The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My first SD: Third time is the charm!

smasty's picture

My first SD: Third time is the charm!

Before I say anything, let me say thanks for the generous advice I've received!

I did it!  This was my 3rd attempt, and it's pretty close to perfect.  My culture was 16 days old, yesterday.  I began my pre-ferment at 7:00 pm yesterday, then at 7:00 am this morning I built the dough.  I could never figure out why Hamelman continually suggests "tasting for salt to be sure it wasn't forgotten."  I always wondered why someone could forget the salt.  Well, twice now I've almost forgotten it, since it is added after the autolyse.  My dough still took 6.5 hours to less-than-double, I gave it two folds during that time.  I proofed the loaves for about 1 1/4 hours, crossed my fingers and popped them in the oven.  I bought a probe thermometer yesterday....wowza...what a difference that makes, too.  I started the loaves at 460 degrees, after 10 minutes I lowered the temp to 435 (due to browning).  I now know that I've been pulling my loaves at about 160-170 degrees (internal temp)...way too low!  I had to lower the temp to 400 to keep the crust from overbrowning, and finally pulled them out when internal temp hit 200.  So, I started at 7:00 am and have bread at 4:30 pm (great bread!).  The crumb color is hard to discern in the pic since I didn't use a flash, but it's a great color.  I've learned so much by failing multiple times and asking for help.  Though I know I have much more to learn.  Thanks again for the great advice, encouragement and support! Now...just gotta hunt down a good bottle of wine!


arlo's picture

Congratulations! That is some fantastic looking bread! Glad to see you didn't give up and I can't wait to see the rest of the bread you'll be baking up!


The crumb looks wonderful by the way!

smasty's picture

Thanks Arlo!

alabubba's picture


smasty's picture

Thank you!

dmsnyder's picture

Persistence pays off!


smasty's picture

Hey David, I just saw your rye...lovely!! Thanks for stopping by!

longhorn's picture

Looking good!

I do my boules at 435 and go to about 208-209 internal temp - about 42 minutes just as a reference...

You are on your way. Good bottles of wine are much more readily available than good sourdough - and now you are in control of the latter!

Bake On!


smasty's picture

I think I will continue to strive for higher internal temps.  I'm in Denver though, so moisture loss at lower temps is something to plan for.  I can't believe how underbaked my bread used to be...a common mistake for newbies I'd guess.

Thanks Jay!

wally's picture

Excellent looking loaves and a nice open crumb!  I took a course from Hamelman this summer and if there was one lesson I took away, it was that there are no failures if you learn from your mistakes.  Once, we added too much water to our dough and then had to add more flour and when the subject of re-jiggering salt came up, everyone sort of scratched their heads, until Jeffrey said, "taste the dough."  You've obviously learned that lesson and are on your way!


smasty's picture

Thanks Larry!  How fun that you got to take that course! 

Paddyscake's picture

My safety net for not forgetting the salt..I measure it out "mise en place" and place it right next to the bowl during autolyse, so I don't forget!!


smasty's picture

Betty...I've been thinking of that exact thing...I will do that next time.  Thanks!!

marc's picture

looks maaaaaaaaaaaaarvelous!

smasty's picture

Thanks Marc, it was!  And it stayed so fresh for many days!


summerbaker's picture

Like you, I've recently finally made some good SD loaves.  Doesn't it feel good to finally get it right?!  Congratulations!


smasty's picture

Yes!  It does feel good.  Thanks Summer!