The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Ten years ago, in October, 2008, I first converted George Greenstein's recipe for Jewish Sour Rye from volumetric to weighed ingredients. I posted my formula here, and I make this bread with some frequency. I recently noted that I apparently never did document the baker's math for this formula, which makes it more challenging to scale up or down. So, after making a 3 pound loaf of this wonderful bread today, I worked out the baker's math, and I will share it, along with a more heavily annotated set of procedures.

 

Jewish Sour Rye Bread

David Snyder

Total Dough

 

 

Ingredient

Wt (g)

Bakers' %

Medium rye flour

375

44

Bread flour*

480

56

Water

615

72

Sea salt

12

1.4

Instant yeast

7

0.8

Altus (optional)#

1/2 cup

 

Caraway seeds

1 tbsp

 

Polenta for dusting loaf bottom

1-2 tbsp

 

Cornstarch glaze #

 

 

Total

1489

174.2

* Traditionally, the wheat flour used in Jewish Sour Rye is First Clear Flour. Bread flour (13-14% protein) can be substituted. The flavor will be slightly different. If higher protein flour is used, some increase in hydration would be needed to achieve the proper dough consistently. All Purpose flour (10-11.5% protein) can also be used, but hydration may need to be decreased. See below for more details.

# See Ingredient Notes

Rye Sour (Levain)

 

 

Ingredient

Wt (g)

Bakers' %

Medium rye flour

312

100

Water

312

100

Active starter (rye or wheat), 100% hydration

126

40

Total

750

240

 

Final Dough

 

Ingredient

Wt (g)

Bread flour

480

Water

240

Sea salt

12

Instant yeast

7

Altus (optional)

1/2 cup

Rye sour

750

Caraway seeds

1 tbsp

Polenta (to dust loaf bottom)

1-2 tbsp

Total

1489

 

Procedures

  1. Two days before you are planning to bake the rye breads, active your rye sour and build it to sufficient weight, as described below.

  2. One day before you are planning to bake the rye breads, soak your altus, if using. The cornstarch glaze can be made a day or two ahead or at the last minute, while the loaves are proofing (Step 10., below).

  3. In a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, dissolve the yeast in the water, then add the rye sour and altus, if using it, and mix thoroughly with your hands, a spoon or, if using a mixer, with the paddle.

  4. Stir the salt into the flour and add this to the bowl and mix well.

  5. Dump the dough onto the lightly floured board and knead until smooth. If using a mixer, switch to the dough hook and knead at Speed 2 until the dough begins to clear the sides of the bowl (8-12 minutes). Add the Caraway Seeds about 1 minute before finished kneading. Even if using a mixer, I transfer the dough to the board and continue kneading for a couple minutes. The dough should be smooth but a bit sticky.

  6. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl and let it rest for 15-20 minutes.

  7. Transfer the dough back to the board and divide it into two equal pieces for 1.5 lb loaves. (Can be baked as one 3 lb loaf, with adjustments described below in Step 13.)

  8. Form each piece into a pan loaf, free-standing long loaf or boule.

  9. Dust a piece of parchment paper or a baking pan liberally with cornmeal, and transfer the loaves to the parchment, smooth side up, keeping them at least 3 inches apart so they do not join when risen. Alternately, transfer the formed loaves to floured bannetons/brotformen. If using a basket for proofing, place the loaves smooth side down.

  10. Cover the loaves and let them rise until double in size. (About 60-75 minutes.)

  11. Pre-heat the oven to 500ºF with a baking stone in place. Prepare your oven steaming method of choice.

  12. When the loaves are fully proofed, uncover them. Brush them with the cornstarch glaze. Score them. (3 cuts across the long axis of the loaves would be typical.) Turn down the oven to 460ºF. Transfer the loaves to the oven, and steam the oven.

  13. After 15 minutes, remove any container with water from the oven, turn down the oven to 440ºF and continue baking for 20-25 minutes more. (If baking one 3 lb loaf, turn the oven down to 425ºF rather than 440ºF and bake for another 35 minutes rather than 20-25 minutes.)

  14. The loaves are done when the crust is very firm, the internal temperature is at least 205ºF and the loaves give a “hollow” sound when thumped on the bottom.

  15. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack. Brush again with the cornstarch solution.

  16. Cool completely before slicing.


This is a 3 pound loaf, twice the size of the Jewish Sour Rye I most often make. It was made for a "deli night" at my synagogue. It should keep a good-size portion of corn beef well-contained. This bread was made with Central Milling'a Organic Medium Rye and Breadtopia's Organic High-gluten Bread Flour.

