Sourdough Bread from Start to End

sourdough bread

Sourdough Bread 

Internet recipes are not my friend. I’m sure the people who write and post them are nice, well-meaning people. I’m sorry, I lied. Actually, I’m sure most of the recipes I find online are written by evil, vindictive want-a-be cookbook authors. The exception to this rule is the blogger of the blog No Crumbs Left. Teri is a cooking goddess who genuinely wants your dishes to be a successunlike the blogger on a ranch in Oklahoma who once sent me down the trail of making 100 awful dinner rolls  or the bloggers who posted and repost the recipe for ice-cream bread (which we can all give a collective yuck too) or the bloggers who assume you know what their idea of a “smidgen” is or, most recently, the blogger on the blog ManMade who posted a sourdough bread recipe.  Buckle upwe’re going to Ohio.*

First, I should have read the ManMade blog’s troubleshooting tips before I ever started this project. The first one reads, “Ask someone elseI’m not an expert baker.” For sure, truer words were never written.

I love making bread, and believe it or not, this blogger who does not cook is good at it. Yeast likes me. I give credit to my 20-year-old’s early childhood teacher. She made bread once a week with the children and shared the recipe with us parents along with her vote of confidence that we could do it. I could do it! And have enjoyed making bread ever since. Suffice to say, I usually keep it simple. However, when Cole (my 20-year-old) showed me what looked like an easy recipe for sourdough bread, I was intrigued. I’ve kind of sort of wanted to try making sourdough bread over the years and saw this as my chance to rise to the occasion.

First, the sourdough starter. Just curious, did you ever have a friend who hated you so much that she gave you a container of friendship dough, which you had to nurture and then share with a friend you really hated? Well, if you have experienced this life phase, you will understand the sourdough starter process better. First, you buy a small packet of sourdough starter mix, and then you follow the instructions, which include feeding it, keeping it warm, stirring it, applauding its bubbles and growth spurts, and discarding portions of it (which feels really mean and cruel) every day for seven daysor forever if you plan to continue the sourdough process. I woke up at 2:00 a.m. during the seven-day process, frantic because I had forgotten to feed my sourdough starter, I cringed every time I had to discard a cup of the precious mixture, and I was constantly worried that it was cold. Maintaining sourdough starter will not be my new hobby.

After about 7 days, my sourdough starter was ready to meet its friendsflour, water, and saltand become a loaf of bread. The bread baking directions listed in the recipe seemed odd to me from the start, but I followed them and ended up with a sticky mess. And I do mean sticky. So, I did what monk breadsmiths have done for centuries: I added more flour. Eleven ounces of flour turned into at least four cups of flour (I lost count), and then I let it rise again. I gotta give my sourdough starter credit for endurance; it never quit rising. Then, the recipe called for me to lovingly turn the bread into a boule. That was impossible. The dough was still sticky, so I lovingly tossed it in my KitchenAid mixer, added more flour, kneaded the heck out of it, and then . . . I let it rise again.

While the bread was rising, I covered my Dutch oven pot and put it in the oven to prepare a hot and steamy baking surface for the bread. Forty-five minutes later, I added the bread that I had formed into a boule (if you used your imagination) and set the timer for 30 minutes.

The bread came out of the oven looking great. The Dutch oven, which I have an unhealthy attachment to, was a mess. Can it be salvaged? Well, I’m not a pot whisperer, but I’ll try all the tricks. ManMade blogger, you may have ruined my beautiful blue pot. I love that blue pot. If I was the type of person who would stuff a live chicken in a pot and mail it across the country, well, you’d be sorry!

Taste? How did the bread taste? Well. Cole slathered lots of butter on it and told me it was wonderful (the kid is smart). I wanted to hate it, but I had to admitit wasn’t bad. Nevertheless, this whole experience left a sour taste in my mouth.

I’m getting a tattoo on my arm, it will read

“Betty Crocker is Best.”

Odd Loves Company,


Sourdough Starter

Sourdough Starter


My Poor Dutch Oven.

Note: The blogger on ManMade did respond to my comment in distress on his post and try to help. I appreciated his effort. But I am still of the mindset that posting recipes is tricky. It is one thing to be able to cook something and a whole other ball of dough when it comes to teaching other people how to do it online.  Of-course, I fell for it AGAIN but I did get a story…

* If you frequent Odd, you know that whenever one of my blog posts goes on endlessly and leaves you wondering if I will ever get to the point or if there even is a point, I reference Ohio. Why? Because the people I know and love from Ohio (and I know many) tend to tell long stories that frequently digress. It’s an inside Odd joke, but if you know someone from Ohio, you’ll get it immediately

8 thoughts on “Sourdough Bread from Start to End

  1. Bet this experience has soured you for life. I’m not a fan of sourdough bread but my daughter really likes it. I seem to remember a neighbor giving my ex some of that pass along dough. She couldn’t wait to get rid of it.
    The pot looks like my two pots. It doesn’t matter what they look like as long as they can do the job.
    Good to hear from you on Odd.
    Have a good one.

    • Well I’m soured but maybe not for life!
      Of-course, it matters what your pot looks like! I think you should buy some Bar Keepers friend and start scrubbing!!
      Good to be back! ♥

  2. I admire you for trying. Sourdough is a tricky bread to make. First you need to get the starter right. Someone walked me through it a few times and that really helped. Internet recipes often work for the baker but not for the reader. It’s a talent to write a recipe well.
    Betty Crocker. I still use that red checked cookbook.
    Oh, spray that pan with easy off, cover and let it sit for a day. Should clean up.

    • Thank you. I thought it was tricky which is why I never tried it but this recipe sounded so easy. Wrong. It is a talent to write a recipe well.
      I bought some Easy Off and I am going to give it a try.
      Thanks for dropping by Odd.

  3. Oh , my..I am exhausted just reading about your sourdough bread trip..LOL I think sourdough bread should be banned from the earth .
    Maybe if you scrub your pot with a paste of baking soda and salt it will come clean…but beware..this is a suggestion I saw on the internet..I have not tried it.

    • You don’t like Sourdough bread? Well, you are not alone, my Mom would agree with you. I used to like it.
      I tried the baking soda and salt but I think my pan is burnt into the enamel. I haven’t given up hope tho—I bought some Bar Helpers Friend and Easy Off.

  4. Oh, dear. At least you gave it a genuine try. Me? I’d have passed the recipe on to Domer and let HIM try!

    As for your beautiful blue pot, no, it’s not ruined. My late dad used to say, Soap and water can clean anything. Some things take a lot of elbow grease, too, but that’s what 20-year-old sons are for, right??! 😉

    • Why didn’t I suggest to Cole that he make it? After all he found the recipe. I’m slipping.
      Soap and water is usually our first choice around here too—but it seems the pan is burnt into the enamel. However, all is not lost -yet. Vickie suggested we pick up some Bar Helpers friend and someone else suggested Easy off as a last ditch effort . I love that Dutch Oven so we’ll go the distance.

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