The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

First Loaf

Braxton's picture

First Loaf

Just made my first loaf of bread tonight!

I made this modeling the Tartine Bread book recipe.  My starter was just over a week old.  I had fun, and it tasted great to me.  In the book he talks about eating it fresh out of the oven and frying it with olive oil.  So, I couldn't resist frying it in butter and olive oil.  My wife and I couldn't get enough of it.

One of my concerns was that in the book it seems their starter really responds in a couple of hours.  Mine takes all day to get that sweet smell and full of bubbles.  I was wondering if I had enough yeast in it.

I put together my leaven last night.  I made it and the dough with King Arthur "Bread Flour" - red spring wheat flour and malted barely flour.  It took about 10 hours before the leaven would float.  I was patient all day as I tended to the dough.  Everything seem to take longer than they say in the book but probably because it's getting cool here.

The directions say to put a little flour on top when shaping etc., but the pictures look like they use more than a little.  I found my dough to be sticky, but I used regular bread flour instead of rice flour.  I'll get some of the rice flour to see how that changes.

I used a cast iron dutch oven as recommended.  When dropping it in the pan it stuck to the cloth it was in.  I think the cloth was too smooth and I didn't have enough flour underneath.  When scoring it I couldn't get a score to show like in the pictures.  So, I just scored a handful of times around the top.

The second loaf is in the fridge.  Can't wait to taste the difference that rising in the refridgerator all night makes.
I'm looking forward to getting a basket with linen and some other supplies.  I think I'm hooked on bread.

I welcome any comments and advice.

Braxton's picture

And, here's the second loaf after rising in the fridge over night and baked in the cast iron combo cooker.  Now, this one didn't stick to the towel and scored much easier.  We'll be cutting it open for dinner.

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss


loydb's picture

Those look fantastic. Regarding your starter, how recently had you fed it before you baked? If it was cool, that will definitely slow things down. My bulk rise sourdough times range from 2.5 to 6 hours -- and it has just now gotten cool here.


Braxton's picture


I probably fed the starter at 10 AM and used a tablespoon of it to start the leaven at 10 PM.  It smelled sweet and had lots of bubbles.  I let the leaven sit out over night.  In the morning it didn't float.  A couple of hours later...maybe 10 AM it did.  I let the bulk rise about  3 hours or so and did 4 turns.  I think next time I'll keep notes. 

dotknott's picture

Great Shots!

caraway's picture

Amazing, especially for beginning sourdough bakes.  You mention your starter is only a week old.  While warmth is important, think as your starter ages it will get more and more active.

Enjoy, it's really fun isn't it!


highwaymanco's picture

with such a succesful couple of breads...

my first ones turned out slightly better than my subsequent breads for awhile

(that was more me experimenting than the "starter")

and as mentioned...

my "starters" (yes i made up several)

did get more "energetic" after a few weeks...

great post

i am pretty new here as well and really appreciate the great pics and your post...

welcome !!!

Braxton's picture

Thanks everyone.  And, yes, it's fun!  :0)

It's funny you mention experiment.  I was just wondering what would happen if I doubled the amount of starter to make the leaven.

I also just realized tonight that I am not using 50% white and 50% wheat flour as recommended by the Tartine book.  I just looked over the flour at the store today.  So, I got some wheat and regular "bread" flour.  I'm sure that will change things up and maybe make my yeast more active.

Looking forward to trying some sour dough pancakes next weekend, too!