The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My first sourdough loaves

clowntoe's picture
clowntoe

My first sourdough loaves

OK, baked my first sourdough today and I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. A few things I screwed up on:

1. Biggest mistake. Forgot to add salt to the dough. So it's pretty bland - but it's still tart like a sourdough should be.

2. I'll add more AP next time to try to get a looser crumb - I like bigger holes in my bread. Does anyone else have any good ideas on this? I've read AP helps, as does a wetter dough.

Overall, I'm happy with the spring I got and the look of the loaves. Any suggestions are certainly welcome.

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

Great looking bread! Yes, wetter dough will yield a holier bread. Another thing to consider is that sourdough (if you are using true wild yeast sourdough) takes quite a bit longer to rise than commercial yeast. You must be patient. After you bake a few loaves you will learn to recognize when it has risen enough. Starting your bake with a very hot oven helps also. You are off to a good start so just keep baking and over time you will get better and better results.

clowntoe's picture
clowntoe

Thanks a bunch. I'll go wetter next time and maybe wait a bit longer. It's a true wild yeast sourdough, and I let the loaves rise about 2 hours this time. Maybe I'll see if they continue to rise for a longer period next time.

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

I admittedly keep my sourdough dough pretty cool (65-75 degrees F), but for what it's worth, the bulk rise usually takes 3-4 hours before it's doubled in size. So you'll definitely want to wait a bit longer.

To help manage the wet dough, try folding it once or twice during the bulk rise. Not only will folding extend the rise and intensify the flavor, but it will also add a surprising amount of strength to your wet dough, allowing you to shape it more easily and giving ithe bread more oomph during the first few minutes of the bake for oven spring.

clowntoe's picture
clowntoe

Thanks a bunch. I plan to get my starter going on Friday for another couple of loaves on Saturday morning. I'll definitely let the rise continue for longer (room temperature this time of the year in Texas is about 78-80 degrees F), and will try folding it as well. I'll post pictures again of my results.

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

78-80 degrees is a little warm for sourdough. Might want to put your dough in the cellar, if you have one. If not, try cold water. I don't have any A/C, which usually isn't a problem in Boston, but we've had some hot days lately, and I've had to resort to fridge water for sourdough a couple of times.

KazaKhan's picture
KazaKhan

There are plenty of people that keep their starters at 28°C which is a little over 80°F. My starter has been kept recently between 16-22°C on my kitchen bench. And some months ago the range was more like 26°-32°C. As far as I know a warm starter will develop lactobacilli with a sweet flavour while cooler temperatures will develop a more sour flavour. A warm starter should still produce a sour flavour if a long and cool bulk ferment and proof is used. Eventually I would like to build\obtain a couple of temperature controlled boxes for my starter to test various temperatures for keeping a starter...

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

... I should have said that 80 degrees is too high for my starter. :-) Given the variation from place to place, Texas starter might just feel like it'd been dropped in the briar patch at 80 degrees. Only way to know is to try ....

clowntoe's picture
clowntoe

Sadly, most homes in Central Texas don't have cellars. So I'm out of luck there. I do have a wine room, but it's too cool at 55. So maybe I can create some kind of atmosphere with a cooler and an ice pack...

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

OMG, you don't know how lucky you are to have a 55° wine room! That is the perfect temperature for an overnight rise. If you shape your loaf and put it in the cool room overnight it should be risen and ready to bake by morning. The cool temp will allow the flavors to develop nicely.

clowntoe's picture
clowntoe

Fantastic! Then that's my plan for Friday night. I'll pull out some starter on Thursday night and shape loaves on Friday evening, bake Saturday.