Back to Basics: Dan’s White Sourdough

You would think that the first loaf in the first baking book I owned would have been a sensible place to start. But I skipped over the white sourdough recipe (from A Handmade Loaf by Dan Lepard) in order to get to the mill loaf, which got me so excited a while ago. It’s taken me a while to go back and try the white.

I’m glad I did.

It’s a fairly simply recipe, which I adjusted slightly as I was using a leaven at 100% hydration (where Dan’s s at 80%). Otherwise, it just, uses strong white flour, 65% hydration, with a little salt and optionally some ground malt.

I was really pleased with the texture, finally seeing that desirable loose crumb with some large (but not too large bubbles). Still not perfect, but a big step forward for me.

I was also pleased with my “slashing”. I’m not entirely sure I like that last sentence much. Sounds like something from American Psycho. I cut at an angle, and then continued cutting under the surface of the dough, in an attempt to achieve a more profound tear effect.

In the spirit of the phrase “a picture’s worth a thousand words”, here’s 10,000 words worth of the bake. I forgot to take any pictures of the shaping process, but I followed the same one described my first sourdough post.

Next target: increase the “tang”. Ta ta!

Click an image to enlarge.


7 thoughts on “Back to Basics: Dan’s White Sourdough

  1. A very handsome loaf. I also like this particular recipe of Dan’s. I’ve only mucked it up once, which in my book means it’s nearly fool-proof. πŸ™‚

  2. Looks fabulous! I just found you from a retweet by Dan Lepard himself and I’m rather excited to stumble through your blog, I’m a big homemade bread fan and am not yet winning the sourdough battle! X

    • Hi and thanks! I’ve found Dan to be hugely supportive to the online community, myself included. Glad you’re enjoying the blog, be sure to ask if you have any questions or want any advice.

      Welcome along!

      • Oh really? Cos I heard that his team took legal action to have posts removed from blogs that publish his recipes so I’ve held off doing the same myself! Well that’s very good to know indeed :). I’ve just purchased Short & Sweet and *swoon* at the bread chapter alone! X

      • I’ve had contact from David, his business manager, about similar, and in my case I’d taken the recipe whole cloth from a forum post and so took it down. There have been issues about people “adapting” recipes, and legally speaking that’s a thorny and murky issue. I can see both sides, and recipes are Dan’s stock and trade. I err on the side of caution in that regard, and focus more on my experience of a recipe.

        My experience of his support has been both advice given over twitter directly and in forums, and the aforementioned retweets. It’s a shame that there’s this cloud hanging over things, and I have heard some stories that sounded as if there was a justified grievance, but personally I’ve found Dan and David both to be polite and helpful.

      • Well thanks for the clarification there Will – I must say it teinted my appreciation of Dan a teeny weeny bit but like you, I do understand both sides of the story. Thankfully it won’t stop making his wonderful recipes, it just might alter my blogging of them instead πŸ˜‰

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