The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Single sourdough Loaf

bobkay1022's picture

Single sourdough Loaf

 This a single Loaf of Sour Dough Bread . The recipe was for 2 loaves in a pan. My luck has not been to good with making a loaf this style.  I think I have it down pretty good.  The only difference in the recipe I used the full 1/4 cup of active starter for one loaf instead of two.     It might have added to the flavor. 

 It proofed over night.  I gently took it out of the bowl. punched it down. Did two folds and then made my loaf . It proofed in the oven another 2 hours and then I baked it.

The crust was nice crispy and chewey.  The crumb very moist and a nice taste.

I did again spray the sides of the oven 3 times in 30 second intervals.

The link is a good place to start if you want to get into Sour Dough Bread and Starters.  Even if you do not make bread lot of recipes for the starter you will enjoy the reading on the web page.

The only thing I can recomed is do not call a refrigerator a fridge if you write Mike.

   This is the link for all the information you might ever need for Sour Dough Bread




hanseata's picture

but is it a bit underbaked? The crust looks very pale.


Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery


With sourdough that has been allowed to rise a long, long time, like overnight and then another 5 hours or so, many times the crust will be very, very pale.

What happens is that all the fermentable sugars are consumed in the rise and here are none left to caramelize in the bake.  Mssr. Maillart is going hungry as it were.

I've had loaves like this I baked at 500F and they never browned.  They just burned, which isn't all the same thing.

The answers?

1.  Live with a pale crust,

2.  Add some nonfermentable sugars - a bit of powdered milk for lactose will do, or

3.  Add some malt extract.

Either 2 or 3 will improve the crust color.

In the end, baking is a balancing act.  I talk about that a bit at




bobkay1022's picture

Hi Mike

Nice to see your print.

Well it looked real good next am. I put it out to rise about 8:30 pm. When I took it out of the bowl at 6:30 am  I kind of thought for a change I had a decent loaf or/dough I could work with.     I did 2 folds with about 30-45 minute rest. Then I shaped into a boule very easily. First time with SD that this has happened for me any way.    Normaly as I have explained in my last email the bread does not retain any shape after I have formed a loaf it just falls down.

Color I guess is for the pro. It had a nice crust .   It was at 205 degrees and had a hollow sound when I tapped the bottom so I was not going to take the chance of baking any more. The taste was out standing so no need for me to complain about the color.

Will try what you recomended for a darker crust.  Had 4 slices all that was left  the next night and it was still moist . Probaly be the last time it was so good. 

What I did do different was with the hook after 30 minutes rest after it came together with the paddle.  I started out at speed two. It did start to pull away from the bowl but this has happened before also and I had a bad loaf.

I had made a loaf of white bread from a recipe that I got from a book. His method was turn up the speed on the unit till it starts to slap against the bowl for at least 7-8 minutes and then see if it has a good window pane test which it did.  It was perfect to my surprise. I have never kneaded with the hook like this so long or so fast unless I was doing Jasons ciabatta bread. 

 I did the same with this 1 SD loaf only  instead of two loaves as in the recipe I did one. I still used the same amount of a good starter for one loaf that you call for for two loaves. I think it might have had some thing to do with the nice taste also.

It worked perfectly now to see if it will perform as well on the next bake.

Thanks for the information



bobkay1022's picture

Hi Karen,


Know what you mean but the inside temp was 205 when I checked it. Seems the only way I can get a brown crust is to bake in  a romertoph

Thanks for the comment


hanseata's picture

I had sourdough breads rising overnight, but they were rye/wheat mixes (no sweetener, no malt), so probably it wouldn't be as visible.

But the eye "eats", too, and a very pale loaf appears less appetizing, reminding me of what you get as so called "artisan bread" at supermarkets.