Baker Baker

I need some advice! But first, a cute photo of Logan and me cuddling on the couch early Saturday morning:

Over the long weekend I finally got to try my very first loaf of sourdough bread. I’ve never made bread before (except for Sheepherder’s Bread and I think I killed the yeast and it never rose) but it’s been something that both Michael and I have wanted to try doing for years.

My friend gave me some of her sourdough starter probably a month or so ago. I’ve been feeding it every week and it smelled so good and sour. I was really excited to try this. So Saturday morning after the gym I got started on prepping and making the dough because I knew it would be an all day process.

First off, having the Kitchenaid mixer for making bread is AMAZING. I barely had to do any of the kneading.

Second, even though I fed the starter a lot and gave it extra leading up to the weekend, I still didn’t have quite enough for the recipe. So I had to feed the starter more right before. Maybe that changed things? I don’t honestly know.

I followed the instructions of the recipe I used (recommended by my friend). I had found another recipe, too, that I thought sounded good. I think I will try that recipe next time and see how it goes.

Since this was my first loaf ever, I didn’t have high expectations. I knew it would take practice but I was still a little bummed out it didn’t turn out like it should. I think I should have let it rise longer than the 5 hours the recipe called for. Because the dough didn’t really look like it rose all that much from when I started it…

Next time, I won’t use my dutch oven to bake it, either. One of the options of the recipe was to use a baking/pizza stone. We have one that makes GREAT pizza so I will try that next time.

Overall the bread was OK but not great. It was really dense. It weighed a freakin’ ton. It wasn’t the light, airy sourdough I was expecting. I’m not sure what I need to do differently in the future. I read through some messages boards online and none of them were really clear. It could have been too wet, not wet enough, maybe I didn’t let it rise enough, maybe it had too much gluten in it, maybe not enough…HELPFUL.

So I could definitely use some advice from bread baking experts out there! What did I do wrong? How do I make the bread LIGHT and AIRY?

In other news…on Sunday we went out to lunch for Logan’s BFF’s birthday. I had an AMAZING burger on AMAZING bread. 😀

Lunch was at Hopworks. It’s a great place, good food and it’s very kid-friendly, which is nice. We were in a back room for kids so that was good, too.

Seriously, look at that bun! It was SO GOOD. I wish I could make bread like that. My burger had swiss cheese, toasted hazelnuts, caramelized onions, arugula and lemon aioli on it. It was to die for. One of the best burgers I’ve had in a long time.

The above photo was the toys at the restaurant in the kid’s area. (Great idea!) Logan had cheese pizza with apple slices on the side (decent pizza, too).

QUESTION: Master bakers, HELP ME!

Author: Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and

4 thoughts on “Baker Baker”

  1. I was also going to suggest the King Arthur Flour website.

    The recipe you used is really vague. The different flours all work differently, they aren’t interchangeable. It also doesn’t give you any visual cues for your dough for kneading and proofing. Should it double in size? triple in size?

    I also recommend that you weigh your ingredients especially flour. If a recipe only comes in cups like on a blog or magazine, I usually skip it now because there’s too much room for error and I’m often frustrated with them.

    Sometimes the brand of flour matters too, I almost always use King Arthur which is a higher protein flour so it’s great for bread but I bought Gold Medal for Bravetart recipes because that’s what she specifies. So since your recipe calls for pretty much ‘whatever flour’ that is probably where the issues come from.

    My tip for proofing dough is to put the bowl covered in plastic wrap in the microwave. Don’t turn on the microwave!!!! Just use it as a draft-free contained space to help your dough rise. I make pizza dough every Friday and it rises beautifully in my DIY proving drawer. (Do you watch the Great British Baking Show? lol)

    1. Interesting about the microwave!

      When I was feeding the sourdough starter I used my scale and weighed everything out in grams, I think. I appreciate the advice. I had to read that recipe several times too, and even had my husband read it because there was stuff in the instructions that was super vague and confusing.

      I found a new recipe to try and just bought some flour from Bob’s Red Mill. Crossing my fingers for next time!

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