Sourdough bread and new equipment

I made a sourdough loaf yesterday using a couple of new bits of equipment for the first time. Asked what I wanted for a recent birthday, I chose a proving basket and a peel, as you do. I thought a proving basket would help achieve a better shaped loaf and a peel would help keep that shape when transferring to the oven. It worked, to a point, this is how the loaf turned out:

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The rise is better with the basket there is no question of that, but the basket is a little on the small size. It’s 1kg size so I thought it would be fine, just had no idea that the loafs I make are bigger. Never really thought to weigh them. Once done, we eat one half and freeze the other – making sourdough requires a time commitment that I don’t have every week. And the slight kidney shape, it took a little time to get the dough off the peel – something I’ll need practice with. In my excitement, I also totally forgot to slash the dough before it went into the oven. Overall, am pleased with the result. Here is the loaf cut in half:

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The peel will be handy for making better pizzas and I definitely want to do more of those. I also want to use sourdough for pizza instead of yeast. Dan Lepard gives a method in Short and Sweet. Experimenting with sourdough hot cross buns this Easter – we had the last ones for breakfast this morning, toasted with butter, they lasted so well, has made me a little bit more brave. Am very interested to see what sort of ingredients you can add to sourdough – expect you can make all sorts of buns and yeasted cakes with it too, you just need to give it time.

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