My very first sourdough loaf surprisingly turned out to be pretty decent, but oh boy was it sour. Sour like those candies you really only eat at the movie theater because they destroy your tongue, sour. Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration but I remember my wife choking down a slice commenting that it was “pretty good, yeah, pretty good bread” and only later did she fess up that it was “actually not really that good to be honest.” But all-in-all the bread baked fully rose nicely and had a pretty decent crust. And you know what, we ate the entire thing because despite its sourness it still was tasty, and one has to start somewhere, right? And starting out can be daunting, especially with sourdough, but that’s what this post is about: a beginner’s sourdough bread. A how-to guide on getting started with baking my style of sourdough at home with a touch more explanation for some of the steps and terms.
I vividly remember the weeks leading up to that first loaf: weeks of voraciously reading Tartine Bread finally thinking that my newborn sourdough starter and I were ready to take on the sourdough world. Dog-eared pages, post-it notes, bookmarks, torn pages and highlighted passages peppered the book that first kindled that baking spark. My notebook had a schedule scribbled down, surprisingly mostly the same schedule and outline I follow today, with what to do when, and how to do it. Flour was purchased. Water was filtered. The kitchen towels were cleaned. And just like any good engineer I dove in head-first and got my hands dirty.