Just baked my second loaf of sourdough bread yesterday. Turned out better than my first. The recipe was taken from the Weekend Bakery. I love the fact that they use a rye sourdough and some whole wheat flour to bump up the flavour. I must say I find bread baking extremely therapeutic (just as I do with baking pâtisseries, cakes etc) but despite being a newcomer to the world of bread baking I am finding myself enjoying the process more by the week. The smell of nicely fermented dough is so invigorating. In fact I'm slightly embarassed to say that I had actually tasted the raw dough of this bread yesterday while doing the third stretch and fold. I just couldn't resist it. :D
The oven spring was the best I've managed to achieve since I starting baking bread 2 months ago. I have also recently realised that it's important not to over-degass the dough prior to shaping to preserve a more open crumb structure. For me the best thing about being a home baker is the fact that I learn something every time I bake. It feels so much more of an achievement when one finds a new trick by him/herself rather than learning it through a professional lesson (nothing against the latter but being someone on a tight student budget it's probably not until a couple more years before I could afford one)
Do comment on my bread and any constructive suggestions are more than welcome!