For your interest, the slices are approximately 5 inches across and 4 inches high.

Notes on Ingredients

Flours: Jewish Sour Rye Bread, often called “Deli Rye” or “New York Rye Bread,” is traditionally made with white rye flour and First Clear Flour.

White rye flour is rye flour from which the bran and the germ have been removed during milling. It is comparable to all purpose (wheat) flour. It is pretty bland in flavor, which is fine, if you don't like the flavor of rye. However, I do like rye, and I prefer to make this bread with either “Medium Rye Flour” or stone ground whole rye flour.

First Clear Flour is a wheat flour made from what's left after the central part of the endosperm has been removed. The latter is used in so-called “Patent Flour,” which is the whitest (and blandest) of wheat flours, short of the bleached varieties. First Clear was regarded as somewhat inferior to patent flour in the past and was presumably relatively inexpensive. I would guess this is why it was used by the New York Jewish Bakeries for their rye breads. First Clear Flour is more flavorful than all purpose and has more color. Its flavor is distinctive. Chemically, it is relatively high in minerals, which is a good thing for both the organisms in the rye sour and for the human consumer. It is also high in protein, although the gluten is said to be of relatively poor quality. Today, First Clear is hard to find and is costly. I find that it does contribute to the authentic Jewish Sour Rye flavor, but the difference in flavor when a white high-gluten flour is substituted is pretty small.

Altus: “Altus” comes from the German/Yiddish word for “old.” In the baking context, it refers to bread – generally rye bread – from a previous bake that is soaked in water. The absorbed water is squeezed out and the altus is incorporated into a new batch of dough.

Altus was originally a way for a baker to re-cycle bread that had not sold the day before. Bakeries had a slim profit margin, and they could not make a living if anything was wasted. However, the practice of using altus became so prevalent that the German government eventually set a limit on how much altus a loaf of bread could contain. In truth, rather than detracting from the quality of rye bread, the use of altus – at least in small proportions – actually enhances the flavor and texture of the fresh-baked loaf.

If I have part of a rye loaf that is not going to get eaten before it gets stale, I wrap it in plastic wrap, put it in a food safe plastic bag and freeze it. Then, the night before I am going to be making rye bread, I take it out of the freezer to thaw overnight. The next morning, I cut the crust off of thick slices and cut the bread into 1” cubes. I place these in a bowl and cover it with boiling water. After an hour or so, I remove the bread in handfuls, squeeze out the water and set the altus aside to incorporate into the rye bread dough I will be mixing.

Cornstarch glaze: Jewish Sour Rye Bread is customarily brushed with something before and/or after baking to make the crust shiny. It could be brushed with egg white, water or cornstarch. I think cornstarch is most common, and that is what I use.

To prepare the cornstarch glaze, whisk 1-1/2 to 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch in ¼ cup of water. Pour this slowly into a sauce pan containing 1 cup of gently boiling water, whisking constantly. Continue cooking and stirring until slightly thickened (a few seconds, only!) and remove the pan from heat. Set it aside.

Care and Feeding of a Rye Sour:

“Rye Sour” is the term used for a sourdough starter fed with rye flour. Whether you have a healthy rye sour already or are going to be making yours by converting a wheat-based sourdough stater to rye, I recommend building the sour up to sufficient quantity over three “builds.” This involves starting with a small amount of rye or wheat sourdough starter, feeding it water and fresh rye flour, letting that mix ferment, feeding it again and repeating this process a total of three times to end up with sufficient rye sour for making your rye bread dough. The rule of thumb is that, each time you feed a rye sour, you should be at least doubling its total weight. So, for example, to make the rye sour for the formula given above, I would proceed as follows:

First feeding (makes about 80g)

  1. Place 20g of rye sour (or wheat-based sourdough starter) in a small bowl.

  2. Add 30g of warm water and mix to dissolve the sour in the water.

  3. Add 30g of rye flour and mix thoroughly. This will make a fairly thick paste.

  4. Smooth the past out and cover it completely with additional rye flour sprinkled over the surface in a thin layer.

  5. Cover the bowl and let it ferment until it is ripe. The sour is “ripe” when it has increased in volume to form a shallow “dome” which pushes the dry flour on the surface apart to form widely spaced “islands.” (Depending on how active your seed sour is, this may take anywhere between 6 and 16 hours. I usually starter with a sour that hasn't been feed very recently, so it needs to be “activated” by this first feeding. I generally do this before bedtime and let it ferment overnight.)

