Baking is probably my biggest hobby. I mostly bake bread, and my favorite breads to bake are naturally leavened (aka Sourdough) Breads. This page is a sort of highlight reel of some of the best things I’ve baked.
Starter is the key to sourdough. It’s essentially a live culture of yeast. With daily feedings it develops a strong population of yeast, that digest the flour in bread, and release CO2 gas. It’s this CO2 to “leavens” bread, or makes it rise. The starter is made with 50% flour and 50% water, and you can tell you’ve got a good starter when rises for about 12 hours after feeding. in the pictures you can see the starter right after feeding, and then 12 hours later.
This was a really fun one. I tried a higher hydration (80% vs 75% on all my previous bakes), and also tried adding a little bit of rye flour in addition to the normal whole-wheat/white flour blend. The higher hydration dough was a bit harder to work with, but not too bad, and the rye gave the finished loaf a really great depth of flavor. Overall this is probably the tastiest and most attractive loaf I’ve baked so far.
These sourdough rolls were great. I covered the outside with everything bagel seasoning which I actually don’t recommend, the onions burn at the oven temp you need for these. I did a couple with just sesame though, and those were awesome. We at a bunch of these on their own, but they’re make great sandwiches.
The bread crown is a true showstopper. Every time I’ve brought it to a family gathering people have been wowed by the sight of it, but even more impressed by the taste. It looks a bit like babka, but in fact the swirls are olive tapenade, not chocolate so it’s a savory loaf.