Jennifer Lyon

Tuesday, March 14th, 2023
The Sourdough Bread Experiment

So you all know I grew my own starter and made my very first batch of sourdough bread. Here’s the two finished loaves:

And here’s one of them cut (the second one is in the freezer):

Also here’s my Dutch Oven that I absolutely love!

Now my thoughts:

  1. My starter Rye-N did his job! The bread rose and had a decent crumb for an total novice bread maker. So yay Rye-N!
  2. The bread had a really good “oven spring” which is the rise in the first 20 minutes of cooking. I’ve already said Rye-N did his job, but so did my Dutch Oven. They were a great team.
  3. I kept hearing from all the videos I watched on making sourdough bread that it took time to get the dark color. My oven however, is an over-achiever and I was looking for ways to slow down the color. Ovens are all so very different.
  4. The crust was very crackly-chewy and the inside tender. Overall I was very happy with the way my first try came out.
  5. BUT! And this is the weird part for me, I was not ultimately impressed with the taste. I actually like my simple gluten-free bread I make better. The one with the cheaper flour (that’s relative — gluten free flours are more expensive in general). I am truly surprised by that, but it just means I have a fairly easy go-to recipe at my fingertips.

So overall, I’d call this a success for my first try. While my rye starter was a total rock start, I’m going to experiment with different starters and recipes over time. I’m having fun working with different yeasts, trying different things and learning in the process :-) I still find it hilarious that I’m doing this now when I’m limiting both gluten and wheat in my diet, but that’s usually how I do things, LOL.

So that’s my big sourdough adventure! Now I have a question for you all: What’s your favorite kind of bread?

6 comments to “The Sourdough Bread Experiment”

  1. B.E. Sanderson
    March 15th, 2023 at 5:39 am · Link

    Ooo, your bread looks yummy. Way to go, Jenn! And way to go, Rye-N. I have to ask, though, why do you need a Dutch oven for bread? I’ve never heard of that. Remove my ignorance, please. I can do a passing-fair white bread and pizza crust, but when I try other bread recipes, they fail.

    I do love me some sourdough. I also love a good pumpernickel. With Swiss and corned beef. :drools: If it’s crusty and warm, I love most any kind of bread. (Except rye with caraway seeds. Blech. I do not condone the use of caraway seeds in rye.) The local grocery store makes a cinnamon raisin bread with a streusel topping that’s to die for. Mmmm.

  2. Silver James
    March 15th, 2023 at 8:23 am · Link

    Pretty loaves! So glad Rye-N and Dutch formed a partnership. And so glad you are having fun with the experimentation. I like a good “white” sourdough. Grilled in butter and topped with any kind of cheese, it makes awesome grilled cheese sandwhiches. I’m pretty “plain Jane” when it comes to my bread. Cinnamon bread is good but not a raisin fan. I make awesome cinnamon rolls and dinner rolls from scratch. I’ve toyed with the idea of using that dough to make a loaf of bread but never get around to it. As for the fancy stuff, any artisan bread that is just plain ol’ white works for me. See? Pretty boring. Still, I always look forward with anticipation to your creations and can’t wait to see what’s next! <3

  3. Viki S.
    March 15th, 2023 at 2:29 pm · Link

    Your bread looks amazing! Sorry you didn’t love the taste. The texture looks perfect. Your Dutch oven is very pretty too.

    My favorite bread is sour dough. I’m like B. E. with Rye – no seeds! Hate them.

    I made the pepperoni bread yesterday. The dough was VERY elastic, but it all worked out okay. I had to bake it 10 minutes longer than normal too but it tasted very good. Youngest is stopping by after work today to grab a couple slices.

    It’s been a beautiful sunny but cold day here today. I’m worried about all of you guys with the bad weather that just keeps coming across the country. Funny that Monday will be the first day of spring. Let’s hope a calm spring.

    Have a fantastic day!

  4. Jenn
    March 15th, 2023 at 8:48 pm · Link

    B.E, thanks! We had the bread with stew tonight and I liked it much better. I think it’s was the right pairing, so to speak.

    I didn’t know about this part of bread baking either! A Dutch oven contains the heat in the first half of baking creating a kind of steamy environment. That keeps the crust soft and allows for a better rise in the bread. After that, the lid if removed to get the firmer and more chewy crust. It worked really well for me. There are other methods too, but this is the easiest for me. I watched roughly 187 videos to learn this, LOL!

    Soughdough is always a win in my book! Really your other breads fail? I’m surprised, you definitely inspired me to try pizza dough. I’m sure you could do it if you wanted too, but it’s very time consuming and I don’t think you have a lot of extra time hanging around right now. Plus you already make awesome pizza dough and zucchini bread and many others!

    Yay for the store having the cinnamon bread with raisons that you love!

  5. Jenn
    March 15th, 2023 at 8:56 pm · Link

    Silver, just the thought of your cinnamon rolls make my hungry! Every damned year!

    I love sourdought grilled cheese! I can’t eat them right now, but the last really good one I had was — oddly enuogh — in Hawaii. But I still think about it!

    Thanks on the bread, starter and my Dutch Oven :-) The bread was really good tonight — I put just a little butter and parm cheese on it then toasted it. We had it with stew and it was like a match made in heaven.

    I don’t think it’s boring that you like plainer breads, it’s just taste. Bread is one of those things I have a wider palette for, but when it comes to meats, my palette is very narrow. We’re all unique.

  6. Jenn
    March 15th, 2023 at 9:06 pm · Link

    Viki, thank you so much! Tonight I used the bread again with stew and loved it.

    Another sourdough fan! I do think it’s one of the most popular, plus versatile. I don’t object to seeds, but Wizard does :-)

    I’m so glad your pepperoni bread came out! I bet youngest looked forward to getting his slices all day. And I hope hubs is happy too.

    Yeah, that was a lot of rain with this last storm and several communities are suffering. We are fine so far. The stream behind out house is rushing, but doing what it’s supposed to do so that’s good. But I’m worried about the the areas snowed in, flooded and with hill slides. We have more rain coming, and I’m hoping it’s light. On the bright side, the drought is over for now.

    I’m with you in hoping spring brings calm weather for us all.

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