The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

First sourdough

RedT's picture

First sourdough

Hello - new member here. Retired old-timer, active RVer and BBQ enthusiast who has always loved sourdough bread. When the price of a 12 ounce loaf of sourdough bread increased to $3.99, I decided it was time to either quit bread or make my own. 

Successfully created the sourdough starter, and used the following recipe found on the Internet:

275g warm water

500g starter

400g bread flour

100g whole wheat flour

20g salt

Accomplished the described mixing, stretch and fold, tension pulls, proofing, though I didn't really know what it was all about! The result was a sour, heavy loaf that looked (and felt) like it could be used to build a house!

So, I'm devouring all of the comments posted here to hopefully learn to make "eatable" bread. I've already found and understand "The Baker's Formula" so this should help. 



Thumbpicker's picture

Looks good by my calculations that's 70% hydration dough which is a reasonable amount of moisture.

The crumb doesn't look too bad to me. Sure it's not completely open but it looks good for sandwich bread.

I would say that cooking things in a closed vessel for the first part of the baking process (eg. a dutch oven or a clay baker) where it traps the steam might help it rise better and give you a lighter loaf. It would also probably give it a darker crust if that's what you are after. FWIW I think your ingredient list and proportions seem fine. You could try upping the moisture a little if you are game to try working with a slightly wetter dough.

So for starters did you have steam in your oven. Maybe also score the loaf to help it rise more because the crust can restrict the rise if you don't do this.

Just suggestions because you seemed to imply it's a heavy loaf and not as light as you might like. I think it looks very nice though - so well done.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven


See you were eager to taste it (the best part of baking) as the loaf hasn't left the cooling rack yet!

Great looking crumb and loaf.  It will cut better when completely cool after a few hours.  Welcome!

MTloaf's picture

The recipe you have uses a higher percentage of starter and salt than most of the recipes I have found on the internet. The salt is typically 2% of flour weight which in your case is 750 if your starter is half water and flour. The amount of starter used in this recipe is equal to the flour weight where as many recipes use between 15 and 25 percent. Not to dispute your results because you managed it well. Search this site for the 1 2 3 recipe. 

Love the word "eatable" Good luck in your pursuit of

RedT's picture

Agree with your comments. The bread was too dense, (under proofed?) too salty and had a sour taste.

Second attempt turned out to be like a brick.

Third attempt barely "eatable" but I would not offer to anyone. 

I'll ruin enough flour to learn how to bake a bread!  Never give up, never quit!  :-) 

Miller's picture

I'm in the same position as you. Onwards and upwards!