One thing I wish everyone would learn is that if someone else can do something, you can do it too. If Elaine from Foodbod Sourdough can make perfect sourdough, so can I and if I can do it, so can you. It truly all depends on how much effort you’re willing to put into it, how many times you are willing to fail and start over. I can promise you if you go back on here and find sourdough I was making a few years back, it doesn’t look (or taste) nearly as good as it does now.
My best advice is to find a recipe others use and have had success. I start almost every batch with Elaine from Foodbod’s Master Recipe. It never fails me. The recipe calls for 350 grams of water and 500 grams of flour, along with starter and salt. That’s truly all it takes. She also has a list of equipment. You’ve seen what I use – an ancient scuffed up blue plastic bowl that I love and I dread the day I have to get rid of it but I know that bowl is about at the end of it’s life. I bake the loaves in a 3.5 quart Dutch Oven that I got from Walmart probably 15 years ago. Back then it was inexpensive compared to name brands. I think I paid $29 for it because I also bought a larger blue one at the same time and paid $35 for the larger one and I remember Vince grumbling because he thought I already had too many pots. I did but the red one is the perfect vessel for baking this bread. I do not use the banneton, though I have one. I do not use filtered water. I use tap water that comes from the city.
I you feel like you’re wasting ingredients by practicing making bread, cut the recipe in half. Use 175 grams of water and 250 grams of flour along with half of the starter and salt. Make a giant roll. Practice. Use the bread for bread pudding, croutons, bread crumbs.
Not everyone has to make bread or dream about making bread all day and all night. That’s ok. But, if you want to make great bread, it isn’t hard. Getting into your clothes after perfecting your bread . . that’s difficult.
Speaking of effort, making a loaf of sourdough bread is probably the easiest bread you will ever make!
Here’s the spelt/all purpose/Prairie Gold/Rosemary loaf.
I’m fixing to roll out and cut some pasta, then finish dinner. I’ll cut the bread for dinner and will report back on the flavor/texture.