Before daybreak this morning I was mixing and kneading the dough for a loaf of sourdough bread. By dusk this evening we were reluctant to stop eating it because the bread was so irresistibly good.
I’m not sure why sourdough bread baking is made out to be so difficult. It’s not like there is a long list of ingredients or complicated procedures. It is basically sourdough starter (yeast), flour, salt, water and a little oil to coat the dough ball while it is rising. The bread today was made with mostly whole wheat flour.
I wanted to make a long loaf this time rather than round or rectangular. I tend to make a moist dough, so to prevent the dough from spreading and covering the entire baking sheet during the second rise I placed two rolled up towels on the sides of the pan and laid the dough on parchment paper between them. Of course I removed the towels before baking.
To get a crispy crust I sprayed the inside of the hot oven with a mist of water at the beginning of the bake and again near the end. The crust was indeed crispy and the crumb was spongy and moist. Perhaps, rather than slice this type of bread, it would be more appropriate to just tear off chunks in true breaking bread fashion.