Second feeding (makes about 280g)

  1. Transfer the rye sour into a clean, medium bowl.

  2. Add 100g of warm water and mix to dissolve the sour in the water.

  3. Add 100g of rye flour and mix thoroughly. This will make a fairly thick paste.

  4. Smooth the past out and cover it completely with additional rye flour sprinkled over the surface in a thin layer.

  5. Cover the bowl and let it ferment until it is ripe. (Since the sour is now more active, this “build” usually ripens in 6-8 hours. So, I might do this feeding in the morning and expect to do the third feeding mid-afternoon of the same day.)

Third Feeding (makes about 800g)

  1. Transfer the rye sour into a clean, large bowl.

  2. Add 260g of warm water and mix to dissolve the sour in the water.

  3. Add 260g of rye flour and mix thoroughly. This will make a fairly thick paste.

  4. Smooth the past out and cover it completely with additional rye flour sprinkled over the surface in a thin layer.

  5. Cover the bowl and let it ferment until it is ripe. (Since the sour is generally very active by now, I expect it to be ripe in 4-7 hours. If I have fed it in the mid-afternoon, it will be ripe between my dinner time and bed time. At this point, I usually refrigerate the rye sour overnight, tightly covered. This overnight “retardation” will result in more acid building up in the sour and a more sour flavor in the bread. I happen to enjoy that. If you don't like your rye bread as sour, you need to work out your feedings so the third feeding is ripe at a convenient time for you to proceed. This could include a shorter period of cold retardation, if that is more convenient for you.)

  6. You can save the leftover rye sour for the next time you bake, if you want. If so, put it in a clean small bowl with a tight-fitting cover, and keep it refrigerated. This will stay healthy for a couple weeks at least. If you want to keep it longer without using it to make bread, just do a First feeding, as described above, and refrigerate that without letting it ferment at room temperature.

Ripe Rye Sour, illustrating the dry rye flour divided into "islands" by expansion of the ripening sour.

Happy baking!

David

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Multi-grain Sourdough Bread with home-milled flour

David Snyder

August 12, 2018



Today's bake is another variation on the multi-grain sourdough breads I have been baking for the past few years. This bread differs from the one posted August 8 (See: Multi-grain sourdough bread made with home-milled flours August 8, 2018 ) in only two ways: I increased the Spelt flour from 10% to 20% and decreased the Rye flour from 17.5% to 7.5%. I also used a high-protein bread flour for all the “white” wheat flour. The increase in dough strength during bulk fermentation was noticeable, but the dough was still quite slack and sticky.

Total Dough

 

 

Ingredient

Wt (g)

Bakers' %

Bread Flour (hi protein)

600

60

Whole Wheat flour

125

12.5

Whole Rye flour

75

7.5

Whole Spelt flour

200

20

Water

830

83

Salt

21

2.1

Total

1851

185.1

 

Levain

 

 

Ingredient

Wt (g)

Bakers' %

Bread flour (hi protein)

144

75

Whole Wheat flour

36

25

Water

144

75

Active starter

36

25

Total

360

200

  1. Dissolve the starter in the water. Add the flours and mix thoroughly.

  2. Transfer to a clean container, cover and ferment until ripe (6 hours for me.) If you don't use it immediately, it can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Final Dough

 

Ingredient

Wt (g)

Bread flour (high protein)

440

Whole Wheat flour

85

Whole Rye flour

75

Whole Spelt flour

200

Water (85-95ºF)

670

Salt

21

Active levain

360

Total

1851


Procedures

  1. Mix the flours with the water to a shaggy mass.

  2. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 45-120 minutes. (Autolyse)

  3. Sprinkle the salt over the dough surface and add the levain in 4 to 6 portions.

  4. Mix thoroughly. (I start by folding in the salt and levain with a silicon spatula. Then, I use the method Forkish specifies – squeezing the dough between my fingers alternating with stretch and folds in the bowl. I wear a food service grade glove and dip my working hand frequently in water.)

  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled, clean bowl large enough to accommodate doubling in volume. Cover well.

  6. Ferment at 80ºF for 2.5 – 3.5 hours with stretch and folds every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours. The dough should have nearly doubled in volume and be quite puffy.

  7. Transfer the dough to a well-floured board. It will be quite sticky and needs to be handled quickly with well-floured hands, helped by a bench knife.

  8. Divide the dough as desired and pre-shape in rounds. Cover with a cloth and let rest for 20-30 minutes.

  9. Shape as boules or bâtards and place in floured bannetons. Place these in food-grade plastic bags sealed with ties and let proof for 30-60 minutes at room temperature. Refrigerate 8 hours or up to 36 hours at 40ºF.

