The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My first sourdough loaves ->

michael p's picture
michael p

My first sourdough loaves ->

So, I started a starter using gaaarp's excellent instructions.  As of yesterday it was two weeks old, sitting on the counter the whole time.  Very red-winey smelling, yum!


Time to use it eh?  I baked a basic sourdough using KAF's basic sourdough recipe, substituting what turned into a 24 hour countertop rise in place of using yeast.  Yeah, the rise was way slow, I probably could have let it go longer but it was getting late last night and I wanted to get the loaves baked.


It's not strong by any means, but I understand that's because I'm using a young starter.  Slight sour aroma, and in the finish in my mouth there's a pleasant but, again, not strong, sour taste.  Basic or not, this recipe is a keeper!  TFL, I present, Mike's First Sourdough:



LindyD's picture
LindyD

Pretty crust.  Bold bakes add a lot to the flavor.  How long did you retard the bread?

michael p's picture
michael p

Thank you all, I appreciate the comments.  On this, the second loaf (it's a two loaf batch) I accidentally left the oven on 450, after re-warming it from taking out the first loaf.  Thus the "bold" bake.  Lesson learned, it worked out great.


The dough overall sat just about 24 hours on the counter, it took a long time to rise, I didn't add yeast, just my starter.  I did two rises, then one more after shaping.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

How cold was the room, Michael?  Only reason I ask is that the blisters on your crust (also sometimes called birds-eyes) are usually a sign that the loaf was refrigerated (retarded) overnight before baking.  It's a convenient method to slow down the fermentation and add to the flavor.


Isn't it great when you make something so delicious?

michael p's picture
michael p

Cool, I learned something, "bird's eyes."  They look neat, I'm going to try for them every time.  This particular loaf is going with my gf to work tomorrow for feedback and also I want to see how long a fresh loaf (ha!) stays fresh.


No refrigeration. If I had to say, my kitchen stays in the high '60's temp. wise, maybe a little cooler overnight, except when I run the dishwasher and close the doors, that always seems to perk up my fermentation, humidity and warmth.  So I'd say about 22 out of 24 hours in the high 60's


I've been baking some great loaves the last couple of weeks, I honestly don't know why, practice probably, and I just got the BBA book but haven't really got into the technical parts yet.

flournwater's picture
flournwater

Those "birds eyes" ( I call 'em frog skin) can also develop of you allow water droplets to fall on the loaf when you're steaming; that is, if you use a series of spray cycles.


Your bake looks very nice.  The bold bake spirits were certainly working in your favor.

Jaydot's picture
Jaydot

Well done, it looks fantastic!

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Gorgeous and delicious looking!  Nicely done!


Sylvia

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

You may find you prefer a "bold bake" like this one. I do.


Your crumb is also extraordinary. The structure is very highly aerated. That and the birds eyes must be from your long fermentation. I've never seen this with breads that weren't cold retarded.


David

JustinB's picture
JustinB

Picture perfect loaf! :)

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Wow!!  What a beautiful crumb.  The crust is nice, too, but the gluten network in the crumb looks awesome!  Light as air.


Good bake!


Glenn

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Thanks.


Glenn

michael p's picture
michael p

Thank you all.  I appreciate the technical kudos.  Re:gluten, all's I know is the loaf is (well, was!) moist and chewy just how I like it.


I used King Arthur unbleached flour AP.


I've decided I'm doing enough baking now that I have to keep a diary/log of what I do - this bread makes me realize that I need to able to reproduce it time after time.

michael p's picture
michael p

Up early this a.m. to bake these great loaves.  Tasting in an hour or so.  Same recipe, but now my starter is three weeks old, fed once daily, sitting on top of the fridge the whole time.  The loaves' aroma is more "sour" than the first time I made this, like strong milk, I guess.  The total ferment time was closer to 36 hours, I didn't add extra yeast, letting the starter do all the work.


michael p's picture
michael p

So I waited for this one to cool before cutting, the picture from last week was hot bread.  Fantastic sour smell, the bread is moist, chewy, just fantastic.