GW, this was the longest it has ever taken me to make a sourdough loaf, but it was worth going through all the stages to get the end result it was magnificent. The first one I baked right away and I baked it in my tontopf clay baker with the lid on and took the lid off for the last ten mins, got not a bad result, but the next day I baked the second one just in a tin pie dish, I had risen it in a bowl lined with parchment paper and just lifted it in when the oven was ready and I had the steam tin in the bottom, also spayed the oven walls as your instructions said and I think this was the best method I got a better loaf it's a bit darker than the first one but I prefer it like that, and a better rise. We had it with thick butter just how we like it with a nice cuppa. Absolutly delicious worth every second of the time and effort. Thank you for posting, I do like my bread and would give this ten if I could.
Oh GW; thanks so very much for posting as well as all the help you provided (including the wild yeast starter) through this process. When I first looked at the directions I thought "NO WAY" but discovered most of it was just very complete directions. I made and served this for a company dinner of smoked ham, asparagus, Baked Brie with Caramelized Pecans and Old Settler Baked Beans and it was perfect. Once of the best breads I've ever made. I chose not to use any of the optional ingrediants and the taste of the bread it self shown like a star at the meal with a wonderful crunchy crust and soft, light and airy inside. This made one very large baguette and two smaller ones that I froze for later use. No one should be intimated by the long list of steps as they are just very complete - but DO follow your advise and read through them first AND plan ahead as it's a several day process. This recipe not only deserves 5 stars but a GOLD STAR Edited to add: The steam pan (I used the broiler pan) is a must along with the spray bottle for that great crust. I used my pizza stone to sit the bread on and it worked perfect.
I bake sourdough bread all the time useing my own captured wild yeast this recipe looks like alot of steps but really it's not that bad. The process really goes by pretty fast,
Bread has a nice soft crust and a chewy crumb. Great for sandwiches or garlic bread, and makes tasty toast also. I highly recommend this recipe. Thank you for shareing it with me. It's in my recipe book.