I actually consider myself a beginner because I have yet to have a perfect loaf every time. This is probably why I can share 5 Tips For Beginner Sourdough Bread To Make You Successful since my mistakes are fresh in my mind!
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1. Know when your starter is ready – Somehow I have really struggled to nail this. I have read a million blog posts and watched a ton of videos yet I still couldn’t get my mind around this and as a result I have had inconsistent results. Once you have a mature starter you will need to get the timing just right. Typically starters are ready about five hours after feeding. So think about that when you want to have fresh bread. For me that means feeding right before bed and starting my bread early the next morning. You want your starter like a thick pancake batter and it should be doubled in size when it is ready. Bubbly, doubled, warm and cozy.
2. Starters like warmth but not too hot. I killed my first THREE starters! I’m a starter murderer. I even named my first starter so I should have known that was the kiss of death for Bubbles. I found the golden ticket to cozy warm starter. After she gets fed, I put her in the oven with the light on. It creates a lovely temperature for lots of bubbles and fermented growth. I started with a small mason jar for my starter but quickly realized I needed something larger. I ended up getting a container like this.
3. Buy Banneton Baskets and this stirrer thing. At first I didn’t want to invest in tools like this. I already had a Dutch oven to bake my loaves and just thought I would wing it but I quickly discovered that a few inexpensive tools really make the process smoother. So if you are committed to giving sourdough making your best effort and can afford it, purchase a few key items. I bought this basket to proof my bread. And I ended up getting this a little bit later. In my opinion this Danish Dough Wisk is essential!
If you want all the essentials in one kit, you can try this
4. Preheat the DANG Dutch oven! So I have this problem of thinking I know better than others. I read on many recipes that I needed to preheat my dutch oven for 45 minutes to an hour and I was like that’s too long! Why would I do that? You would think I would know better at this point but alas I can be thick headed sometimes. I quickly learned there is a good reason to preheat it for that long and my sad loaf is proof of that. You are creating a hot, steamy place for that first bake so it’s important to listen to the experts. So preheat it, ok?
5. Set a timer for your stretch and folds. People who know sourdough follow certain steps because they work. This is the recipe I like the best and there is specific stretch and fold steps for this no knead artisan loaf. I get inconsistent results because I am inconsistent! Now I set a timer so I get those stretch and fold steps in when they are supposed to be done.
There is so much to learn and I know there are many more things I will discover that will help me do things better. It is absolutely a journey so stick with it friends! It is worth the effort to be able to provide such delicious and wholesome food for our families! I hope 5 Tips For Beginner Sourdough Bread To Make You Successful was a blessing to you!
One bonus recipe that has become an absolute FAV for all my family! Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls are just fantastic and you must make them this weekend! Trust me! Also if you want to know where I get my organic unbleached AP, organic bread and Einkorn flour, you can find the link to Azure Standard in this post.
What is your best sourdough tip? Drop a comment below and help us learn together.