The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

dmsnyder's blog

  • Pin It
dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I almost decided not to bake this past weekend, but I activated some starter, thinking I might make some sourdough pancakes for breakfast Sunday. But, then, there was this starter, and I thought maybe I'd bake something or other. Well, I might as well have some fresh-baked bread for Sunday dinner, and it had been a while since I'd given a loaf to my next door neighbor who really appreciates my breads. I guessed I'd make some San Francisco-style sourdough to share.

I didn't want to be completely tied to the time-demands of my dough, so I relaxed the rigorous procedures with which I had been working to accommodate the other things I wanted to do. I expected the bread to be “good” but maybe not quite as good as last week's bake.

To my surprise and delight, the bread turned out to be the best San Francisco-style sourdough I had ever baked. So I am documenting what I did and hope it's reproducible. And I'm sharing it with you all. The modifications in my procedures were determined by convenience of the moment. This was sort of “a shot in the dark that hit the bullseye.”

So, here are the formula and procedures for this bake:

I started with my stock refrigerated 50% starter that had been fed last weekend. This feeding consisted of 50 g active starter, 100 g water and 200 g starter feeding mix. My starter feeding mix is 70% AP, 20% WW and 10% whole rye flour.

I activated the starter with a feeding of 40 g stock starter, 100 g water and 100 g starter feeding mix. This was fermented at room temperature for 16 hours, then refrigerated for about 20 hours. I then mixed the stiff levain.

Stiff levain

Bakers' %

Wt (g)

for 1 kg

Wt (g)

for 2 kg

Bread flour

95

78

157

Medium rye flour

5

4

8

Water

50

41

82

Stiff starter

80

66

132

Total

230

189

379

  1.  Dissolve the starter in the water. Add the flour and mix thoroughly until the flour has been completely incorporated and moistened.

  2. Ferment at room temperature for 16 hours.

Final dough

Bakers' %

Wt (g)

for 1 kg

Wt (g)

for 2 kg

AP flour

90

416

832

WW Flour

10

46

92

Water

73

337

675

Salt

2.4

11

22

Stiff levain

41

189

379

Total

216.4

953

2000

Method

  1. In a stand mixer, mix the flour and water at low speed until it forms a shaggy mass.

  2. Cover and autolyse for 120 minutes

  3. Add the salt and levain and mix at low speed for 1-2 minutes, then increase the speed to medium (Speed 2 in a KitchenAid) and mix for 5 minutes. Add flour and water as needed. The dough should be rather slack. It should clean the sides of the bowl but not the bottom.

  4. Transfer to a lightly floured board and do a stretch and fold and form a ball.

  5. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly.

  6. Ferment at 76º F for 31/2 to 4 hours with a stretch and fold at 50 and 100 minutes.

  7. Divide the dough into three equal pieces. (Note: I had made 2 kg of dough.)

  8. Pre-shape as rounds and rest, covered, for 10 minutes.

  9. Shape as boules or bâtards and place in bannetons. Place bannetons in plastic bags.

  10. Proof at room temperature (68-70º F) for 1-2 hours.

  11. Cold retard the loaves overnight.

  12. The next morning, proof the loaves at 85º F for 3 hours. (If you can't create a moist, 85 degree F environment, at least try to create one warmer than “room temperature.” For this bake, I took two loaves out of the fridge and started proofing them. I took the third loaf out about an hour later and stacked it balanced on top of the other two. I did one bake with the first two loaves and a second bake with the third loaf.)

  13. 45-60 minutes before baking, pre-heat the oven to 480º F with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  14. Transfer the loaves to a peel. Score the loaves as desired, turn down the oven to 460º F, steam the oven, and transfer the loaves to the baking stone.

  15. After 15 minutes, remove the steaming apparatus, and turn down the oven to 435º F/Convection. (If you don't have a convection oven, leave the temperature at 460º F.)

  16. Bake for another 15 minutes.

  17. Turn off the oven, and leave the loaves on the stone, with the oven door ajar, for another 15 minutes.

  18. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack, and cool thoroughly before slicing.

 

Note: Because these loaves were smaller than those baked in “Take 3,” the oven temperature was hotter , and the baking time was shorter. I also wanted a slightly darker crust, which this modification accomplished.

The crust was thick and very crunchy but not “hard.” The crumb was more open than my last bake. The crust had a sweet, nutty flavor. The crumb had sweetness with a definite whole grain wheat overtone and a more pronounced acetic acid tang. It had a wonderful cool mouth feel and was a bit more tender than the last bake.

