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Sourdough bread baking

Clay QClay Q Posts: 4,435
edited 3:56AM in EggHead Forum
<p />My first 3 boules of sourdough have been exciting. I'm very happy with how the bread is overall but I need improvement in several areas.


I need a better setup, think I'll buy a pizza stone to replace the fire bricks. Parchment paper works very well and it makes it easy to pull the bread onto the stone without a peel.


The crust is looking good but not dark enough. Sourdough has a distinct crust unlike yeasted breads and this tastes soooooo goooood. Sweet and nutty.[p]
I found that next time I need to bump up my dome temp to 475-500. The 400-425 temp I used is not hot enough to create the browning I'm looking for. I'm looking for a darker, deeper crust.


The crumb is looking good,- I wanted bubbles. Taste was mild tang, moist and chewy, classic sourdough flavor. I guess I'm on my way. They say that natural leavening will get better with repeated cycles of bread making. I have a 'storage leaven' for long term storage in the frig, an 'any day leaven' in another jar in the frig and dried leaven in food saver bag as backup.[p]One other thing, I goofed the fermentation and proofing steps, that's probably why the boules didn't form as well as I wanted. Slight hot spots in the egg also contribute to uneven spring and expansion although I rotated the bread during baking.


I sliced the bread warm, (not recommended) he he, because I could not wait for it to cool. Then I slowly ate a slice, then another, then another. I was in bread heaven.


  • badbrucebadbruce Posts: 353
    Morning ClayQ,
    Now you've gone & done it.
    I have been waiting patiently for my first batch of sourdough bread to finish proofing and your posting pics online.
    The drool factor is extremely high right now. lol
    Good looking bread.

  • ChubbyChubby Posts: 2,956
    ClayQ,[p]Your critiques aside...It looks like a fine loaf from here!![p]Maybe an eggwash will give you a bit better color?[p]Congratulations!![p]Evans
    I spent most of my money on good bourbon, and bad women...the rest, I just wasted!!
  • UGAVETUGAVET Posts: 577
    That looks awesome. Wife will be upset now that i have one more thing to add to my list of things to do.

  • AZ TravelerAZ Traveler Posts: 664
    Great looking bake. I have been debating using parchment paper to slip my boules onto the stone. After seeing yours I will start using it. I've found that if I use a mister and spray the boule with water right before I put it on I get a nice dark, crisp crust. Nice loaf, please keep us informed as you progress through your experiences. AZ

  • ClayQ,
    That bread looks great! I would love to bake sourdough bread that looked that good. Can you please give us your recipe and setup?[p]

  • CurlyCurly Posts: 46
    ClayQ,[p]If those are your mistakes...just send em to me :-)
  • Hoss's BBQHoss's BBQ Posts: 435
    I have a question. In the book Bread Baker Apprentice by Peter Reinhart he has you place an empty metal pan in the oven on a rack under the rack with the stone. You place the bread on the stone close the oven door then reopen the door and pour warm water into the hot pan and quickly close the door. The water hitting the pan creates the steam sopposed to help with the spring you talked about. I did this in my home oven and it work pretty well. IS it possible to do this in the egg? Does steam hurt the egg at all? Just curious. You should really read his book it is written extremly well. He discusses all different types of breads, even has the method to start your own sourdough starter.

  • TRexTRex Posts: 2,714
    ClayQ,[p]Wow. That is the best looking bread I've ever seen. Good grief - between you and RTD I'm gonna be convinced to become a baker yet![p]Happy Friday,[p]TRex
  • AZRPAZRP Posts: 10,116
    AZ Traveler ,
    I spritz bread on the way into the oven also, and hit it a second time about half way through the bake. -RP

  • Clay QClay Q Posts: 4,435
    Hoss's BBQ,
    Interesting... Well a short burst of steam in the dome area of a hot egg will not hurt a thing. I'm thinking a half cup of water poured onto a hot drip pan and close the dome. Too much water and it will cool the dome temp. Spraying water from a bottle is quick and controllable. The egg retains moisture and I don't need much to make a moist environment.
    Thanks for the book recommendation, I'm going to the book store this weekend.

