The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough Crossroads

Valdus's picture

Sourdough Crossroads

A Sourdough Crossroads 

Don't think for minute because of the title that I am going to give up this wonderful hobby (using the word hobby seems a bit limited to me but it is what it is- another expression I have never liked). If I gave up baking sourdough I would have to go back to brewing beer, and there is nothing more messy and demanding that that. I once ruined a perfectly good carpet with an exploding mead recipe. 

No, it seems that I am at a crossroads, meaning that I think I am done "playing" with sourdough and I would like to start baking. I want to pick one recipe, just one sourdough recipe and turn it to perfection. Turn it into a consistent assembly line press that I can do over and over again without much deviation. 

The small, trivial, if not amusing problem I have is which recipe to use? I have done Emilie Raffa's Everyday Sourdough over and over again but don't like the ignoring overnight bulk ferment. I think I would prefer something that needs action, something I could practice my slapping and folding with. 

I have done the infamous Tartine Bread, of baking and internet fame, with good results and positive family tasting reviews ("As in, if I am on a diet never make this bread!) and it gives me two loaves to experiment. Yet I sense that Tartine Bread has just too many variables. Since I am still obsessed with more and more bloom I want to reduce the amount of variables to a minimum. 

After a good talk with DanAyo, actually a great talk, I have decided to go with one of the most basic sourdough recipes out there- the 1-2-3 method using 50/50 AP/Bread Flour starting at 150g starter for a loaf of 900g. I plan on sticking to this recipe until it bursts the sides of my oven. I'm probably going to bake other things, but this one will be how I solve the great oven bloom goal. 


David R's picture
David R

I think you're right to choose something simple and basic. If those around you are going to eat the same bread a lot, it's good for it to be one that they can eat in many different ways. Can't exercise many options when you start with a pecan & garlic avocado bread with vanilla glaze and caraway.

Yours is the "favorite jeans" (or the "little black dress") of bread - goes OK with just about anything.