Baking Guides

The Perfect Loaf Baking Guides

The following roundup of baking guides here at The Perfect Loaf will help you navigate the waters of baking naturally leavened bread at home. Start with the Beginner Baking Guides up top and work your way down as you become familiar with each topic.


The Perfect Loaf Baking Guides

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Beginner Baking Guides

It all begins here. The first step is to make a sourdough starter, then, once you have one fermenting reliably, start with a beginner sourdough recipe.

  1. Creating a Sourdough Starter
  2. Beginner’s Sourdough Bread Recipe
  3. Baking With Steam in a Home Oven
  4. The Importance of Dough Temperature in Baking (with calculator)

Sourdough Starter GuidesThe Perfect Loaf Baking Guides Starter

A sourdough starter is a stable mixture of bacteria and wild yeast. By feeding (refreshing) a starter regularly we “train” the culture to produce desired flavors and to have sufficient strength for leavening dough.

  1. Creating a Sourdough Starter
  2. Maintaining a Sourdough Starter
  3. Storing a Sourdough Starter
  4. Sourdough Starter Frequently Asked Questions

Baking SchedulesThe Perfect Loaf Baking Guides Schedule

Most home bakers tend to revolve their baking around their time off, this usually means baking on the weekend. While my guide to a weekend baking schedule focuses on this, it’s possible to shift this schedule to bake on any day of the week, just adjust the schedule to suit. We all lead super busy lives, but with a few handy tips we can work baking into even the busiest of schedules.

Shaping Guides

Shaping dough is both technically challenging and one of the most enjoyable parts of the entire baking process. While there are many ways to form dough into various shapes, these are my preferred methods for all things shaping.

Do It YourselfThe Perfect Loaf Baking Guides Retarder

Sometimes having the right tools can make all the difference, especially for a home baker when the kitchen environment can change drastically day-to-day. The following guides aim to give some inspiration on how to improve your baking environment to increase baking consistency.


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  1. An oval or oblong loaf.

  2. A round loaf.