Sourdough Success!

Finally. A loaf of sourdough bread that makes me proud. After many weeks of trial and error and help from friends, I baked my first sourdough bread. This loaf may not win any beauty contests, but my sourdough rose and baked well.

I’m grateful to my friend Don for gifting me some sourdough starter. He saw my first attempts at sourdough baking on Facebook when I killed my starter in the oven. After receiving his starter, I continued to feed it water and King Arthur Flour (100% Organic All Purpose White Flour).

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In my first attempt last week, I stupidly combined baking methods from several sources to mix my dough and allow it to rise. Sourdough rise is trickier than I realized. In this attempt, I closely followed the recipe at Hobbs House Bakery described in this video from Tom Herbert. But even so, the dough acted differently.

The video and recipe instructions vary slightly. I tried to combine instructions from the video and written recipe. After I kneaded my dough with starter, I let my sourdough rise for 30 minutes in my oven at a proofing temperature of 85 degrees F. I then shaped the dough and placed it in a proofing basket.

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The Hobbs House recipe, calls for the dough to rise 8-12 hours. A previous attempt using that length of proofing time created an overflowing mess in my oven overnight. In this attempt, my sourdough doubled in size within 3 hours! I don’t know why. Perhaps Don’s starter is super viable. Perhaps the ambient humidity in the house contributed to the fast rise. Different flour? Aside from shorter first rising and proofing time, I followed the written recipe to the letter.

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In this attempt, the sourdough parted from the proofing basket with ease onto the baking stone in my oven. After 30 minutes in the oven, I removed the sourdough and let it cool for 5 minutes before cutting and eating a slice slathered in butter. My efforts led to a full robust sourdough loaf that will feed us through the weekend. Hurray!

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