The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sometimes a small step is a major milestone

HeiHei29er's picture
HeiHei29er

Sometimes a small step is a major milestone

I started looking into sourdough baking in late November, and since that time, the learning curve has been steep and often times like drinking from a fire hose.  I've made bread in the past using packets of IDY and looking up a recipe on the internet.  Mix it up.  Throw it in a slightly warmed oven till it doubles.  Pat it down, roll it into a log, throw it in a bread pan, and put it back in the slightly warmed oven.  Bake it at 350 deg for 20-30 minutes after the loaf is just cresting the pan.  Never had a failure. Thought it would be a simple thing to jump into sourdough.  And while the concepts are simple enough, the process of actually making it all come together with a sourdough starter have eluded me.  I've had some successes along the way (was very happy with how my semolina CB turned out), but any successful loaf I made always had at least some IDY in the mix.  I could always get fermentation and "sour" flavor in the bread, but I could not get much for leavening without the IDY.  Not being one to give up, I have beat my head against the un-leavened, flat, dense loaf of bread wall, repeatedly.  Until today!

Special thanks to Abe for helping me FINALLY understand and read a starter feeding (I was re-feeding too soon) and getting me through this first loaf.  It was a higher hydration than I'm used to handling and my pre-shaping and final shaping were "rough", and I'm not sure I read the end of BF or final proofing correctly.  But...  It rose on it's own from a starter.  No IDY required.  Major milestone!

Small step and still a long way to go on the learning curve, but I can at least sleep tonight knowing there's hope I can get past square one after 2+ months of trying to make a viable starter.  :-)

Thanks to everyone that's answered some of my many questions since joining this site.  It is a great community here! 

Comments

Benito's picture
Benito

So great to see that you’re having success with your starter now Troy.  I think a lot of newer bakers to sourdough feed their starters too soon and too often leading their starters to become lacking in the microbes needed to make bread.  Your loaf looks great.  Now that your starter is able to raise dough you’ll need to get into a rhythm of maintenance and baking.  This is a great start, congratulations.

Benny

HeiHei29er's picture
HeiHei29er

Not gonna lie...  The frustration level was getting high.  ;-)

Looking forward to and hoping I can make it two successful bakes in a row this weekend.

GaryBishop's picture
GaryBishop

Congratulations.

HeiHei29er's picture
HeiHei29er

Thank you!

pmccool's picture
pmccool

It's such a wonderful feeling when knowledge, understanding, and experience lead to the desired result.  This is a lovely bake and definitely points to your on-going maturation as a baker.  Well done.

Paul

HeiHei29er's picture
HeiHei29er

Thank you.  It was one of those "Aha!" moments where it suddenly clicked.  Looking forward to many more of them!

BXMurphy's picture
BXMurphy

Nice looking loaf! Feels good, doesn't it?

Congratulations on your first SD bread. Now that you have a starter, you'll never look back.

Have fun!

Murph

HeiHei29er's picture
HeiHei29er

Thanks Murph, and yes, feels pretty good.  The level of incompetency was feeling pretty high.  :-)

Benito's picture
Benito

We’ve all been there, at least I know I have, and that feeling still comes back time to time.  Fortunately it happens less often now.

Benny