The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

My First Sourdough Loaf, or Thanks, Floyd!

Jan D.'s picture
Jan D.

My First Sourdough Loaf, or Thanks, Floyd!

I wanted to share my first loaf of real sourdough with the people who inspired it. I've been baking a long time, off and on, but we retired a while ago and moved to very rural Tennessee, and I really miss the variety of bread it was easy to find in Southern California. This is all the more reason to bake my own.


I read Floyd's lesson "When Yeasts Attack", and made my starter using the method he describes there. I had good luck with it from the start, and I continued to nourish it for a week, and then made the dough yesterday, put it into the frig to rise overnight, returned it to room temperature, and baked it this morning. I need a lot of work on shaping loaves, and slashing, but I'm very pleased with this loaf anyway, and would like to think of it as a beginning.


Please be gentle and think "Rustic" when you view the photos.



MaryinHammondsport's picture

The loaf looks great. I believe that once a person is over the "starting the starter" hump that shaping and slashing are the next real challenge. You'll get there!

I also believe that your prior experience in baking other types of bread had a lot to do with your success. I know my experience has helped me a lot. It lets a person concentrate on what is new with sourdough and artisanal shaping when some of the other stuff comes automatically.

Do keep in touch and tell us about your upcoming efforts.



Jan D.'s picture
Jan D.

Thanks, Mary.  I agree that having baked before is an advantage.  Not quite so much to learn all at once is a good thing.

Paddyscake's picture

You did a great job. It feels good after waiting so patiently for your starter to come along.

Jan D.'s picture
Jan D.

Thank you.  I didn't mention this before, but it does taste pretty great - worth waiting for.

dmsnyder's picture

That's good looking bread, first effort or not.Around these parts, "rustic" is a positive attribute. Think not wonder bread.

Jan D.'s picture
Jan D.

Thanks and you're right, David.  I think that'll be my new motto - "Not Wonder bread!"

foolishpoolish's picture

The loaf looks great.  Nice crumb. Good job!



Floydm's picture

Nice! Great start!

Eli's picture

Beautiful Loaf and crumb!!

Jan D.'s picture
Jan D.

Thank you all for the kind words and encouragement!  I do appreciate it.  I intend to keep after this.  Can anyone recommend a whole grain sourdough easy enough for a beginner?

Janedo's picture

Hello Jan,

I understand your excitement! I couldn't believe the first time I baked a sourdough bread, what with the pleasure of having given "birth" to the leaven and then making the bread.

It's only the beginning. You were looking for a California type bread and you'll soon discover that there is a whole world of sourdough, a bunch of different ways of developing your starter, ways of using it. 

I ended up buying some of the books that are recommended here in order to find great recipes. Plus it helps to know what all the people here are talking about.

Thanks for sharing and hope to see you soon,


Marni's picture

Your sourdough looks great!  I'm so glad it was tasty too.  Enjoy!


Soundman's picture

As someone who is also at the beginning of the sourdough adventure I say congratulations on your excellent handiwork! I think your shaping looks fine. I was wondering what your dough recipe was, as it appears from the photo that you were using more than just white flour. Also, how long were your rise times? Again, beautiful job and keep up the great work!

David (Soundman)

Jan D.'s picture
Jan D.

Thanks for the kind words, David.

Although I used Floyd's recipe in his "When yeast attacks" lesson, I confess that I couldn't resist adding about 1/4 C whole wheat flour.

My starter was at room temperature when I began, so I mixed up the dough and let it rise in the bowl for about 4hours - my kitchen is on the cool side. When it was about double in size, I took it out and kneaded just a little, resisting the urge to add more flour, and then shaped it. I let it rise in the frig overnight, and then got it out the next morning and let it sit on the counter for about an hour while the oven heated. I have baking tiles in the oven, so I put it on parchment and baked on the tiles, with a pan of water on the bottom shelf. It is a flatter shape than I would like, but I need to get something stiffer for a couche, dishtowels are too soft.