This bread was close in flavor and texture to the best tasting bread I've ever had which was a half kilo of pain de campagne cut from an absolutely huge miche in Les Eyzies, France some 15 years ago. It's a taste I've never forgotten and often wished I could reproduce.

I need to make me a miche like this!

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I haven't baked anything but some of my personal "comfort food" breads for the past few weeks. These are just good almost any way - plain, with butter, toasted with almond butter and apricot preserves, French toast, as garlic bread, for panini ....

Hamelman's Pain au Levain

Hamelman's Pain au Levain crumb

SFBI Miche (made with half AP flour and half CM Organic Type 85)

SFBI Miche profile

SFBI Miche crumb

We have been enjoying them all week.

David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I made two 1 kg boules of my San Francisco-Style Sourdough Bread this weekend. (For the formula, see: My San Francisco Sourdough Quest, Take 3) The formula and procedures were little changed. Some of the fermentation and retardation times and temperatures were changed slightly to fit into the times I (and the oven) had free, but the dough always had the final say as to when it was ready for the next step. 

These loaves were proofed in linen-lined bannetons. Overnight cold retarding was done after dividing and shaping a well-fermented dough. Final proof was for about 3 hours at temperatures varying from 68 to 85 degrees F, mostly at the higher temperature. (I baked each loaf seperately, so I had to use variations in temperature to have the second loaf at just the right degree of proofing when the oven was free and re-heated after baking the first loaf.  If you are curious, the loaf on the right was the first one baked.

I scored with a diamond pattern this week, rather than the square pattern of previous weeks' bakes. The loaves were baked at 450 degrees F for 45 minutes, the first 15 minutes with steam.

This weekend's mix had about 1% more whole wheat. I think I can see the effect of even this very small modification in the crumb, and I thought the flavor of the whole wheat came through a bit more. This bread was less like a 1960's-type San Francisco Sourdough and more like a French Pain de Campagne.

The crust was nice and crunchy. The crumb was cool and moderately chewy with a nice complex flavor and moderate sourdough tang.

David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Baguettes made with San Francisco Sourdough dough

I do like sourdough baguettes. Since I'd developed a San Francisco-style Sourdough bread I was happy with, I decided to make some baguettes with this dough. I made one kg of dough and shaped half of it as a boule which was retarded overnight before baking. I divided the other half into two 250 g pieces and shaped them as baguettes, proofed them and baked them without retarding at 460 degrees F for 22 minutes. See my recent blog entries for the formula and procedures. (My San Francisco Sourdough Quest, Take 3

Baguettes on the peel, ready to score and load

Scored baguette, ready to load and bake

Baked baguette, cooling

Baguette crumb

The crust was slightly crunchy and chewy. The crumb was chewy with a nice flavor and a mild sourdough tang. These are definitely worth making again. Next time, I think I'll retard the shaped baguettes and also try baking at a slightly higher temperature to get a darker, crunchier crust.

The boule also turned out nicely, shown here with "a supporting cast" of San Joaquin Sourdough bâtards.

David

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

San Francisco-style Sourdough Bread 2/12/2012

Today, I baked two more loaves of my evolving San Francisco-style Sourdough bread. (See: My San Francisco Sourdough Quest and My San Francisco Sourdough Quest, Take 2)

The only change in the formula was to double the amount of dough, so each loaf was twice the weight of those previously baked. As those who have followed this adventure may note, there were also some minor changes in the procedures. The only really important one was to bake the breads at a lower temperature for a longer time, as an accommodation to their larger mass.

Those who have asked for ingredient weights in metric measures will be happy to note that weights are now given in grams.

So, here are the formula and procedures for today's bake. I have adjusted the tables below for 1 kg and for a 2 kg batch of dough.

 

Stiff levain

Bakers' %

Wt (g)

for 1 kg

Wt (g)

for 2 kg

Bread flour

95

78

157

Medium rye flour

5

4

8

Water

50

41

82

Stiff starter

80

66

132

Total

230

189

379

  1. Dissolve the starter in the water. Add the flour and mix thoroughly until the flour has been completely incorporated and moistened.

  2. Ferment at room temperature for 6 hours.

  3. Cold retard overnight.

  4. The next day, take the levain out of the refrigerator and ferment at 76 degrees F for another 1-2 hours. The levain is ready when it has expanded about 3 times, and the surface is wrinkled (starting to collapse).

