The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


espenizer's picture



I'm really looking forward to be a part of "The Fresh Loaf". I've been reading the forums for a while and decided it's time to be a part of the community.

I'm not a complete novice in bread making as I make bread for my family every evening. I'm mastering the basics, but feel I'm know ready to take on a sourdough bread. 

At the moment I've got a sourdough starter bubbling on it's 5th day and I believe it's soon ready to be used. Thanks for all the great advice from the forums. 

What I've always been wondering about is the following; How do you find the time? I'm working full-time, have 2 kids and I'm a husband. Sourdough bread seems to take up a little time, many times a day/night. My ultimate goal would be to try to find a way for the bread to adapt to my schedule even though I understand it's probably the other way around. 

Have a good day and I look forward to eventually getting started. 

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Welcome to the site and the sourdough adventure! I hope you find the time to share your journey (in pictures, of course) with us.

Regarding the starter - 5 days is pretty young, so if you're going to use it 'soon' be aware that it might not have enough strength to properly rise dough. You might use it for flavour and add just a little bit of dry yeast for the first little while. No shame in that - you still get the flavour and benefits of lacto-fermentation.

Regarding time to bake - bread (and sourdough in particular) is actually very flexible once you understand the interplay between time, temperature and innoculation rate (i.e. how much yeast or pre-ferment flour is in the dough). It depends on the temperature in various parts of your home and whether or not you use a fridge. Manipulating those three factors will give you (generally) whatever schedule works best for you. If you check out Peter Reinhart's "Artisan Breads Every Day" you will find all kinds of recipes where you can mix up the dough whenever you have time, keep it in the fridge and bake it any time over five days.

gillpugh's picture

Don't be a slave to your dough.  I was and would miss appointments because my levan was almost ready and needed to be used , or stay awake until midnight because my bulk dough wasn't ready.  Ionger I bake, the more confident I am about me manipulating the dough - see temperature as an ingredient. I now put the levan in the fridge to slow it down until I get back from my walk, or use hotter water in my dough to speed things along. 

Funny thing is, that although all,the books tell you this, it doesn't hit home until you have some experience. I've deffinelty learned more from my fails than my success, after all it's only a bit of flour.