The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

New Sourdough Baker

kat139's picture

New Sourdough Baker


This is my first time making a sourdough bread, and I've decided to try first with plain bread flour.

I used approximately 270 grams of water to 350 grams of flour plus 60 grams of 100% hydration starter. Autolysed for an hour, 3 stretch and folds with 30 mins in-between, then a 9 hour overnight rise. The next morning I shaped it and refrigerated it for 3 hours before slashing and baking. 

Baked for 10 mins at 250, 20 mins at 230 in a dutch oven, and then baked for another 30 minutes with the lid of.

I wasn't very sure about the proofing time and it stuck to the proofing basket before releasing so may have deflated a bit.

The air pockets seems to not be very evenly distributed and the crumb quite chewy? Is this normal and what can I improve on?


Filomatic's picture

Nice first effort, and well proofed as well.  SD tends to have a chewy crumb, at least in my experience.  It looks more or less flawless.  I'm guessing you already have bread baking experience.

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

I think sourdough does tend to be a bit more 'chewy', usually. If it stuck to the banneton / basket, it may have been a bit over-fermented. Was the 9 hours at a warm room temperature? Even with that low inoculation rate (relatively small amount of active starter), it still might have gone a little too long. How was it for shaping? If you want a more even crumb with the holes more evenly distributed, you can be a little more aggressive with the shaping. Stretch the dough out gently and poke it all over with your fingers to chase the big gas bubbles to the edge and move things around a bit, then shape into a tight ball with a good 'skin' on it.

kat139's picture

The temperature was around 22 degrees I think. I might have been too careful when shaping it so I'll definitely try it next time.  Thanks for the advice! 

dabrownman's picture

such grand first SD loaf.  You are supposed to suffer with failure for weeks on end like us old timers did:-)  Well done and happy SD baking!

Danni3ll3's picture

That loaf is gorgeous! I think we need to change this site into a secret society where we dole out pearls of wisdom only once the newbies have suffered the angst and agony of a few failures. 😂

BobBoule's picture

Excellent loaf! It looks just fine to me and yes SD is chewy, thats a good thing. If you do not like the unevenness  in the crumb (I don't like to as well, I cannot spread anything on those holes) then be a bot more careful with the S&F, the way that some people do it causes air to be captured as you fold the dough over, creating those holes. Some artisanal bakers make those holes on purpose, thinking that they are somehow better, they purposefully catch those pockets of air and trap it in their dough to make a loaf that looks exactly like yours! LOL

DanAyo's picture

You said, “they purposefully catch those pockets of air and trap it in their dough”.

I never thought about the possibility that air could be trapped inside the dough during the S & F stage.


Teukros's picture

That's a whole lot better than my first high hydration sourdough loaf...