    Final dough

    Bakers' %

    Wt (g)

    for 1 kg

    Wt (g)

    for 2 kg

    AP flour

    90

    416

    832

    WW Flour

    10

    46

    92

    Water

    73

    337

    675

    Salt

    2.4

    11

    22

    Stiff levain

    41

    189

    379

    Total

    216.4

    953

    2000

     

    Method

  1. In a stand mixer, mix the flour and water at low speed until it forms a shaggy mass.

  2. Cover and autolyse for 20-60 minutes

  3. Add the salt and levain and mix at low speed for 1-2 minutes, then increase the speed to medium (Speed 2 in a KitchenAid) and mix for 5 minutes. Add flour and water as needed. The dough should be rather slack. It should clean the sides of the bowl but not the bottom.

  4. Transfer to a lightly floured board and do a stretch and fold and form a ball.

  5. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly.

  6. Ferment at 76º F for 3 hours with a stretch and fold at 1 hour.

  7. Divide the dough into two equal pieces.

  8. Pre-shape as rounds and rest, covered, for 10 minutes.

  9. Shape as boules or bâtards and place in bannetons. Place bannetons in plastic bags.

  10. Proof at room temperature (68-70º F) for 1-2 hours.

  11. Cold retard the loaves overnight.

  12. The next morning, proof the loaves at 85º F for 2-3 hours. (This is ideal, in my opinion. If you can't create a moist, 85 degree F environment, at least try to create one warmer than “room temperature.” For this bake, one loaf proofed at about 76 degrees and the other at 85 degrees F.)

  13. 45-60 minutes before baking, pre-heat the oven to 480º F with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  14. Transfer the loaves to a peel. Score the loaves as desired, turn down the oven to 440º F, and transfer them to the baking stone.

  15. Steam the oven.

  16. After 15 minutes, remove the steaming apparatus, and turn down the oven to 415º F/Convection. (If you don't have a convection oven, leave the temperature at 440º F.)

  17. Bake for another 30-35 minutes.

  18. Turn off the oven, and leave the loaves on the stone, with the oven door ajar, for another 15 minutes.

  19. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack, and cool thoroughly before slicing.

Note: Because I was baking larger loaves, the oven temperature was set lower and the bake time was lengthened. Also note that, if you make two loaves of this size, it may be prudent to bake one at a time, unless your oven stone is larger than my 16 X 14 inch one.

Those who enjoy soft crust and cannot abide a sour-tasting sourdough would be well-advised to skip making this bread. On the other hand, it is as close to my ideal San Francisco-style sourdough as I expect to get.

San Francisco-style Sourdough Crumb

The crust was thick and very crunchy but not “hard.” The crumb was denser than my first attempt but somewhat open and fully aerated with varying sized alveolae. The crust had a sweet, nutty flavor. The crumb had sweetness but a moderately present acetic acid tang.

I can't promise I won't tweak this further or conduct experiments on, for example, the difference between proofing at room temperature, 76 degrees F and 85 degrees F. However, I expect to be making this bread regularly pretty much as I did this week.

I also baked the Tartine “Basic Country Bread” and Hamelman's “Pain au Levain” this weekend.

Tartine Basic Country Bread 

Tartine Basic Country Bread crumb

Pain au Levain, from Hamelman's Bread

Pain au Levain, from Hamelman's Bread, crumb

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

 

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

 

Back in October, 2011, I baked a pugliese-type bread I enjoyed a lot. (See Pugliese Capriccioso) I gather from various TFL comments, a few other bakers have baked from my formula with good results. However, I wanted to bake this bread again using a more authentic biga rather than a liquid levain and at a somewhat higher hydration. Today, I did.

Biga Naturale Ingredients

Wt (g)

Baker's %

AP flour

48

100

Water

24

50

Active starter (50% hydration)

29

60

Total

101

210

  1. The day before baking, mix the biga.

  2. Ferment for 6 hours at 78ºF.

  3. Refrigerate overnight

Final Dough Ingredients

Wt (g)

Baker's %

AP flour

375

75

Fine durum flour

125

25

Water

400

80

Salt

10

2

Biga naturale (50% hydration)

100

20

Total

1010

202

Note: The biga consists of 67 g flour and 33 g water. Thus, the total flour in the dough is 567 g, and the total water is 433 g. Therefore, the actual final dough hydration is 76%. Likewise, the actual salt percentage is 1.8%.

Method

  1. Take the biga out of the refrigerator and let it warm up for about an hour.

  2. Mix the water and flours to a shaggy mass, cover and autolyse for 20-60 minutes.

  3. Sprinkle the salt over the dough and add the biga in chunks.

  4. Mix at Speed 1 for 1-2 minutes until the ingredients are well-mixed.

  5. Mix at Speed 2 for about 8 minutes. The dough will be quite slack. It will clean the sides of the bowl and form a ball on the dough hook, but a large portion of the dough will still be on the bottom of the bowl.

