'm not sure if that had something to do with the dough or my refrigerator??? I have turned down my refrigerator temperature just in case.

You are definitely right about sourdough being a learning experience...I am going to treat it as an ongoing experiment in my kitchen and try not to change too many things at once so I can tell what the different results are due to.

Paddyscake, my second loaf (that sat in the refrigerator in a round basket "cloche" for 2 days before I took it out for the final rise and bake) had a tighter crumb and it also held its shape much are right about the advantages of the tighter crumb as my fingers don't get covered in honey when I eat slices from this loaf :)

Today I am starting another basic loaf. Again with my white flour starter, but this time adding some wholewheat flour to the dough. We will see how that goes...