Working on my sourdough bread

03 April 2018
Lately I've been experimenting with my sourdough baking. I mentioned in an earlier post that I'm keen to try new recipes and improve my everyday loaf. I feel like this year is a perfect time to do it as I have a little more time on my hands with my eldest  off to pre-school and living in a rental without my large food garden (sad face).

I received a copy of  Artisan Sourdough Made Simple by Emilie Raffa for Christmas and have started working my way through a few recipes. I read about this book over on Fig Jam and Lime Cordial which is in itself a great resource for sourdough baking. Celia had posted about a few recipes she had tried from the book and they looked so amazing. I was sold.

Everyday Sourdough

It was opportune timing as I had been thinking a lot about working on my baking skills and as immensely useful as blogs are I do like to have a book as a reference as well. I promptly dropped a hint to my husband that should anyone be looking for a Christmas gift for me this book could be a good option. And by dropped a hint I mean I texted him the book depository link which he eventually passed on to an interested party.

Cinnamon swirl bread.


When I finally got around to  making my first loaves from the book I wasn't disappointed. I started with the Everyday Sourgdough and Cinnamon Raisin Swirl. The recipes use a small amount of starter and a long bulk fermentation (which is the first rise of sourdough making) which I was keen to try out.

Everyday sourdough loaf crumb.


True to form I did deviate from the recipe for the Cinnamon Raisin Swirl. I used dried cranberries instead of raisins and sunflower seeds instead of walnuts as these were what I had on hand. I also chose to bake it in a loaf tin rather than free form.  However, I didn't let them rise in the tin enough before I put them in the oven. This was an oversight on my part as further reading of the loaf baking section shows that the dough should be proved a little longer for the final proof compared to a free form loaf and baked at a lower temp. Room for improvement next time.

Cinnamon 'cranberry' swirl proving.


I was really happy with the overall results. As you can see I'm no expert sourdough baker but the bread was more than edible, had a great crumb and mostly looked the part. In fact the Everyday loaf was gone in one day. So I think I'm onto a winner there.

Have you been baking anything new lately (bread or otherwise)?
Where do you stand on the whole recipe following thing – to the letter or a bit more laissez-faire?


P.S When I read the book I realised that I was actually familiar with the author's blog. Her post Sourdough Bread: A beginner's guide had formed part of my drawn out extensive research on sourdough before I jumped down the rabbit hole. Heaps of great info to get your head around the whole 'sourdough thing'.


10 comments

  1. Laura I used to use Celia's recipes all the time when I first started making sourdough. She is amazing the way she bakes so much sourdough to give away. I wish I found it that easy. Now I just stick to the same recipe and just mix up the flours a bit.

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    1. Yes, Celia seems to be a bread making machine! I actually just acquired an enamel roaster from my sister-in-law that I've been trying out as Celia's always seem to turn out so well in that.
      I go through my phases of churning out the same loaf for a few months and then wanting to mix it up a little.

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  2. I'm going to have to try this sourdough! I popped over from Rhonda's blog, I'm sure glad I did. Have a blessed day, Elaine

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    Replies
    1. Welcome and thanks for the comment Elaine. I hope you give the sourdough a go. It's not as complicated as it first seems to be once you get the hang of it. Look forward to hearing how you go.
      Cheers,
      Laura

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  3. Well Laura you might say that you're no expert sourdough baker but I can tell you, from where I sit, you've NAILED it girl..!!!That holey everyday loaf..it's the bee's knees. No wonder it was gone in one day. I love Celia's blog and recipes too, and I tend to stick to her basic loaf, and mix the flours a bit. I tried her High hydration loaf but (for me) it just flattens out too much into a flat blob. Your holey everyday loaf is my holy grail, and sometimes it works out like that but often it doesn't. Methinks I might be putting that book on my gift list too. X

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    1. You're too kind Sally. I think that the everyday loaf is nearly foolproof - I've made it several times now and it's pretty forgiving of me even when I get the timing out. However, I did have one dense brick like flop when I under-proved the bulk fermentation as I was rushing to get the bread baked. But at least now I know what went wrong where as in the past I've just felt it was more hit and miss.
      You wont regret putting the book on your gift list - so many great recipes.

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  4. A friend just gave me a sourdough starter - I baked sourdough twice about five years ago and then killed the starter.. so thank you for this recipe it is perfectly timed and I will have another go.. your bread looks divine, and that cinnamon swirl is giving me good ideas.

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    1. Definitely jump back in Jo. So satisfying. Keep us posted on your efforts and experiments.

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  5. Your breads look incredible. I don't eat much bread anymore. I do love it, though. I used to bake all the time when I was younger. So glad that you received your book and that you are enjoying it.

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    1. Thanks for the compliments. Yes, the book has been one of the best presents I've received of late - so many great recipes.

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