  6. Transfer the dough to a well-floured board, form into a ball by stretching and folding.

  7. Place in a lightly oiled bowl with a tight-fitting cover.

  8. Ferment at 78ºF for about 2 hours with a stretch and fold at 50 and 100 minutes.

  9. Pre-shape into a ball and let the dough rest for 10 minutes to relax the gluten. (This wasn't much of an issue. The dough was extremely relaxed and extensible.)

  10. Shape the dough as a tight boule and place it seam-side down in a floured banneton.

  11. Place the banneton in a food-safe plastic bag or cover with a damp towel. Proof the boule at 85ºF until the dough springs back slowly when you poke a finger into it. (About 2 hours)

  12. 45 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 490ºF with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  13. Transfer the loaf to the baking stone, seam-side up, steam the oven and turn the temperature down to 460ºF.

  14. After 15 minutes, remove the steaming apparatus. Bake for another 30 minutes or until the loaf is done. The crust should be nicely colored. The internal temperature should be at least 205ºF.

  15. Leave the loaf on the baking stone with the oven turned off and the door ajar for another 10 minutes to dry the crust.

  16. Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing.

 

The dough was even more slack than the last bake, and it spread significantly when transferred to the peel. However, there was very nice oven spring. The boule ended up with about 4 times the height it started with. The folds did not open up like the last bake. This may have been partly due to longer proofing, but I probably sealed them too well in tightening the boule when shaping.

I would describe the crust, crumb and flavor as essentially identical to my first bake of this bread: Crunchy crust, cool, sweet, chewy crumb. Perhaps a subtle nuttiness from the durum flour. Pretty darn delicious! This bread is a strong contender for the list of breads I bake frequently.

David

 

 

 

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

A couple weeks ago, I blogged on my attempt to make a San Francisco-style sourdough bread that  had a crunchy crust, moderate sourness and a nice, complex flavor. (See My San Francisco Sourdough Quest).

My quest  continued this weekend. The formula and method were amended in these ways:

1. Rather than activating my starter at 100% hydration and building my 50% hydration levain from that, I activated my stored 50% hydration starter at 50% hydration. In other words, I did two firm starter elaborations. These were fed at 12 hour intervals.

2. The levain was then fermented at room temperature for 16 hours and was not retarded.

3. The final dough was mixed substituting 10% whole wheat flour for some of the AP flour.

Otherwise, my formula and method were as described previously. I should point out that, with these changes, the only differences from the formula and method for San Francisco Sourdough found in Advanced Bread & Pastry were:

1. The substitution of some WW for AP flour,

2. The longer fermentation of the firm levain, and 

3. The higher fermentation and proofing temperatures or the final dough and formed loaves. 

The results were very similar, but the bread was substantially more sour. I'd rate it as moderately to very sour. The crumb was a little less open, presumably because the WW flour absorbed a little more water. I loved it. My wife loved it. I recommend it.

David

 

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Progress is being made!

After my disappointment with the Kline, et al San Francisco Sourdough method, I re-read and re-digested what I know about time, temperature, ingredients and the care and feeding of sourdough flora. I suppose the principal new concept to sink in was that the fermentation temperature matters a whole lot, and what's best for yeast growth is not best for lactobacillus growth, and what's best for lactobacillus multiplication is not what's best for acid production. In a way, I rediscovered something I found out several years ago but neglected to pursue. (Reading old blogs was interesting.) Those very smart fellows at Detmolder were on to something: You can have it all, if you do it in stages. I'm pretty sure that what I did was not the only way to achieve pretty much the same result. It may not be the best way, but it worked for me. Note that I achieved the necessary temperature control with a Brød & Taylor Folding Proofer, but you can achieve this with a home-made proofing box as well.

My goal has been to make a moderately sour, mostly white “San Francisco style” sourdough bread that has a crunchy crust, an open crumb and a nice, sweet, complex flavor, not just sourness. Today's bake achieved all of these characteristics, and I'm a very happy baker (and bread eater)!

I started with the “San Francisco Sourdough” formula in Michel Suas' Advanced Bread and Pastry, but modified the method, as described below:

My stock starter is 50% hydration. My sourdough starter is fed with a mix of 70% AP, 20% WW and 10% whole rye.

I started by refreshing my stock starter with 40 g starter, 100 g water and 100 g flour mix and fermenting it at room temperature for 12 hours. I used this to build the stiff levain. (Note: This is a liquid starter - 100% hydration.)