  10. The next day, pre-heat oven. Let the loaves sit at room temperature while the oven pre-heats. You can bake on a baking stone ,with steam for the first part of the bake, or in Dutch ovens, as you prefer. The oven temperature and length of the bake will depend on which of these methods you choose and on the weight and shape of your loaves, as well as on how dark you prefer your crust. When done, the loaves should sound hollow when thumped on their bottoms. The internal temperature should be at least 105ºF.

  11. Let the loves cool completely on a rack for 1-2 hours before slicing.

These loaves were baked in Cast Iron Dutch ovens at 475ºF for 30 minutes covered, then 20 minutes un-covered.

Oh, my! This is the best of the current series. The crust is crunchy. The crumb is tender but slightly chewy. As expected, the crumb is more open than that of the breads with more rye. I suspect the higher gluten flour contributed to the good oven spring and open crumb as well. The flavor is assertively sour with a nice balance, leaning toward the acetic acid side. It is not so assertive that is swamps the nice, mellow wheaty flavors however. This one is a keeper.

Happy baking!

David

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dmsnyder

Multi-grain Sourdough Bread with home-milled flour

David Snyder

August 8, 2018



Today's bake is another variation on the multi-grain sourdough breads I have been baking for the past few years. This one has a bit more whole grain flour – 40% versus 30%. Some fresh-milled spelt was substituted for some AP flour. The whole grain flours were milled in a MockMill 100, just before mixing. Because of the higher percentage whole grain flour, I also bumped the hydration up from 78 to 83%.

 

Total Dough

 

 

Ingredient

Wt (g)

Bakers' %

Bread Flour

600

60

Whole Wheat flour

125

12.5

Whole Rye flour

175

17.5

Whole Spelt flour

100

10

Water

830

83

Salt

21

2.1

Total

1851

185.1

 

Levain

 

 

Ingredient

Wt (g)

Bakers' %

Bread flour (hi protein)

144

75

Whole Wheat flour

36

25

Water

144

75

Active starter

36

25

Total

360

200

  1. Dissolve the starter in the water. Add the flours and mix thoroughly.

  2. Transfer to a clean container, cover and ferment until ripe (6 hours for me.) If you don't use it immediately, it can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.



Final Dough

 

Ingredient

Wt (g)

Bread flour (AP)

440

Whole Wheat flour

85

Whole Rye flour

175

Whole Spelt flour

100

Water (85-95ºF)

670

Salt

21

Active levain

360

Total

1851

 

Procedures

  1. Mix the flours with the water to a shaggy mass.

  2. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 45-120 minutes. (Autolyse)

  3. Sprinkle the salt over the dough surface and add the levain in 4 to 6 portions.

  4. Mix thoroughly. (I start by folding in the salt and levain with a silicon spatula. Then, I use the method Forkish specifies – squeezing the dough between my fingers alternating with stretch and folds in the bowl. I wear a food service grade glove and dip my working hand frequently in water.)

  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled, clean bowl large enough to accommodate doubling in volume. Cover well.

  6. Ferment at 80ºF for 2.5 – 3.5 hours with stretch and folds every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours. The dough should have nearly doubled in volume and be quite puffy.

  7. Transfer the dough to a well-floured board. It will be quite sticky and needs to be handled quickly with well-floured hands, helped by a bench knife.

  8. Divide the dough as desired and pre-shape in rounds. Cover with a cloth and let rest for 20-30 minutes.

  9. Shape as boules or bâtards and place in floured bannetons. Place these in food-grade plastic bags sealed with ties and let proof for 30-60 minutes at room temperature. Refrigerate 8 hours or up to 36 hours at 40ºF.

  10. The next day, pre-heat the oven. Let the loaves sit at room temperature while the oven pre-heats. You can bake on a baking stone, with steam for the first part of the bake, or in Dutch ovens, as you prefer. The oven temperature and length of the bake will depend on which of these methods you choose and on the weight and shape of your loaves, as well as on how dark you prefer your crust. When done, the loaves should sound hollow when thumped on their bottoms. The internal temperature should be at least 105ºF.

  11. Let the loves cool completely on a rack for 1-2 hours before slicing.

These loaves were baked in Cast Iron Dutch ovens at 475ºF for 30 minutes covered, then 20 minutes un-covered.

I tasted this bread about 6 hours after baking. It had a wonderful aroma. The crust was crunchy. The crumb was nicely aerated. It had a cool mouth feel. It was mildly chewy. It tasted moderately sour with a complex flavor and some grassiness. I expect it to mellow considerably by tomorrow.

