The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello and thanks

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tempe's picture

Hello and thanks


Just wanted to do the right thing and introduce myself, I am a stay at home mum that loves cooking - anything really! And I have recently had this yearning for home baked sourdough bread, due to not being able to find anything decent regularly near home.  So I have followed Debra Wink's Pineapple Juice Solution and that has worked wonderfully, so I am looking forward to baking my first loaf on the weekend. I'm wanting to bake just a white with a little rye loaf, preferably in a loaf pan just for convenience really, does anyone have any suggestions as to what would be a good recipe to start with? I have mostly made pastries and cakes i.e brioche, portugese custard tarts, chocolate cake that kind of stuff before this bread baking bug got me! And can I say thanks so much to all of you wonderful contributors, so much to read, learn and bake!!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

A first sourdough loaf...  How about Susan's Simple Sourdough?

To get the firm starter just add a little more flour to your starter when you feed it so it is like a little ball of dough.  You can easily substitute a little rye for some of the flour, may have to add a Tbs or two of extra water because rye can be very absorbant. 

Again welcome!



tempe's picture

Thanks for the link Mini and the warm welcome.  Susan's simple sourdough looks great, sounds easy (famous last words) so I'll give it a try.  Will make it on the weekend and post how I get on, thanks for tip about adding extra water for the rye :

tempe's picture

Well as promised I am having a go at Susan's simple sourdough!  It's Saturday night here and I have just put my loaf in the refrigerator for overnight rest, so far so good.  My dough doubled nicely and the dough was quite easy to handle, so wish me luck for tomorrow's baking! 

I will post how I get on and if I can manage it put a photo up of the loaf regardless of how succesful it is so I can get some feedback/advice on said loaf.

Thanks again :)

kutzeh's picture

Patti wrote:

No  Knead Rye Bread

Start a day before you need it

1 3/4 cups all purpose  flour 

     1 1/4 rye
    1 tsp yeast

1 1/2 tsp salt
1 5/8 cups water

  2T ground flax seed

2 T caraway seeds

  1T cocoa mixed with 1tsp coffee grounds

#1-Mix above in large bowl with wooden spoon until blended, Mixture will be shaggy and sticky. Cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rest 12 to 18 hrs (I have put it in frig overnite if I'm not ready to bake and let it warm up the next day before the next step)

#2-Add about 1/2  c flour to the bowl and mix in with wooden spoon,  (should be loose )  to make a dough that leaves the side of the bowl and forms a  sticky ball  not a firm ball (better very sticky than too stiff) . At this time you may add any seeds (sunflower, caraway etc) Lift dough or tip side to side and spray bowl well, bottom and sides -cover and let rise for 2 to 3 hours hrs. Dough should be well doubled in size.

#3-One half hour before dough is ready to bake-set oven to 500 degrees and put in it a 6-8 qt covered heavy pot (cast iron, enamel, pyrex or ceramic-*do not grease)* Decrease temp to 450 degrees.   Dump  dough into the hot pot using spatula if needed. It may look  messy but it will straighten out. Cover with lid and bake 30 min..take off lid and bake 15 min more until quite brown (this is approximate time) You can take it out of the pot and put it on the rack to brown up.Test to see if done by knocking on bottom of loaf. If it sound hollow when done. Internal temp should be 205 degrees. Cool for 30 min before cutting ( if you can wait that long).

* before putting in the loaf, you can sprinkle pot with oatmeal or cornmeal- sprinkle top too or wait until 15 min of baking and brush with milk and sprinkle seeds, continue bakingas above

tempe's picture

Hi Patti,

This looks like a lovely loaf, I was talking to Mum today and she said that the loaf we used to have as kids had caraway seeds, so I will have to give this a try.  Thankyou for your detailed recipe, will have a go at it in a few days and let you know how I get on.

Thanks again. 

tempe's picture

Well, I've baked my loaf, and I must say appearances are deceiving!  It looked good going in the oven, and looked lovely when it came out but there's where it ends.  I still have a heavy loaf at the end of it.  The positives - more practice on shaping dough, and was happy with how my slashing turned out, and there is a good sourness going on. The negatives, I think are not enough oven spring and subsequently a heavy loaf which make for heavy eating! I baked on an pizza stone, spritzed with water and covered with a bowl for the first 15 minutes, basically I was too scared to leave the bowl there any longer in case it shattered in the oven, but maybe that was unnecessary worry given that it's a pyrex glass bowl.I baked at 450 F then turned it down to 420 after removing the bowl, I must admit it was not the best time for me to have baked it, just after I put it in the oven, my family came in to make their lunches so needless to say my attention was somewhat diverted and my tiny kitchen was pretty crowded. Anyway, here are the photos, I would love some feedback and advice, many thanks, tempe.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

because, yes, pyrex can shatter (if it does it happens outside the oven on a cold surface.)  If you use the site search machine and type in covers or covered loaf you'll get all kinds of ideas from flower pots to turkey roasters.   

Your loaf lookes lovely!  Sourdough is a little heavier than fluffy white store bought and can be chewier too.   That's part of the charm.  The loaf does look a little pale on the bottom but that could be the camera angle.  Let the stone heat up well before using or try a heavy sheet pan instead.    You have nice oven spring!  Your slashes opened up nicely!  If your room temps are cool, you may be right in letting the loaf rise a little more before baking.   That's a tweek that comes after a first bake.  

I'd say you did a Marvellous job!  Well done! 

:) Mini