Monthly Book Giveaway - February 2023

Sourdough Journey #29: A new bread - another learning curve!


This is part 29 in a 31 part series: Sourdough Journey

I want to buy local
I want to buy organic
And I’d love to find a local mill that offered stone-ground, organic flour made from local grains.


The 1847 mill is just an hour and a half away in Ferguson Ontario, definitely drivable for me, but they deliver!!! 

Actually, I ordered my flour on Sunday and it arrived on Tuesday! That was fast. 

The flours

They have lots of flours to choose from which is a blessing and a challenge. A blessing because - oh the possibilities!! And a challenge because I didn’t know where to start. 

Actually, I did know where to start: I’ve been struggling with my sourdough, so I needed to start with the basics: basic flour and baking sourdough method. 

Note: I follow Elaine Boddy’s method, from her book “The Sourdough Whisperer”

I opted for their DAILY BREAD flour .. a 20kg bag of flour. How much is 20kg? It’s heavy. That’s how much it is. So heavy that Rick and I could barely manage it, moving it through the house to the kitchen and then dumping it into a storage bucket. But - we did it. 

The flour is beautiful. It is a creamy golden colour which, I’m assuming, comes from the “whole grain” process vs whatever it is that happens to the generic unbleached flour that we find in the store. 

My Sourdough Starter

First things first, I had to feed MzElla, my sourdough starter. (She is named after my grandmother as a reminder of my past and to live a simpler life.)

Yesterday, as I thought about the challenges that I’ve been having with my bread lately, (after two months of total successes), I thought that maybe, just maybe, the cold temperatures had impacted the health of my starter.

Time for a kickstart which means feeding it twice a day instead of one.

As soon as my bread flour arrived, I fed MzElla (and moved her to a new and less cold spot in the kitchen) and, then, at 9:00 last night, I fed her again.

Check out the video to see her reaction:

The Dough

This morning, I started creating my sourdough for my first loaf of 1847 bread.

After the first “stretch & fold” I could clearly see the difference.

The dough is so smooth - it is gorgeous.
I don’t know if this is how it should look, but I like it, and as Elaine Boddy says: don’t compare and just keep going. Trust the process

What’s next?

I have another stretch and fold to do and then we start the bulk fermentation, the day-long wait of letting the wild yeasts do their thing, feasting on the flour and breaking it down so that my digestive system will be able to do the rest without inflammation. 

The fermentation process, well, this will be my challenge: getting the timing right so that the dough isn’t over or under-proofed. 

Goldilocks Time

I don’t want a bread that is too soft.
I don’t want a bread that is too hard.
I want a bread that is just right. 

I want it to hold its shape so that I can score it properly and I want it to rise beautifully, breaking open that scoring, creating a beautiful looking and tasting loaf of bread.

But, for now? We wait. 
- Debbie

Oh …and I’d really appreciate your input:
  • Have you used this flour before?
  • Does the dough look good?
  • Are there changes I should make for my next loaf? 
  • Tips? Tricks? 
(And thanks for your help and support)

a simpler life