Addendum 8/9/2018: As expected, after a day, the flavors have melded. It was good freshly cooled. It is significantly better a day later. In fact, it's pretty wonderful. I think the 40% whole grain mix is a "sweet spot." I'm going to be playing with the proportions of the different grains. My expectation is they will all be delicious.

Happy baking!

David

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It's been a while since I have blogged here, but I have been baking. In the past couple weeks, I have actually baked some new stuff that I think is worth sharing.

First, I am still stuck on Ken Forkish's "Field Blend #2." This is a mixed grain sourdough with about 40% whole grains. I have been home-milling the whole grains since I got my MockMill and appreciating the results. Forkish's formula calls for some whole wheat and more whole rye. I love this particular mix, but I have substituted Kamut for some or all of the rye at times. All the breads have been good. So far, I like the original blend best. Here is one of the most recent bakes:

------------------------------

At the end of last month, I had made a 90% rye bread. I had rye sour left over, and I hadn't made Jewish Sour Rye for a while, so I did. I think they came out well.

-------------------------------

I have been sharing some loaves with neighbors and with a committee I am on that meets weekly. The loaves I keep for my wife and myself may not get completely consumed before they get a bit dry. We have a number of favorite uses for dry bread. One of them is Salmon Cakes that my wife makes. They are super-delish, both hot out of the pan and cold out of the fridge the next day. 

-------------------------

I have been wanting to make pizza for weeks, but it just wasn't happening. One morning, I decided I had to "just do it." I had been making sourdough pizza crust with varying results for the past few years. This time, I decided to go in somewhat the opposite direction. I made the dough using Ken Forkish's "Same Day" pizza dough from FWSY. I used 25% Caputo 00 and 75% "Bread flour." Okay ... I am passionate about sourdough baking, but, I must say, this made one of the best pizzas I've had not made in a wood-fired oven.

The toppings were our current favorite combination: Tomato sauce with garlic and oregano, mozzarella, caramelized red onions finished with balsamic vinegar, Italian sausage and mushrooms. Parmesan, fresh basil leaves, pepper flakes and EVOO after baking.

I made enough dough for 4 pizzas. My wife and I ate one. Another was frozen for future lunches. The other two dough balls sat in the fridge for a couple day, just growing and growing. So, I made a focaccia with fresh rosemary and garlic and coarse sea salt. It was awfully good for white bread and made a nice sandwich with Adell's smoked chicken/apple sausage.

Although I have been home milling at least some of the flour in almost all of my baking for the past few months, I had yet to make a bread with the majority of the flour fresh-milled until today. Today's baked was, again, from FWSY - a 75% whole wheat levain. Now, many of the FWSY breads I like call for spiking with instant yeast. I typically leave it out. For this bake, the formula called for just a tiny bit of instant yeast, and I thought "why not?" Well, even with no proofing except at 40ºF in the fridge, the loaves over-proofed. So oven spring and bloom were modest. The crumb structure remained good, and the flavor is lovely. I'll be making this bread again, but leave out the IY next time for sure!

----------------------

That's what I've been baking for the past few days. We're planning to spend most of the rest of July - the hottest month of the year where we live - in cooler climes. (Bach Festival in Carmel and Giant's games in San Francisco.) Hope you all are coping well with the weather where you live!

Happy baking!

David

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dmsnyder

A couple more of my current favorite multi-grain sourdough breads. These were baked in cast iron Dutch ovens.

Happy baking!

David

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dmsnyder

“White-Wheat Blend” from Chad Robertson’s “Tartine No. 3” Book

David Snyder

January, 2018

 At the time I was taking workshops at the San Francisco Baking Institute, almost 10 years ago now, the founder and director of the institute, Michel Suas, gave an interview for some periodical. He was asked what he thought the next trend in bread baking would be. As I recall, his confident answer was “ancient grains.” Back then, the SFBI was using whole wheat in a few breads and high-extraction flours in miches, at least. I don’t recall any West Coast bakers selling breads with spelt, Kamut, emmer or einkorn at that time. I first heard of spelt from janedo onThe Fresh Loaf. Of course, I subsequently learned that spelt (“épeutre” in French, “dinkel” in German), at least, was in fairly common use in France and Germany. Time has proven Michel Suas correct. Chad Robertson’s second bread baking book describes his quest to learn more about using whole grains and ancient grains to make bread that exploits their unique flavors and nutritional advantages. 

