Sourdough Home

Thank you Mike, your site has given me so much help. It is clear, intelligent and most importantly, not scary. Your site pushed me to take the plunge into pain au levain. I cannot tell you how much enjoyment I get out of the magic of baking bread.

— -comment from a website visitor

Welcome to the Sourdough Home Test Labs

Maybe it's my background as a network manager. Maybe it's my recent past as a product tester and reviewer for a number of computer magazines. But, I just can't take much on faith. If you tell me a certain flour is the best flour, I have to try it. If you tell me your San Francisco Sourdough Bread recipe is awesome, I have to try it.

So, I've started doing tests. The first test is the flour test. My feeling at the outset is that I won't find a flour that is "the best". I may find a flour that is the best for a type of bread. But time will tell.

Once we run through some of the more common flours, and some of the more popular flours with hobbyist and artisan bakers, we'll move on to testing other things.

We've done a followup on five special flours, where we made 10 different loaves.

We've looked at the very nice Brød And Taylor Folding Proofer.

We did a fairly deep dive into grain mills, though we'd love to look at more of them.

We're taking a look at English Muffin and San Francisco Sourdough Bread recipes, but that is in a holding pattern until after the revised web page goes live.

We have closed the flour tests, at least for now. Our feeling is that the flour tests served their purpose - they are useful to bakers. We also learned enough in the time when we were running the bakery that we feel that we need to re-design the flour tests to make them more meaningful, so if we re-start the flour tests, it will be with a different, and more rigorous, methodology.

We are gathering recipes now to embark on tests of sourdough muffin and San Francisco style sourdough breads. As we've said before, watch this space....

If you have comments, suggestions, or heckling about the flour testing, please drop me a note from the "Contact Us" page.