This is a really exciting moment for me, guys. For the past week, I've been feeding and obsessively watching my first sourdough starters. Since it was my first time and I wasn't sure which recipe would be best, I chose 3 different ones (King Arthur Flour, New York Times, and The Perfect Loaf) to try out. After all, I didn't want to spend time on one recipe for a whole week for it to not work out. That'd be very anticlimactic. I found the King Arthur Flour recipe the best, but they all fermented just fine. This one in particular was the most responsive to the fermentation process. Bubbles formed first in that starter and it was the most predictable, and got the most height during the rise. Which starter recipe do you use?
Making your own sourdough takes quite a while, but the results are so worth it. Not only are the health benefits better than commercial yeast breads, but the pay off of making artisanal bread is really rewarding. I feel hella fancy right now.
Country Bread Recipe from Tartine Bread
For the bulk rise, I covered the bowl with a cutting board and stuck it in the oven (while it was off) to avoid any draft. I let it rest for 4 hours during this time.
After the bulk rise, It was time to divide the dough and fold it taught and let it rest again for 30 minutes. This portion proved a little tough because of the size of my counterspace. I went away to watch an episode of The Keepers (so good, by the way) and came back and the little blob on the left ran over the side of the counter. Whoops.
Next I formed the dough into loaves by folding them, then plopped one of them into this handy proofing bowl I got the other week. The other loaf, I put in the fridge to sit overnight to bake off in the morning.
This resting period was another 4 hours. Next time, i want to try a little bit shorter (3-3 1/2 hours) to see how it affects the taste of the end product.
Baking the bread was really exciting. I used a double cast iron pan that is recommended in Tartine Bread, which simulates the steaming that happens in commercial bread ovens. Halfway through, I took off the cover and finished baking the loaf for 22 minutes (42 minutes total).
So, after I've made my first loaf, what am I going to do next? Bake more bread, of course! There are a few things that I want to change in the next finished product:
- Bread height: The loaf is a little more squat than I'd like. I believe this is due to the leaven. I want to try feeding my starter twice a day for a few more days and see if that improves the loaf height.
- Crumb: I'd like to see a bigger crumb in future loaves. This may be because of too much handling when I was shaping the loaves, or because of an under developed leaven.
- Aftertaste: There's a bit of a bitter aftertaste in this loaf. I'll try altering the last resting time and see if that affects it.
Any tips? Comment in this post or on Instagram and let me know your experience!
Can't wait to make more bread!