The breads in “Tartine No. 3” are made using the same basic techniques as described in “Tartine No. 2.” Most are made with high-extraction and whole grain flours and with blends of three or more flours. There are a couple changes in technique, or at least emphasis from Tartine No. 2 to Tartine No. 3. First, Robertson has  become a fan of prolonged autolyse. He specifies a minimum of 30 minutes but clearly prefers a longer time - overnight for many breads. This is even more interesting when you realize he includes the levain in his "autolyse" mix. Second, he has increased the preferred bulk fermentation temperature from 78-82 dF to 80-85 dF. 

I have blogged about my first bake from this book - the 60% Kamut bread. This blog entry is about my second bake: The first recipe in the book, which Robertson calls “White-Wheat Blend (Ode to Bourdon).” Bourdon being Richard Bourdon, the Berkshire mountains baker with whole Robertson apprenticed after graduating from culinary school and before moving to California.

This bread is made with a blend of 50% high-extraction wheat flour, 25% whole-grain wheat flour and 25% White whole wheat flour. The flours I used were Central Milling Organic Malted T70 flour, home-milled Red Turkey Wheat flour and King Arthur Flour White Whole Wheat flour. It also includes 7% wheat germ. The dough is 86% hydration (calculated by including the flour and the water in the levain). For this bake, I bulk fermented the dough at 85 dF in my Brød & Taylor proofing box. It developed quickly and well. Bulk fermentation was about 3 1/2 hours. It was cold retarded for about 10 hours and baked in a Lodge Combo Cooker.

Because of the high percentage of whole grain flour, the dough is just a bit sticky - rather well-behaved, if the gluten is well-developed. With gentle handling, the resulting crumb is quite open for a bread with so much whole wheat. The flavor is delightful - wheaty, nutty, mildly sour and not at all grassy. 

 

Happy New Year and Happy baking!

David

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This is my first venture into baking with Kamut. It won't be my last. Kamut is a copyrighted name for Khorasan wheat which is an "ancient grain" - one of the ancestors of modern durum wheat. Like durum, it is a large berry that is yellowish in color and, when used in high percentages, gives a yellowish color to the bread's crumb. It is claimed that individuals who cannot tolerate the commonly available modern hybrid wheat can tolerate breads made with ancient grains (eikorn, emmer, khorasan).

Kamut is very high in protein, but not in gluten. It absorbs a lot of water, particularly when used as a whole grain flour. The resulting dough benefits from high hydration and from a longer than normal autolyse.

This bread is said to be 85% hydration. In fact, because Chad Robertson does not account for the water in his liquid starter when calculating baker's percentages, the hydration is a bit higher. This dough is 60% whole grain Kamut. (I used freshly milled flour.) It also calls for another 20% high-extraction flour. (I used Central Milling's T85 Organic flour). Yet, the dough was delightful to handle. It was tacky but not sticky and very extensible. The loaf's crumb is airy, light, cool and tender. The flavor when freshly cooled was not very different from a bread made with common red hard Winter wheat, to my taste. My experience with similar breads is that their flavor evolves over the first 2 or 3 days, though. So, we'll see.

How about some photos?

The bread was very nice for lunch with a lettuce salad with Point Reyes blue cheese, toasted pecans and comice pear.

When I was working on my Pane di Altamura, I made several loaves with 100% fine durum flour and a durum-fed starter. I plan on trying a bread with 100% Kamut. I'm thinking a Greek Pan di Horiadeki.

Happy baking!

David

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Sourdough Italian Bread: A SJSD Variant 

David M. Snyder

October, 2017

 

 This is one of my favorite breads. It uses the San Joaquin Sourdough method but a different flour mix and enrichment with a bit of sugar and olive oil. The dough is lovely to work with, and the flavor is scrumptious - both very tangy and rich. I have made a variety of breads with differing proportions of fine durum flour - from 10% to 100%. So far, I like the breads with 20-40% durum best, and this one best of all.

 One warning: I have fed this bread to family members and to attendees at an Italian community potluck. Every time, I have observed many individuals coming back repeatedly for "just one more slice." It does not seem truly addictive. I have not observed any abstinence syndrome ("withdrawal"), but I would exercise caution when offering it to others - reserve a loaf for yourself. 

 

Total Dough

 

 

Ingredient

Amount (gms)

Bakers' %

AP flour

334

60.7

Fine Durum flour

200

36.4

WW flour

11

2

Whole Rye flour

5

1

Water

415

75

Salt

10

1.8

Sugar

14

2.5

EVOO

14

2.5

Total

1003

181.9

  

Liquid Levain

 

 

Ingredient

Amount (gms)

Bakers' %

Liquid starter

40

40

Water

100

100

AP flour

70

70

WW flour

20

20

Whole Rye flour

10

10

Total

240

240

  1. Disperse the liquid starter in the water.

  2. Add the flours and mix thoroughly.

  3. Ferment at room temperature until expanded and bubbly (8-12 hours). If necessary, refrigerate overnight and let warm up for an hour before using.

