The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My very first Bread!

syros's picture

My very first Bread!

I’m happy to announce that thanks to TFL, the web, and especially to Abe, I actually made my first sourdough bread! Talk about a labor of love! I think it happened by sheer force of will and partly by jumping off and giving it a go. I thought it was going to end up tasting like a salty hockey puck but surprise, it‘s actually delicious. It took me over a month and god knows how many pounds of flour to finally get a starter going. Then to understain the levain - between the posts here, and countless YouTube videos and blogs, I managed to make one loaf.

Abe thanks for your patience and guidance. I’m having a scotch later as soon as it’s an acceptable time here in Montreal!

Just wanted to say that the forum discussing the float test really saved me yesterday because my starter was not floating but was full of air and bubbles and definitely looked ready. So after a long arduous day because my starter wasn’t ready until later in the day, I just said, ‘go for it’ and took the plunge. Scariest few hours of my cooking experience! Luckily I am familiar with working with dough but not like this. This is a true test of patience. 

Thanks everyone! To be honest, I never thought I would really post anything here due to feeling like such a newbie and so inexperienced and ratios and percentages are not my thing!

BTW, I used the 1:2:3 method at the recommendation of Abe. 


leslieruf's picture

isn't great when you get up the courage and actually do it (bake the loaf, post the pictures etc) and it works!!

well done!! look forward to many more posts.  happy baking



Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

Absolutely lovely and sure looks delicious. And it's your first sourdough! 

No turning back now. Once the sourdough bug hits you're hooked. 

Bon Appetit

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

I'm very impressed. Now, just for some fun, you can play with add-ins to the 1-2-3 formula! Check out some of the interesting breads people have made on a 1-2-3 challenge here. Abe probably has some good ones too. :)

Meanwhile, that first one (!) sure looks good enough to eat.


syros's picture

I so appreciate everyone’s feedback! Wendy I think I will wait till I make another loaf before trying more challenging recipes. Mind you the parmasean with carmelized onions from Danni looks pretty tempting. I’m going to check the challenge and see if I’m ready for it!

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

The whole point of the 1-2-3 challenge was to give sourdough 'newbies' a few ideas for modifying the basic 1-2-3 recipe to make something different. If you can make the bread pictured above, the sky's the limit! Probably wise to make the standard recipe a few times though, just to feel confident. Just understand that sometimes the bread gods have a weird sense of humour and will let the gremlins loose, despite you doing everything right. :)

Danni3ll3's picture

Just use your present recipe and add the caramelized onions, cheese and herbs to it. You shouldn’t  have to adjust the hydration much and if you are making only one loaf, cut my amounts of the add-ins by half to two thirds depending on the size of your loaf. My recipe makes 3 small (~650 -700 g) loaves.

Then later once you are more comfortable, give my recipe a shot, but in the meantime, you can have a blast adding things to your present dough. 

By the way, your loaf looks awesome! Well done!

syros's picture

I make a fair amount of pizza and Lebanese breads, so I know how many things play into making dough. Trust me if you saw what my kitchen looked like when I was trying to just make a starter... I don‘t know why I didn’t give up. But all that to say, because all this hydration stuff still confuses me and if I decide to play around with flours, that’s where the confusion will be for me going forward. So if and when I decide to take a risk (and by the way I might try your fig and nut bread which looks so delicious! 

hreik's picture

great looking loaf.   Doesn't look like a first timer's loaf to me.  Nicely done.


syros's picture

Beginner’s luck and a whole lot of support from TFL! Especially Abe! Who knows what will happen next time? All part of the learning curve. A lot like growing tomatoes from seed, which I do. You plant the seeds and pray!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

That 1,2,3 sourdough is a keeper.... and easy to remember too!  

Great looking first loaf!   :)

Filomatic's picture

This is a great first bake--and would be a great fifth or tenth bake.  You nailed the proofing and shaping, which are the hardest parts.  Well done!

syros's picture

I'm still debating on when I will muster up the courage to do the second one....  this one was a real leap of faith!

dabrownman's picture

and taste like.  There is no looking back!  Well done and happy baking.  I don't know about that Abe guy though:-)  As a serious desert dwellers. Lucy and I worry about folks that live in misty drizzle  and unremitting damp.

Happy baking  

syros's picture

But hey, I live in the clime of Montreal (although my son just got married in Phoenix) - so not as unrelentingly damp as Merry Olde England but we've had our share of miserable weather! Must say, Arizona in October is very very doable! Thanks for the encouragement - I've read your posts about a million times, especially the NMNF - going to send it to my son. My problem is I can't keep percentages and hydration rates figured out - math was never my forte. I love cooking and making pizza and Lebanese breads, but this is a whole new science for me. Must admit, I was pretty proud of myself, especially because making a starter was so frustrating. Made me realize how impatient I am! 

I must say I love the taste of rye in my sourdough! And I keep checking on my starter which is in the fridge. I think I need help.