Thanks to a gift of sourdough starter from Dylan the Sourdough Monkey Wrangler , I have been learning how to bake sourdough bread. I wrote two posts about my early experiences over at The Ethicurean. Part One was about how to create a starter and how they work. Part Two was about making the bread.
Here are two photos from my archive. The first is shows two rounds of dough that have just been shaped. They sit in the baskets for an hour at room temperature and then go into the refrigerator (!) overnight (covered with plastic wrap to prevent moisture loss). The next day they spend a few hours warming up before baking.
The photo below shows one way to get a beautiful crust: bake the loaf in a heavy pot (an idea I got from the famous No Knead Bread article in the New York Times).
I preheated the pot and lid for about 30 minutes before I carefully dropped the ball of dough into the dangerously hot pot. Then I replaced the cover and let it bake for 30 minutes covered, then removed the cover, gasped in awe at the beautiful crust for a few seconds, and let it finish baking uncovered for about 15 more minutes.
Random link from the archive: Unusual Greens, Part 6 – Orach