I have never baked and had no idea how complicated sourdough bread is. So after failing multiple times I figured I should make any bread first. So I made a honey wheat bread, nailed it, and went right back to fiddling with sourdough.
The main issue, I believe, was I didn’t maintain my starter that I made successfully. So I listened to a podcast on sourdough, got a discard starter from buy nothing, and went to work.
I didn’t have a Dutch oven so I followed a YouTube video of a baker who started making bread at home during covid times without his professional kitchen. His advice was to use two baking sheets with one filled with ice on the bottom and to spray the bread with water as well.
It worked! It was flatter and the crust was not crispy but it was edible, unlike before.
I don’t like to waste anything so I make the discard into pizza dough (mediocre) or crackers (delicious).
I was able to make delicious bread on the inside but the outside was burnt and thick, not flakey like it’s supposed to be!
So I finally bought the $40 Dutch oven my cousin recommended and… it’s amazing!!!
I got to add more water (hydration) for fluffier bread with more wheat (I’m doing 50-70% whole wheat) and and it makes a great big round loaf. My folding got better too to make it rounder as well (I told you it was complicated).