The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

First loaf without commercial yeast

gandydancer2's picture

First loaf without commercial yeast

Yesterday I baked my first batch of bread using my sourdough starter with no commercial yeast.  I am  pleased with the result.  Previously I had been baking rustic loaves using commercial yeast and the covered Dutch Oven baking technique.  The bread was beautiful, the crumb acceptable but the taste very ordinary.  The taste of the sourdough bread was far superior.

The purpose of this post is to encourage bakers who are using commercial yeast exclusively to give sourdough starter a try.  It's pretty easy.

Notes on starter.  I used 25g organic rye flour, 25g KA all purpose and 50 grams of water.  Each day for first 10 days I discarded all but 50 g of starter and added 25g organic rye flour, 25g KA all purpose and 50 grams of water.  For the next 2 days I feed the starter twice.  I baked the following day.

The night before I baked I made the leaven.  I used 1 tablespoon of the mature starter 100 g of rye organic flour and 100 g of King Arthur all-purpose flour and 200 g of warm water.  The next morning the leaven was very active.

The formula I used

200 g leaven

500g bread flour

400 g KA all purpose flour

100 g KA white whole wheat flour

750 g warm (80) Water

20 g salt

The technique for bulk fermentation, stretching, folding and loaf shaping was from Tartine Bread book Vol 1.  The bread was baked in a 450 oven with the cover on for 20 minutes and cover off for 25 minutes.

The one problem I had was the dough was still quite "sticky" after the final rise.  I had trouble getting the dough out of the proofing baskets and into the cooker without ruining the shape of the loaves.  I also could not score the loaves.  Should I try less water next time or is that my loaf shaping skills need to improve?










Bob Marley's picture
Bob Marley

Slowing the rise of the fermentation may help to dry the surface of your dough.  With my yeasted bread at 60% hydration, the surface has a nice dry touch to it after rising twelve and eighteen hours.  And the flavor of the crumb of the yeasted bread with the eighteen hour rise is phenomenal.

tchism's picture

You're hooked now! Congrats on your first loaf of real bread! :)


WoodenSpoon's picture

Thats gotta feel good!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Congratulations!  :)

About the sticking... could try rolling the shaped loaf into a bit of flour before placing into a floured basket.  Another idea is to wait off shaping adding a gentle fold before laying the dough in the basket (thus shortening the time the dough relaxes in the basket.)  

mini_maggie's picture

who has yet to brave a starter, but want to soon.  Have the organic rye all ready to go.

Did you keep yours at room temp the whole time, or in the fridge? 

BobBoule's picture

Looks fantastic, I want some! Id try really rubbing four into the proofing baskets before laying the dough in them gently, to see if that helps. You might also want to check out dmsnyder's excellent slashing/scoring tutorial's (with video), you might be amazed at how well you can slash very high hydration doughs with a bit of practice.