Note: You will only use 100 g of the levain for this recipe. I usually make enough for more than one use. You can, of course, scale down the levain ingredients if you only want enough for this recipe.

 

Final Dough

 

Ingredient

Amount (gms)

AP flour

300

Fine Durum flour

200

Water

365

Salt

10

Sugar

14

Active liquid levain

100

EVOO

14

Total

1003

Procedures

  1. In a large bowl, disperse the levain in the water.

  2. Add the flours and sugar to the liquid and mix to a shaggy mass.

  3. Cover the bowl and let it rest for 20-60 minutes.

  4. Add the salt and olive oil and mix thoroughly. (Note: I squish the dough with my hands until it comes back together, then do stretch and folds in the bowl until it forms a smooth ball and the oil appears completely incorporated.)

  5. Transfer the dough to a 2 quart lightly oiled bowl, and cover the bowl tightly.

  6. After 30 minutes, do stretch and folds in the bowl.

  7. After another 50 minutes, do a stretch and fold on a lightly floured board. Repeat after another 50 minutes.

  8. Continue bulk fermentation for another 30-90 minutes, until the dough is puffy. If fermented in a glass bowl, you should see lots of little bubbles throughout the dough. Volume of the dough may have increased by 50% or so.

  9. Refrigerate for 12-36 hours.

  10. Divide the dough into 2 to 4 equal pieces and pre-shape as rounds or logs. Cover with a clean towel, baker's linen or plasti-crap and let rest for one hour.

  11. Shape as Bâtards, Demi-Baguettes or Ficelles.

  12. Roll the loaves on damp paper towels, then in a tray of sesame seeds. Alternatively, you can brush the loaves with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

  13. Proof for about 45 minutes seam-side up on parchment paper or seam-side down on linen, pleated to separate the loaves and supported at both long sides by rolled-up dish towels. Cover with a damp towel, baker's linen or plasti-crap.

  14. One hour before baking, pre-heat the oven to 480ºF with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  15. When ready to bake, uncover the loaves. Pull the parchment (or linen) from both long sides to flatten out the pleats and separate the loaves.

  16. Transfer the loaves, on the parchment, to a peel, or, if proofed on linen, transfer using a transfer peel. Seam side should now be down. Score them as baguettes or bâtards, according to their shape. Transfer them to the baking stone. 

  17. Steam the oven, and turn the temperature down to 460ºF.

  18. After 12 minutes, remove the steaming apparatus. (Note: If you have a convection oven, switch to convection bake and turn the oven down to 435ºF for the remainder of the bake.) Continue baking for another 8-15 minutes or until the loaves are nicely browned and the internal temperature is at least 205ºF.

  19. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack. Cool completely before eating.

 

Enjoy!

David

 

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dmsnyder

San Joaquin Sourdough Two Ways

David Snyder

September 28 and October 2, 2017

 

Background

My San Joaquin Sourdough originated in Anis Bouabsa's baguettes which had won the prize for the best baguette in Paris in 2008. Bouabsa's baguettes departed from convention in utilizing a 21 hour retardation after bulk fermentation and before dividing and shaping. Jane Stewart (Janedo on TFL) and I initially modified Bouabsa's formula by adding a bit of rye flour and some sourdough starter for flavor. I then omitted the commercial yeast altogether and began using the modified formula to shape as bâtards. Over time, I have tweaked the formula and method in various ways, but have settled on the current one as providing the best product.

I most often make my San Joaquin Sourdough as bâtards of about 490 g, but I have used the same dough for baguettes quite often. I have also modified the formula in minor ways to make an “Italian bread,” and have used it for pizza too.

This week, I made two batches of San Joaquin Sourdough. One I used for bâtards. The other I made as “pains rustiques.”

Professor Raymond Calvel, the renowned French baking teacher and bread scientist, was the man who taught Julia Child to bake “French Bread,” the author of “Le Gout du Pain” and the inventor of the autolyse. Shortly before his passing in 2005, Professor Calvel visited the United States and taught at the Culinary Institute of America in upstate New York. The C.I.A. and the Bread Baker's Guild of America produced a series of videos which included interviews with Professor Calvel and documentation of his baguette formula and methods. These were available for downloading and also as VHS tapes at one time. Now, they are available on youtube. They are well-worth viewing for any serious baker.

