I’ve been baking bread regularly as a hobby for the past 8 or so years. I started with Jim Lahey’s No Knead Bread recipe; it was so easy and tasty! After I got the hang of that I started exploring other types of bread. One thing led to another, and soon I was starting my own sourdough starter on the counter of my little basement apartment.
I struggled to figure out how to make sourdough bread “right” for awhile. At the time, I couldn’t find a good tutorial for a complete beginner. There were plenty of blog posts and Youtube tutorials, but they talked about things like bakers percentages and slap and folds, which were quite intimidating for someone who was moving from making a bread that was famous for the lack of work and thinking involved in its making. But I persevered.
Now, 5 years after starting my sourdough journey I am finally getting comfortable with my abilities. I can adjust my recipes in my head using those bakers percentages I found so mysterious, I know how to adjust my dough depending on the humidity, and I’ve played around with enough different flavors to know what I (and my family) like in a loaf.
While most recipes and techniques out there are based on similar principles, the one I use the most is from Chad Robertson’s Tartine Bread (the one that started the sourdough craze). From a technique standpoint, Chad takes you step by step through his process, complete with pictures of each step. If you don’t want to buy Chad’s book quite yet, I like this Youtube tutorial, and there are other good ones around now.
All the variations I post about are likely based on this recipe, and if not I’ll post what I’ve changed. I’ll try and make all my posts about sourdough simple enough for a novice to pick up, something I would have appreciated, but please drop me a line if you have any questions or suggestions!