Following my last sourdough bread-making attempt I decided I needed to let my young starter mature a bit more before trying to bake another loaf.
After a few days, during which I slavishly fed the starter every twelve hours, it began to look really healthy — bubbling up almost to the rim of the bowl a few hours after each feeding, and sinking back an inch or two as the twelve hour mark approached.
Being the impatient sort, I decided it was time to try to bake another loaf.
I used the same ratio of 1 part water:1 part starter:2 parts flour + 2% salt by weight (which translates to 10 ounces water, 10 ounces starter, 20 ounces unbleached white flour and about 1 tsp fine sea salt) as in my earlier loaf, I kneaded the dough in my mixer until it was smooth and supple, and let it rise for about 3 hours.
After a second rise (of about 2 hours) I shaped the loaf and left it in the refrigerator overnight. This morning it had risen noticeably.
I turned the shaped dough out onto a peel generously sprinkled with coarse corn meal, slashed the top of the loaf and set it to bake in a steamy 450 degree oven.
This time the finished loaf is BEAUTIFUL (if I do say so myself) outside
And it’s pretty tasty, too! Sourdough waffles are next. Stay tuned.