Wild Yeast baking challenge

About 2 weeks ago I tried to make my own sourdough starter not without failing first. I documented it day by day in the “Sourdough starter experiment” post. eventually grew strong, active and bubbly and it is named Dudette.

I previously baked with sourdough starter but this time …I have a plan!

Wild yeast, as it is also called it is far better for us then the commercial one and also gives the baked goods a better flavour. I am fascinated with all things from scratch and how nature provides us with everything we need. The antidote of this processed world we live in.

Inspired by Julie and Julia film, based on the book by Julie Powell – Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen, my challenge is to learn.

This is the basic recipe for bread using a sourdough starter…and probably the easiest one.

Whisk the starter into the water add, olive oil, mix well. Add flour and salt, mix until the flour is incorporated well. Now need to sit and autolyse for about 30 minutes, maximum an hour.

After the rest you need to knead it nicely in a cute smooth ball. Now it’s time for the bulk rise, this can take from 2 hours to 12 maybe…depends on how strong your starter is and the temperature. I learnt to “listen” the dough. It is not about the time but the way it looks. The idea is for the dough to double in size and look all fluffy.

For me around 4-5 hours is enough as I live in a hot country. If I want a dough to take longer I move it in the living room where there is AC.

Optional you can give the dough some stretch and folds, 2-3 times, start 30 minutes after the bulk rise. You do it the bowl where is rising by stretching the dough and the folding on top, rotate the bowl, do another stretch, about 4 times.

When it doubled in size you can shape it, I make it round and nice just to get into my dutch oven (with baking paper on the bottom).

After it is shaped needs a second rise, but a shorter one – 30 to 60 minutes, needs to be slightly puffy. When you give it a poke it comes back slowly. Towards the end of the proofing preheat your oven to 450º F/ 230º C. Right before it goes in the oven, score the dough, I used a serrated knife to do it and it worked well. Just one score across.

When you put it in the oven, reduce temperature to 200C.

I baked it with the lid on for 20 minutes, then took the lid and baked for 40 more minutes.

  • 150 gr. sourdough starter

  • 500 gr. bread flour

  • 25 gr. olive oil

  • 250 gr. water (lukewarm)

  • 8-10 gr. salt


This is a process that happens at the beginning when you first mix the ingredients and let it rest without kneading. It helps develop stronger gluten which means a better bread and also helps manage the dough better.

The time can be from minimum of 15 minutes to an hour.

The oven issue

I gave here the specification from the recipes I follow regarding electric ovens. I have a gas one…and not a very good one. So I just adapt and try to understand, as it doesn’t even say the temperature. What I mean is…get to know your oven regardless and make adjustments.