A few days after this post the starter had reached a point where I was happy to try to make bread with it. The recipe I was following (from Crust, because I am nothing if not predictable) says the rise should happen over night and should take about 17 or so hours. The next morning I had to go out, so I started things going late enough, I thought, that things would be fine until lunch time, but instead, this is what faced me. Very active dough close to going over the sides of the proofing basket. Luckily, I could juggle things around a little and I managed to get the bread into the oven before it ate the kitchen.
40 minutes later, the house smelt good and this came out:
I didn’t do a great job of the slashing – the dough was very liquid and I was worried I would distort the loaf too much. But still, up at the top it looks like ‘proper’ bread. This is what the bottom looked like:
And this is what it looked like cut through:
Lovely open crumb with lots of bubbles and a really great firm texture with a bit of a tang but not incredibly sour. So I’m very happy with this as a first attempt, though I do think it was over proofed and will try 12 hours (or a cooler place – but that can be hard in our place) proofing instead next time.
Oh and I also learnt if you’re intending to half a recipe, you should probably half the starter recipe too or you will end up with more dough than you would really want to chuck out. So I made pizza.
Some day I will analyse what this ‘proper’ bread illusion is that I’m always not quite reaching.