First, I would like to introduce Stanley. Stanley is my new pet. He is a sourdough starter. This is what he looks like up close:
He gets fed twice a day and likes to stay in the oven when its not on. I used Stanley to make my first ever sourdough loaf from wild yeast. I have made bread on a few occasions but it always used commercial yeast. Still tasted good, but I wanted to do the real thing. Like from scratch from scratch, not just from scratch. Anyways over a period of 24 hours I mixed and kneaded and punched and proofed and waited and ended up producing 12 sourdough rolls and a loaf of bread. And how was it? Well, the taste was delicious and tangy like one might expect. Also, my crust was a pretty good consistency, but I think a little longer in the oven would have been beneficial. It does “thunk” which is pretty cool. I have a lot more criticisms however. First, used all white flour (which I have not done in some time, I usually use whole wheat or half and half) and was highly disappointed and a little disgusted by how…white and pale my bread was. I want some more complexity so next time I am going to bake it with half whole wheat flour. Second, I did not use the “spraying technique” to get a golden crust. This consists of spraying the crust with water during the first 10 minutes of baking in order to give it that golden hue and crunchy texture most commonly associated with sourdough. I am definitely doing it next time. Third, the bread didn’t seem to rise enough. When it was proofing it rose a lot more than after I shaped in in the pan. I am not sure if this had to do with punching it down, or just being impatient. Fourth, it was a little to chewy for my opinion, I think mostly due to lack of crust.
I do not have a food scale, so I wonder how weighing the ingredients versus measuring them would affect my loaf. Also, all the information I am gathering is from online, I think it would be nice to have a book with recipes and theoretical information so I can have everything in one place. If I keep consistently baking with Stanley, that is if this is not some phase I am going through, I will obtain a nice sourdough bread book.
I have already started a sponge for another loaf of bread; it is sitting in my oven for 24 hours. Tomorrow evening this will be turned into a loaf, and hopefully one more reminiscent of real artisan bread than this first attempt. I am excited for this. I am sure you are all dying to see what my first attempt looked like, and its a little embarrassing to show as it is not very aesthetically pleasing. I suppose I can compromise and reveal the rolls: