Sourdough Bread: An Epic, Ongoing Tale

I love baking bread. It is therapeutic to knead the dough, and to shape it. It is amazing to watch it as it grows in size, and then becomes golden brown in the oven. Not to mention, there is nothing more comforting than a slice of warm, fresh-out-of-the-oven bread with butter. Eat it by itself, with soup, in a sandwich – it’s always amazing!

Unfortunately, all of that went out the window when I tried to bake my first loaf of sourdough bread! I didn’t think a dough recipe could give me anxiety, but here we are. That’s only a slight exaggeration. Sourdough is a finicky mistress. There is so much to consider, and googling for help is even more overwhelming. Is my starter too wet? Is my dough tacky enough? How many hours, or days, should it proof? My crust looks amazing, but what about the interior? I attempted many times to bake a loaf, always with differing results, always not quite right, but finally! Finally I made an edible loaf! I’m so excited. It isn’t perfect, but I’m still calling it a win!

I’d love to hear from you guys. Do you have a go-to sourdough recipe or technique? Is it possible to make a nice, artisan loaf at home that doesn’t involve calculating percentages? Any of advice would be amazing and very welcome, because I feel like this will be an ongoing, head-to-head battle, and I’m not one to admit defeat!

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