On one of the tapes, almost as an aside, the narrator said Professor Calvel's personal favorite bread was what he called “Pain Rustique.” He made this with baguette dough, but, rather than shaping it in the traditional manner, the dough is simply cut into rectangular pieces with a bench knife, proofed and baked. I made this bread once a number of years ago, and it was very nice. It was similar to ciabatta in that it was very puffy with large air pockets.

Today, I made a variation on pain rustique, using San Joaquin Sourdough dough and methods, except for the shaping. Note: The formula used for these pains rustique was actually only 72% hydration. Based on my results, I would increase the hydration to 76% hydration (as in the formula below) or even higher for my next bake of this bread.

Formula 

Total ingredients

Wt (g)

Bakers %

AP Flour

479

89

WW Flour

33

6

Medium rye Flour

29

5

Water

412

76

Salt

10

1.8

Liquid starter

17

3

Total

990

180.8

9.2% of the flour is pre-fermented


Liquid Levain ingredients

Wt (g)

Bakers %

AP Flour

29

70

WW Flour

8

20

Medium rye Flour

4

10

Water

42

100

Liquid starter

17

40

Total

100

240

 1. Mix the levain by dissolving the liquid starter in the water, then add the flours and mix well.

2. Ferment at room temperature, covered tightly, until the surface is bubbly and wrinkled. (8-12 hours)

 

Final dough ingredients

Wt (g)

AP Flour

450

WW Flour

25

Medium rye Flour

25

Water

370

Salt

10

Liquid levain

100

Total

990

 

Method

  1. Dissolve the levain in the water, add the flours and mix to a shaggy mass. Cover and autolyse for 30 minutes.

  2. Add the salt and mix to incorporate.

  3. Transfer to a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly.

  4. Bulk ferment for 3-4 hours with stretch and folds in the bowl every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours, then a stretch and fold on the board after 2.5 hours. The dough should have expanded by about 50% and be full of small bubbles.

  5. Refrigerate the dough for 18-24 hours.

  6. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and transfer it to a lightly floured board.

    For Pains Rustiques

  7. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces and pre-shape as logs or round.

  8. Cover the pieces and allow them to rest for 60 minutes.

  9. Stretch each piece to a rectangle 8-12 inches long, depending on the weight of each piece.

  10. Proof for 45 minutes, covered.

  11. Pre-heat the oven to 500ºF with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  12. Transfer the loaves to your peel. Turn down the oven to 480ºF. Score the loaves, if desired, and load them onto your baking stone.

  13. Bake with steam for 10 minutes, then remove your steaming apparatus and continue to bake for another 10-12 minutes.

  14. Remove the loaves to a cooling rack, and cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.

 

For Bâtards

  1. Divide the dough into two equal pieces.

  2. Pre-shape as rounds, cover and let rest for 1 hour.

  3. Shape as bâtards.

  4. Proof on linen or parchment, smooth side down for 45 minutes.

  5. Pre-heat oven to 500ºF with baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  6. Turn down oven to 460ºF.

  7. Transfer loaves to peel.

  8. Steam oven and transfer loaves to th baking stone.

  9. After 12 minutes, remove steaming apparatus.

  10. (If you have a convection oven, turn switch to convection bake and turn the temperature down to 435ºF). Bake for 18 minutes more in a dry oven.

  11. Transfer loaves to a cooling rack and let cool thoroughly before slicing.

Photo Gallery

San Joaquin Sourdough Pain Rustique

 

SJSD dough, fully fermented and ready to divide

Dough divided for Pains Rustiques

Pre-shaped

Shaped and proofed, ready to bake

SJSD Pains Rustique - some unscored, others scored in various ways.

 

San Joaquin Sourdough Pain Rustique crumb

San Joaquin Sourdough Bâtards

Pre-shaped piece

Shaped loaves proofing

Loaves proofed and ready to bake

San Joaquin Sourdough Bâtards

San Joaquin Sourdough Crumb

Enjoy!

David

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dmsnyder

This week, I baked another dried fruit and toasted nut sourdough bread. I really like the combination of eathiness from the nuts and the sweet tanginess of the pieces of dried fruit. The nut flavors seem to permeate the crumb while the fruit yields surprising little explosions of tartness when you bite into a bit.

I have baked cherry-pecan sourdoughs several times, but this is the first time I based one on Hamelman's "Fig-Hazelnut Levain." It is very good and was a big hit at a pot luck to which I took it. I think it could be improved though with a bit more hydration and the addition of some rye and more whole wheat. 

Here are some photos:

Happy baking!

David

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