If you follow me on Instagram (p.s. it’s @michelethegram), then you saw I have been going through the process of making a sourdough starter and eventually bread. Well, I have finally baked my first loaf and let's just say…it sucked. Horribly. I let the dough hang out for a week in the fridge, I did not proof it correctly, and I didn’t grease the Dutch oven (in my defense the recipe I was using didn’t say to). So here I am to give you my tips and tricks on navigating from starter to finish (get it…).
1. Keep track of your starter: Be a scientist when it comes to making your starter. Keep track of the container type, the place where you put the container, when you add to your starter each day, etc. I suggest keeping track in a small journal, loose paper, or even in your cookbook. Here is the recipe I used for my starter; they also have a good bread recipe.
2. Find the perfect bowl to proof: And make sure you proof your dough. No one likes an un-proofed loaf. So, whatever recipe you use, make sure includes a dividing and conquering section.
3. Grease away: Make sure you have a super greasy Dutch oven. Use oil that has a high heat standard. Especially since most recipes will ask for 450-500 degree temperatures, you will make sure you have an oil and/or grease with a high smoke point.
4. Be patient: Making bread takes a while and you don’t want to rush it. So take care and be patient. Think of it as Zen time; zone out and have fun.
5. If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again…& again…& again: Just like any recipe you have to try it again and perfect it along the way. You never know if there was something mismeasured or if the temperature was off somewhere along the process.
With all that being said, I am excited to start another starter. This time I will use all-purpose flour and filtered water. With the bad loaf, I am currently drying it out and going to use it for bread pudding. So nothing is being wasted! So stay tuned for more.