The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

New From St. Louis, MO

ScottBoyd's picture

New From St. Louis, MO


I love making bread and happy to sign on. My problem is I am trying to make too many breads without mastering one, so my focus now is to master one bread first. Any suggestions? I have a sourdough starter but I have had trouble rising the bread with just the sourdough starter and no yeast. Any tips??

I have had success with the no-knead method but would like to have success with kneading. Any kneading bread I make never comes out with the irregular crumb structure.



varda's picture

isn't really between knead and no-knead.   You can knead (mix) some at the beginning, and then stretch and fold in the middle.   If irregular crumb structure is what you are looking for, higher hydration (wetter) dough is a better bet.   The Lahey version of no-knead is very wet as I recall.    Do you have any books to learn from, like Hamelman's Bread?    I have learned a lot from this site, but really needed a good book to start the long slow process of learning how to make bread.    I started with Hamelman.   Others with Bread Baker's Apprentice.   And plenty more.    Floyd put out a very nice and inexpensive ebook which has a link at the left of site pages, called The Fresh Loaf Pocket Book of Bread Baking.    In any case, welcome to the site from a former St. Louisan.  -Varda

ScottBoyd's picture


Thanks for the reply and welcome I do have a bunch a books and that could be the problem. Too many breads and techniques to choose from:) I did start with Jim Lahey's book and made his no-knead bread which came out good. I also had success with King Arturs rustic sourdough bread. Anyay looking forward to learning a lot from the site. 

Best Regards


sphealey's picture

When I was getting started I found that Rose Levy Beranbaum's _The Bread Bible_ was an excellent guide.  Her instructions are extremely detailed and thorough, and if read through a few times and then followed to the letter will produce the described bread 95% of the time. 

Some super-advanced bakers claim that Rose's breads aren't the best in various categories, but for me achieving success with something reasonable (rather than failing with perfection) was important to getting on the road.


dabrownman's picture

with David Snyder's San Joaquin, and got it right and then moved onto his SFSD and Pierre Nurry's Rustic SD and then to Glenn Shyder's Country SD.  All have great directions and recipes.

Make sure you build your starter slowly into a powerful levain over 12 hours -even if you have to feed it twice at 4 hour intervals.  SD will rise any dough but it has to be strong.  Try adding a little rye and WW to it too on the first build or covert it over as I did.