  • BOBFBOBF Posts: 177
    ClayQ,[p]I ordered my cookbook and sour dough starter yesterday. After looking at your pictures, I can hardly wait to get started. Very nice, I hope I can do as well.

  • Clay QClay Q Posts: 4,435
    Thanks. The best way to get going is to read all you can on natural leavens and sourdough breads. My starter was made from a cup of stone ground organic dark rye flour and a cup of stone ground organic wheat flour, spring water and a warm place for it to culture up. King Arthur Flour has everything you (knead) to get started, check out their web site. I think they sell a book on sourdough also. Another good site for natural leaven,

  • Clay QClay Q Posts: 4,435
    Thanks. Yeah, gotta take this to the next level, good tip. I will post pic's again!
    I just finished up the last slice with some creamy Wisconsin wild rice soup,.... oh man.

  • Clay QClay Q Posts: 4,435
    Good luck! Artisan breads,--- it's art, science and really good eating.... all at once! Sourdough IS special.
    Post a pic if you can, my friend.

  • AZ TravelerAZ Traveler Posts: 664
    I have made a lot of sourdough starters and one I used for years was called "Herman" starter. It worked good but I got the one from King Arthur and it is the best one I've had. I believe it is 250 or 300 years old. That is the only one I have at this time. AZ

  • Clay QClay Q Posts: 4,435
    You can. And maybe.....even better!
    Baking bread is a grand achievement in my cooking experience and sourdough baking is...well,... narvana.
    Good luck and have fun!

  • badbrucebadbruce Posts: 353
    Hi ClayQ,
    Well there won't be any pictures. After my loaf cooled I made a sandwich and the teenagers came home from school & the bread just sorta disappeared.

  • Clay QClay Q Posts: 4,435
    AZ Traveler ,
    Only 200-300 years old? Ha ha ha. Wow, that's cool.
    Lot's of history with some of those natural leavens.
    I have read about starters traveling with the pioneers going across the American continent and winding up in California.

  • Clay QClay Q Posts: 4,435
    Hey thanks. The egg does a great job with breads and pizza, one of the main reasons I bought the egg. TRexing steak, I had no idea what that was until I learned from you. I'm thinking that some day I'm gonna put the two together for dinner. TRex ribeye's with a side of sourdough bread. Awwww man, I can see it now.
    When you get the time bake some bread on your egg, you'll be glad you did.

  • Clay QClay Q Posts: 4,435
    Go ahead and bake breads. Give her a taste and tell her that you made the bread for her. She will be fine. :o)

  • Clay QClay Q Posts: 4,435
    AZ Traveler ,
    Thanks and will do. A spray bottle will be used the next time I bake sourdough, thanks for the tip. Diana turned me on to parchment paper, she said it works good for cookies, should work for bread in the egg. Smart gal.
    I'd like to see more pic's of bread baked on the egg!


  • Clay QClay Q Posts: 4,435
    He he he. Well, this is a work in progress I guess. I'm going for that good brick oven look and flavor. I'll get there,.... the egg can do it.

  • 20jan07-041.jpg
    <p />ClayQ,
    now i have to make bread this weekend![p]you are killing me with all these sourdough posts!

  • Rick's Tropical Delight,
    Clay's wife here. Your photo is so outstanding; I'm taking the liberty to use it as our desktop background! I personally enjoy the photos eggers post; top notch talent here.

  • DianaQ,
    this is my current background
    18feb07_3-003.jpg[p]i need to be changing it to "it's bristol baby!"
    spring bristol is three weeks away!
    there... i just changed it.
    now to plan the menu.

  • PujPuj Posts: 615
    Hoss's BBQ,[p]This method of creating steam works ok with the Egg. I believe Clay has previously mentioned that he increases, or will increase, the baking temperature. A combination of both steam and temp will improve the color of a bread bake in the Egg.[p]Your reference of Reinhart's book will help guide anyone interested in bread baking. Thanks for taking the time to do so.[p]Puj
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