First Sourdough Loaf Before Baking
Guitar Spatula

Behold guitar spatula. It hails from the great airport of Seattle. Coupled with whisk, they make the perfect pair of dough removing paraphernalia.

I’ve had this notion floating around in my head for some time now about trying my hand at making a loaf of sourdough bread. Partly because I appreciate a good sourdough bread every now and then, but also because I view it as a little bit of a challenge. And if you know me, you know I like challenges. Unless of course they involve origami, in which case I don’t want anything to do with said challenge.

That’s an inside joke everyone, Vanessa will get it.

So a little while ago, I jumped online and did some research about sourdough bread and how to make a starter. This was after we had been gifted a great bowl of starter from one of Vanessa’s friends.

To be honest, I didn’t really know anything about starter. I think I kind of knew it existed, but that was about the extent of my knowledge on the subject. But the more I thought about it, the more I figured it would be an interesting thing to learn.

Actually, it’s probably going to end up being very beneficial to me, because I don’t know a whole lot about baking, but it’s one of those skills I would like to improve.

I like the science behind the fermentation process. Yeast and bacteria break down the sugars which cause carbon dioxide gas to form, making bubbles in the dough which in turn has a leavening effect on the bread.

The cool thing about sourdough…uh….dough, is that after you make your initial starter, you simply ‘feed’ it once a week or so and you can literally keep it forever if you want.

First Starter

This is what my starter looks like. I’m not sure if it should be different or thicker. I kind of did my own thing when it came to feeding my starter. I tend to like it thinner I think. In other words I might add too much water each time I feed it.

In fact, there are families that have been keeping their starter going for generations. I think a few of them will even send you some if you pay the shipping.  At least I recall reading that, and I think it might be on the website I will link to below.

If you want to learn the basics of making some starter for yourself, here’s where you’ll want to go: Starting a starter.

This post isn’t going to teach anyone how to make sourdough starter or how to bake a fresh loaf of sourdough bread. That will be for later when I have more experience under my belt. For now, this is going to be all about my very first attempt at making sourdough bread.

First Sourdough Loaf After Rise

So there we go. I’ve shared with you pretty much all I know about sourdough bread up to this point. And it seems painfully scant. Nonetheless, let’s do this thing.

As of right now, I’ve already made the dough, let it sit for an hour, and kneaded it for about five minutes. It’s on its second ‘rise’ at this very moment while I’m typing the blog post. I said ‘rise’ but what I really meant was ‘not rise at all’ because that’s exactly what it has been doing.

I’m a little worried here. I thought the starter was supposed to be a natural leavener. But I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens after it cooks.

Vanessa said she hasn’t had success with any of her attempts at making sourdough, so that’s good news for me. I’m wondering if this loaf of mine is going to be more dense than I want. I know that many store bought brands contain a lot of different ingredients, and most likely a few leaveners as well. This loaf really only has three different ingredients: flour, water, and salt.

I guess you could say four ingredients if you count the starter, but really that’s nothing more than flour and water itself. So you know what that means? I need to do a lot more research on the subject and see what, if anything I might be doing wrong. But before I do any of that stuff, I will be finishing this loaf of bread in a somewhat trial and error fashion. Mostly so everyone can laugh at me if I bomb the recipe.

Basically I just want to share how this worked out for me without pretending I’m a pro at making bread. And who knows, maybe later I’ll have figured this thing out and I can start making some recipes of my own. Now, with that being said, I’m going out to the kitchen to bake some sourdough bread. When it’s done, I’ll come back and give you all the final results as well as my thoughts about the whole thing.

First Sourdough Loaf Before Baking

My first ever loaf of sourdough bread. Frankly, I’m not holding my breath on this one. It looks good, but I don’t feel that it really rose like it should have. However, I’m going to just say this – I don’t have much to judge it on since this is my first time making sourdough. I gave this dough three deep scores (just for fun) and threw it in the oven at 375° F (190° C).


First Sourdough Bread

Alright, now for the bad part. At least the picture above looks good. It had just been removed from the oven and was in the process of cooling down. Once it had cooled down enough, I tasted it. Twice actually.

It was pretty good aside from the fact that it didn’t taste anything like sourdough at all. It’s not even like there was somewhat of a hint of sourdough flavor, it literally wasn’t there. I feel as if the starter didn’t want to put any effort into it today. To make things easier though, I’m going to go ahead and just blame myself on that one and say maybe my starter wasn’t as good as I thought it was.

It was also very dense. Much more so than I had anticipated, and I think that could have contributed to the long cook time. So that means definitely back to the drawing board for me. I’ve got to figure this out.

Here’s how it went down. After the second ‘rise’ time of 20 minutes I formed a ball with the dough and baked it at 375° F (190° C) for 30 minutes. It looked good when I took it out of the oven (again, note the picture above), but even after cutting the first little piece I could tell it wasn’t fully cooked. The center was going to be doughy and dense.

So after having cooled down a bit, I put the loaf of bread back in the oven at the same temperature and cooked it for an additional 20 minutes. After pulling it out of the oven and letting it cool, I cut a new piece expecting it to be fully cooked this time. It wasn’t though as you might be able to see in the picture below. This was after the second bake.

First Sourdough Bread

This is a picture of the sourdough after I baked it for the second time. It doesn’t look like it here, but the outside of the bread was considerably darker than in the first picture.

So the conclusions I can come up with today are that I need to figure out how to make the sourdough less dense. How to make it taste more ‘sourdoughy’, and what I may or may not need to change with my starter.

Alright, until my next attempt at figuring this sourdough thing out I’ll talk to you all later.

Sourdough bread – first attempt

By: avduley
Serves: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ???


  • 3 cups bread flour (most recipes probably call for all purpose flour)
  • 1 1/2 cups sourdough starter
  • 1 cup water (I used cold and that might have changed things)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

What I did:

  1. Mix all four ingredients on low in a mixing machine with a dough hook. The consistency appeared to be good, but looking back I think one of the overall problems was that the dough was too thick.
  2. Remove bowl from mixer and set it on the counter to rise. That’s the idea anyhow. Cover it with a moist towel to keep it from drying out. I let it sit for an hour.
  3. Remove dough, place on a floured counter and knead for 5 minutes.
  4. Place dough back in bowl and let sit for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove and shape the sourdough into a ball and place on appropriate cooking pan.
  6. Bake sourdough for 30 minutes at 375° F (190° C).
  7. Taste sourdough and realize it doesn’t taste like sourdough at all. And on top of that, the bread isn’t cooked all the way through.
  8. Reheat oven to 375° F (190° C).
  9. Return sourdough loaf to oven and cook for an additional 20 minutes.
  10. Remove and realize it still doesn’t taste like sourdough nor is it fully cooked all the way through.
  11. Come to the conclusion that I just have to deal with it.

2 comments on “Sourdough Bread – First Attempt”

Cole says:

Sourdough takes several hours to rise. It doesn’t look like you gave your dough sufficient time at all :/

avduley says:

I’m thinking you’re absolutely right. Next time I intend to let it rise for several hours prior to baking it. I will be posting how my second attempt goes soon, and it should be an interesting one, because let’s just say my starter is a little out of control right now. It’s been a while since I fed it.

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *