The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

First loaf

MagicMonkey's picture

First loaf


I've just tried making my first loaf with just flour, salt and water. The starter is only about a week old and rye based. I am using a bread machine and want to stick with it. 

Any feedback much appreciated. It didn't rise nearly as evenly and much as I kind of hoped. But I think the texture looks good. I'm not sure what caused the air pocket in the top though.

Many thanks,


Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

A week old starter and in a bread machine to-boot. What was your formula? 

My friend has a bread machine and we worked out a formula for a great sourdough loaf. The formula is simple... The flour within the starter/levain should be 30% (using bakers maths) and the French bread setting seems to be the best. So let's take a simple recipe...

  • 400g bread flour (100%)
  • 218g water
  • 8g salt
  • 240g bread flour levain at 100% hydration (120g flour + 120g water = 30% flour)

Night before build the Levain. In the bread pan (don't forget to include the paddle) mix together:

20g starter + 110g water + 110g bread flour. Leave overnight for 12-14 hours. Once mature and bubbly then proceed onto the final recipe. 

To the levain add 218g water and mix till fully distributed. 

In a bowl mix together the 400g bread flour + 8g salt then sprinkle it over the levain/water mix. 

Close the lid and choose the French bread cycle. 


The only questions I have is what machine do you have? In the instructions is the liquid normally added in first and then the flour? Do you have a French bread setting? 

clazar123's picture

That airpocket at the top is usually corrected by better shaping but being it was in a machine, I'm not sure how that can be corrected.

Overall, your loaf looks really good and I'm impressed with your starter's performance at a week old. How did it taste?

Keep going!