Al’s First Sourdough Loaves

My mate, Al, did some baking at the weekend.  It was Al’s first time at making sourdough bread and the results were pretty specky.

Al used Jeffrey Hamelman’s Pain au Levain with Mixed Sourdough Starters to make his loaves.  Here is the recipe.

I really like this recipe as it has a bit of wholemeal and a bit of rye which add complexity to the bread.  Also, I think the rye starter gives the bread a real boost.

Al came around about 2:00pm on Saturday to pick up his starters. Then, on Saturday evening, he built them up and left them in a cool place.

My starters usually double in a warm room in about 5 hours.  Since Al wasn’t mixing his dough until Sunday morning, I recommended he put them somewhere cool (away from a fire, heater or air conditioning but not in the fridge).  That way, they would take more time to double and not be totally exhausted in the morning.

Al started mixing at about 10:00 o’clock on Sunday morning.  He stretched and folded the dough twice, 50 minutes apart and then, on the last 50 minutes, he formed the loaves.  Al then left them in the warm room for 5 – 6 hours.

Look at the results!  It tasted great, too.  We were so excited about the success of the loaves that I forgot to take a crumb shot… But let me tell you, the crumb was as good as it gets.

Congratulations, Al.

15 thoughts on “Al’s First Sourdough Loaves

  1. Thanks for all the nice comments…at the moment I’m 20 minutes away from taking loaf number four out of the oven. Started these two at the wrong time of the day, so this (my first effort without Glenda giving instructions) has been spread over three days.

  2. Always good to see folks doing well with sourdough – keep ’em coming Al.

    I’ve been playing with a grain based starter that seems to be both super simple and very aggressive once developed – should result in an upcoming post, unless all goes very wrong.

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