The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

I did it!

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

I did it!

I made baguettes using a non-commercial yeast starter, just flour and water and those lovely wild yeasties.  Gorgeous crust, lovely soft insides, softer than I thought they'd be actually, but crusty baguettes nonetheless.  My first real sourdough bread.  Feels great!  Oh, and they're whole wheat.

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

Isn't it cool when you have that sourdough success for the first time? Can you post a pic ?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

We want pictures! ..... And a taste of your WW SD Baguettes.
David

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

I've never done that before.

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

The bread, plus my messy kitchen.bread

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Nice looking bread, PaddyL.  And your kitchen looks a bit like mine!

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

It looks a tad better now.  But when I'm baking, and when I get excited with the results, well, it does look better now.

Eli's picture
Eli

I can relate to your enthusiasim. I still get excited when I have  a loaf turn out! Looks great! How did they taste? Good and sour?

Eli

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

Just about right, as I don't really like it too sour.  It was the crust that got me, so crisp and crunchy.  The last time I had a crust even close to that was a bread I made out of Bernard Clayton's book, and that wasn't sourdough.  And I have never made bread without using some commercial yeast before!  It only took about 4 to 5 hours to rise in the bowl, and then only about an hour after shaping.  I'm stunned.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The baguette looks great, Paddy! I hope this is the first of many sourdough highs for you. 

Would you share the recipe you used? 

David

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

We have the same measuring spoons...  

About the blue tint,  give the camera to one of the kids and ask them to set it to a more Fleshy tone.  They're good at it and love to help.  I had that problem in the beginning with my camera.

Mini O

GrapevineTXoldaccount's picture
GrapevineTXolda...

for you, PaddyL.  It seems like only yesterday that you were wrestling with the starter.  Yoo-Hoo and CONGRATULATIONS!  Those loaves are beauties.

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

...for the bread or the starter, but sort of followed a recipe from Linda Collister's Bread, from sourdough to rye, plus a bit of advice from someone on an Australian sourdough site.  I'll give you the Linda Collister recipe.

Pain de compagne

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup fine whole wheat pastry flour (Since my starter was already ww, I skipped this step.)

1-1/2 tsps. salt, preferably sea salt (I used 1 tsp. table salt.)

1 cup soft dough sourdough starter

about 1-1/3 cups tepid water

Mix the flours and salt in a large bowl, then make a well in the centre.  Spoon the starter into the well, then pour in the water.  Mix the starter with the water to make a soupy batter, then gradually work in the flour to make a slightly soft dough.  Depending on the consistency of the starter, you may need to work in a little extra flour or water, 1 tbsp. at a time.  Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead thoroughly for 10 minutes until very smooth and elastic.

Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 2 to 6 hours depending on the vigour of your starter and the temperature.  The dough can also be left to rise in a cool room or the refrigerator overnight.

It was about here that I parted company with the recipe.  First, someone on the Australian site had told me to take my starter out of the fridge, divide it in two, feed both halves, and put one straight back into the fridge, which I did.  The other half I left in a small bowl on top of the fridge to rise for about 6 hours.  It looked pretty liquidy, so I added a handful of white flour, stirred it up, re-covered it, and put it back on top of the fridge.  Before going to bed that night, I fed it again, then let it sit overnight.  The next day, yesterday, I did the first part of the recipe, using a cup of my starter, the rest I threw out.  I had to use way more water, but eventually got a good kneadable dough going, kneaded it till it felt right, and set it to rise which took about 5 hours.  Beautiful rise!  Collister bakes it as one large boule, risen in a proving basket, but I thought, hmmm baguettes, so I cut it in two, shaped them, and put them to rise in a baguette pan (looks sort of like part of a guttering), greased and dusted with cornmeal.  An hour or so later, I slashed them and baked them in a 450 deg.F. oven for somewhat less than half an hour.

And that was it.  Having baked regular bread now for years, and no longer really following recipes, I figured that since the yeastless dough felt good and springy, I'd just keep on as I normally would with regular dough, and darn it, it worked!