Hi there! This is my first post here and I wanted to share with you my semi-success and also hopefully draw on your expertise to get my bread even better next time.
So after days spent tweaking my starter (much to the confusion of my parents, “what on earth is that jar of stuff in the airing cupboard?!”) I finally had something which was happily bubbling away and had a pleasant fruity/alcoholic aroma (as opposed to the less pleasant vomit aroma that starter no.1 produced). I made it with a 50:50 mix of organic wholegrain and plain bread flours.
The recipe I followed was one from a cookbook which called for a sponge to be made the night before using 100ml of starter, 250g flour (which was about 2/3 plain and 1/3 wholegrain) and 250ml water. To make the final dough I added 300g of the same flour mix, 10g salt and a tablespoon of olive oil. I only had a few minutes to make up the dough before I had to go out so I barely had time to knead it, probably only 2-3 minutes. When I came back 2 hours later it had risen a fairly decent amount though maybe not quite doubled. I stretched it and folded it over and then left it for about 7 hours at room temp.
Well I can definitely see why it's called sourdough! My mum thought I must have spiked it with some lemon juice to give it its flavour. Personally, although I love sour things, I found it a bit too sharp for what I'd want in a bread. Is there any way to make this flavour a bit milder?
My main problem with the bread though is how heavy it was. I was hoping for something much lighter with loads of big, irregular holes in it but what I got was something much more dense and uniform. Should I have just left it for longer to rise? Or was it always going to be dense because I put wholewheat flour in? Anyway, overall I was pretty pleased with it and think it was a decent first try. My starters still bubbling away so I'm looking forward to starting on the sequel!