Celia’s Inspiration. Sourdough Bread Diaries.

Angels of the morning

Since taking up sourdough bread making around two years ago, after Celia sent me some sourdough starter, I have rarely bought bread. It’s not just about economy, though good loaves do seem to cost an arm and a leg these days, but more about the flavour and satisfaction, as well as the ability to adjust the bread’s composition to suit your own needs. I usually make a linseed studded loaf as I find that grain very beneficial to my gut, making the bread much nicer to eat. I also prefer a bread with a proportion of wholemeal added, at least up to one quarter of the total, as it gives a nuttier flavour. On the weekends I often make flavoured yeasted breads, Pani Festivi, such as rosemary, walnut or cheese bread. This weekend’s version, a pumpkin and fetta loaf was tasty but a little challenging to make. It was cakey and soothing and went well with the rainy weather.

Pumpkin and fetta bread. A Sunday yeasted loaf

I love the days when Celia, my/ our/your sourdough mentor and home village baker extraordinaire, puts out another bready post. Her recent addition, “A New Overnight Sourdough Tutorial – High Hydration Loaf” is a must read for those who need some revision, or inspiration, or a new approach. The instructions come with step by step pictures and videos so really, any one can make a beautiful loaf, if you already have some starter.

A few more loaves for the freezer.

These two loaves were made this morning after following Celia’s method. As I don’t have an enamel roaster, as mentioned in her post, I used a cast iron enamel Le Creuset style pot for the round loaf and a preheated metal tray for the long loaf. The loaf cooked in the enamel pot required further browning, removed from the pot, for a further 10 minutes after baking, as recommended. The open baked loaf was ready to pull out after 40 minutes. This bread has a very open texture. The one cooked on the tray has a firmer crust. Do not be tempted to cut them open until properly cold! You must resist.

Morning Madness
Morning Madness, Flour and Mess.

I am now keen to invest in some of these enamel roasters- they are lightweight, will probably heat faster than the cast iron pot, and make my early morning madness even sweeter.

Grazie Mille Celia for your continual inspiration

23 thoughts on “Celia’s Inspiration. Sourdough Bread Diaries.”

  1. You are seriously wonderful! Thank you for trying out the new tutorial for me!! Yes, buy some cheap enamel roasters, I swear by them and then you won’t have to use your exy cast iron pot. I actually think the main advantage with the enamel roasters is that they’re lightweight, which means that you don’t really need to preheat them before putting them in the oven, as they heat up very quickly. It makes the whole process much more civilised than having to manoeuvre a flaming heavy pot in and out of the oven at 6am in the morning.. 😉 Much love! xxx

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Hahha, no old enamelware is too favoured by the young ones ( ok and me too) No bargains to be had in the second hand department.You should see blue spatterware enamel soup ladle I grabbed in New Zealand…oh so lovely.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Just now when the notice of your new post came through, I was recording my revised method/experience of my two bakes from the last 48 hours. Since our weather got colder I found I needed to revise times, and also I wanted to add more whole meal to my ‘white’ spelt loaves. I used Celia’s post to guide me through the process! Such an excellent tutorial. I highly recommend the covered roaster from Harvey Norman, it is perfect for the task. I wish I could post a photo of my gorgeous loaf from this morning here in comments to show you, but I’m preparing a post of my own and will link it back to yours and Celia’s instead. Beautiful loaves and light in your photos, thank you Francesca. Grazie Mille a tu.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t Celia amazing- how she can be with you in your kitchen, egging you on at all sorts of hours, helping to define your day with pleasure and goodness? I am so pleased to hear about your new version and look forward to your post. More wholemeal sounds good to me. Baci, F

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks to Celia’s enamel roaster tip, I also purchased a couple and can squish two loaves in my oven at once cutting down baking time. We only eat home baked bread now😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have sourdough posts happening this week too, Celia is changing the world, one loaf at a time! I swear by the enamel baker, great results, no effort and I loooove the sound of pumpkin and fetta bread. Now on my todo list.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am resisting posting on the pumpkin and fetta loaf until I give it another trial. It was lovely to eat, but a real bugger to make- super moist and I need to write down what I did to fix it along the way.


  5. Grazie Mille indeed – Celia let me know that Harvey Normans had the enamel roasters for $25 – so my last loaves – which were the Finnish Craig recipe – were cooked in the roaster. I was in a hurry and was watching the oven at 11pm ! I ended up plonking the two loaves in the roaster together and sort of hoped they would remain neatly rounded but they rose and smooshed together like two drunks supporting each other home – but I was so happy with the texture that I was content to let their inner beauty soothe my anguish at their appearance. Is bread – is good:). Celia’s latest post is brilliant isn’t it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Celia’s bread posts, her last and her earlier ones, are inspiring. I often just leave her open on the tool bar all day in case I need to check something. I’m glad you tried the Finnish Craig- I now do an overnight rise on that one too. Just mix it up and slap it in the bowl for the night with a little cover, and do it in the morning, thus avoiding the drunken look. I am still addicted to the Finn. Roaster rush is on. Thanks Jan.


    1. Hi Julie, they are enamelware roasting pans with lids that are now popular with home bread makers. Celia, the mentor I recommend for bread tutorials, has a pic of them in her post. xx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The loaves look fabulous Francesca! I also have Celia’s high hydration post marked, as to date high hydration doughs have tended to make me nervous…but armed with her post and my bench scraper I will give it a go 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi, I am late to the party here, but I wanted to let you know about my experience. I have been doing sourdough for about eight years now. I bake two loaves at a time in a wide oven. One in a cheap enamel roaster and one in an heavyish Aldi aluminium roaster with a glass lid. The loaf in the enamel roaster is always about 20 % smaller than the other. I stopped using the heavy Le creuset ones ages ago, as I thought I would eventually do myself an injury.

    Liked by 1 person

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