The Fresh Loaf

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jthiessen's picture

I used sourdough lady's starter recipe and suddenly after two weeks of feeding...ITS READY!!! Wow, it really sprang to life and easily doubles every time I feed it! I'm like a proud father every time I look at it (which is about every 30 mins at this point).

So now I need help. I need SD recipes and advice on the next step. Thanks in advance for your help.


Portland, Oregon

Breadbaker70's picture

Slashing a loaf of very loose bread dough can be quite an experience. I've found a way that works on even very soft dough, without deforming or tearing the loaf. This sounds rediculous, but it works. 

An electric knife will cut the most slack dough without deforming the loaf. It takes practice, don't press down or you'll cut your loaf to the bottom. The knife blade doesn't even get dirty. No dough sticks to it and if you don't have one, you should be able to get a low cost knife for $5.00 at a Big Lots or other discount store. Give it a try.

Breadbaker70's picture

I've found a product which makes it easier to transfer your loaf to the oven.  I use a Regency Professional Parchment sheet to form my loaf on.  It is a silicone coated, thin and slick, fiber glass woven cloth.  It come in 13 X 17 inches and will slide off the bottom of a small baking pan onto your stone.  Leave it in the oven.  Your bread will bake on it and come off easily when done.  These can be used over and over for years.  A package of 2 shouldn't cost more than $5.00.  I've bought them at World Market and on the Internet.  Made in Dallas, Texas by Regency Wraps, Inc.  Don't try the French sheet, they don't slide.  I even use these sheets for cookies, pizza and anything else which might stick to the pan.

tattooedtonka's picture

I am doing this after seeing so many create a blog of their efforts.  Hopefully I will be able to look back on this over the next years and see some sort of improvement, hopefully.  Ha, ha

April 1st bread

jthiessen's picture

Here is the result of watching the video clip of Danielle Forestier on Julia Childs show where she slaps the dough some 800+ times.  And I attempted to do just that.....800 times!!!

And what difference did it make?  Mine came out kind of flat, not much oven spring, mis shaped due to their incredible second rise right into one another, and complete lack of large holes.  Where are those darned holes!!!?!?!?!

Taste good, though (despite the Carpel Tunnel Syndrome I'm now expriencing).

Any suggestions?

800 slaps on the bench!!!800 slaps on the bench!!! 

Sam-I-Am's picture

My new starter is only about a week and a half old, but today I was able to make sour bread with it!

Last year I tried my first starter, and while the starter was sour, I could never figure out how to get nice sour bread. I then got busy with other things, and the next thing I knew, my starter was looking quite black and fuzzy in the back of the fridge. Ew.

My new starter at 4 days old:


This is from sourdolady's starter recipe; rye flour and OJ the first days, then moving to a white flour and water feeding.

The bread I made today:


I wasn't trying for a such an open crumb as this; I was mostly interested in getting sour flavor. The bread turned out quite flat! 

The below paragraph is my notes to myself on how I made this bread; skip it if you get bored! 

I didn't really use anyone's recipe...I combined a cup of starter with two cups of flour and some water, with a tablespoon or two of rye thrown in. I let it autolyse for 20 minutes then added salt (1/2 - 1 tsp) and kneaded. I kept the dough VERY wet. I'm a beginning baker so I had some trouble handling it. It did, however, develop nicely while kneading. Then I refrigerated the dough overnight as it was getting late. This morning I pulled it out of the fridge and let it resume fermenting on the countertop. It was about 70* in our house. The dough took a very long time to rise at first; the internal temp of the dough didn't get above 70* till after the folding. I folded (ala JMonkey) it when the dough was double and let it ferment again. Then I shaped it, degassing just a little, and let it rise in the coldest room of the house. When it was doubled, I put my baking stone in the oven and heated it to 550*. I slashed the dough (which didn't work so well; it was too wet for me to use my usual technique of Very Sharp Knife) and then threw it in while spraying the oven with water. There was hardly ANY oven spring, which is likely a result of my abysmal shaping skills. I turned the heat down to 475* after 5 minutes, then let it bake for 25 additional minutes, until the bread was golden brown and sounded hollow. I impatiently let it cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then eagerly sliced into it. Crispy crust, lovely large irregular holes, and best of all, sour taste! I'm sure I can get better sour bread in the months to come as my starter matures, but for a first bread, this was pretty incredible!

Next time: work on shaping technique. Like Floydm said, a baker needs an iron hand in a velvet glove. I think I didn't get very good tension or a good seal. I also think I left too much air in there before shaping.

Let me know if you see anything that can be improved! 

TinGull's picture

Made some pizza a few nights ago and am now just getting to posting the pic. Was tasty, but I still can't get the dough thin enough to where it can be a "thin crust"....I guess I'll just have to try again, shucks! It wasn't anything but a regular ol' pizza dough and some tomato sauce,sliced tomatoes, mozz and basil. Simple ingredients.

Last night I decided I wanted to bake again today (starting to become an every day affair now) and I wanted to ciabatta. My shaping is awful with these slack doughs. I got 1 out of 4 looking good, but I bet they'll taste fabulous anyways. Here's a picture of the gluten developement on one that just came out of the oven about 10 minutes ago...

and the dough as it rose overnight...


Again, a simple recipe that included my starter (about a cup worth), maybe 1 3/4C water and a couple cups of KAAP flour and a slight bit of SAF yeast and some salt. Totally guestimates on the amounts, as I dont measure much.

The crumb...amazing! This is the most delicate bread I've made yet, which is cool. I did an autolyse for about 40 minutes, and this was the first time I'd ever done that process. You can bet I'll be doing that every time now!

 And the much needed "ciabatta dipped in oil" shot:


TinGull's picture

And I *might* have eaten almost half the pan full of them already (baked about 12 hours ago now)..these were the best things I've had in soooo long and I was TOTALLY craving Cinnabon rolls, so found a recipe online and WOW!  Amazing. 


Then a little sourdough bread roll action

This is the starter I've been working on the past 2 weeks now, and it's starting to come into it's own.   

chuppy's picture

After six days of feeding the starter I can see plenty of bubbles and some rising in the mix.


The instructions said to add 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 cup spring water. The smell is quite unique, despite the lack of growth I'm expecting to see by now. Am I on the right track? At this point in the starter I was expecting to see more doubling inside the jar. That would indicate the mixture is almost ready for bread correct? As of yesterday there was alot of activity, but today the outcome is alittle different. Begginners luck?


chuppy's picture

Goodmorning all,

I've noticed in several blog entries that people use ounces and grams in thier recipes. Is it realy that important to be that exact with your measurements? If so, how much do you spend on a first time scale?



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