 

Stiff levain

Bakers' %

Wt (oz)

Bread flour

95

2.5

Medium rye flour

5

0.15

Water

50

1.25

Liquid starter

80

2.15

Total

230

6.05

  1. Dissolve the starter in the water. Add the flour and mix thoroughly until the flour has been completely incorporated and moistened.

  2. Ferment at room temperature for 6 hours.

  3. Cold retard overnight.

  4. The next day, take the levain out of the refrigerator and ferment at room temperature for another 2-4 hours. The levain is ready when it has expanded about 3 times, and the surface is wrinkled (starting to collapse). 

Final dough

Bakers' %

Wt (oz)

AP flour

100

14.85

Water

72.8

10.85

Salt

2.53

0.35

Stiff levain

40

6.05

Total

215.33

32.1

Method

  1. In a stand mixer, mix the flour and water at low speed until it forms a shaggy mass.

  2. Cover and autolyse for 1-2 hours. (Yup. I autolysed for 2 hours.)

  3. Add the salt and levain and mix at low speed for 1-2 minutes, then increase the speed to medium (Speed 2 in a KitchenAid) and mix for 5 minutes. Add flour and water as needed. The dough should be rather slack. It should clean the sides of the bowl but not the bottom.

  4. Transfer to a lightly floured board and do a stretch and fold and form a ball.

  5. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly.

  6. Ferment at 78º F for 3 hours with a stretch and fold at 1 hour.

  7. Divide the dough into two equal pieces.

  8. Pre-shape as rounds and rest, covered, for 10 minutes.

  9. Shape as boules or bâtards and place in bannetons. Place bannetons in plastic bags.

  10. Proof at room temperature (68-70º F) for 1-2 hours.

  11. Cold retard the loaves overnight.

  12. The next morning, proof the loaves at 85º F for 2-3 hours.

  13. 45-60 minutes before baking, pre-heat the oven to 480º F with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  14. Transfer the loaves to a peel. Score the loaves as desired, turn down the oven to 450º F, and transfer the loaves to the baking stone.

  15. Steam the oven.

  16. After 15 minutes, remove the steaming apparatus, and turn down the oven to 425º F/Convection. (If you don't have a convection oven, leave the temperature at 450º F.)

  17. Bake for another 25 minutes.

  18. Turn off the oven, and leave the loaves on the stone, with the oven door ajar, for another 10 minutes.

  19. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack, and cool thoroughly before slicing.

San Francisco Sourdough (and New York Bagel from ITJB. This weekend's "Coast to Coast" baking.) 

San Francisco Sourdough Crumb

These loaves had a rather flat profile but did have fair oven spring and bloom. When sliced after cooling for 4 hours, the crust was crunchy. The crumb was open. The aroma was decidedly sour. The crumb was tender-chewy and cool in the mouth. The flavor of the crumb was a bit sweet and wheaty with a moderately sour after taste. The crust was nutty, but I would have personally enjoyed it more had it been darker, even though that would not have been strictly in the the “San Francisco Style” of old.

This method is spread over 3 days, so it requires some advance planning. Since it requires little time, except on the second day, it should be easy to fit into almost anyone's schedule. It this is the kind of bread you're after, it's definitely worth the effort.

Future plans

  1. Substitute 5-10% whole wheat for some of the AP flour in the final dough.

  2. Make some larger loaves.

 David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

Addendum added 2/4/2012: Please see My San Francisco Sourdough Quest, Take 2 for my next bake. The modifications resulted in improvements in the crumb and a more assertively sour bread.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

After the disappointment of the San Francisco Sourdough according to Kline, et al, it was even more of a pleasure than usual to pull this San Francisco Baking Institute Miche out of my oven.

 

The formula was the same as that I originally posted. (Miche from SFBI Artisan II - 2 kg) I've settled on a 50/50 mix of AP and Central Milling's “Type 85” organic, unmalted flour, as first suggested by brother Glenn. This has always provided a wonderful crust and crumb and a delicious flavor. I did alter the procedure in a few ways for this bake. I mixed the dough in my Bosch (for 5 minutes) rather than by hand, and I proofed the formed loaf at room temperature for a couple hours before retarding the loaf for about 12 hours. It then finished proofing in my Brod & Taylor Folding Proofer for about 3 hours at 85 degrees F before baking. At the end of proofing, the loaf was expanded by about 75%. The “poke test” indicated it was “fully proofed, yet there was great oven spring and bloom.

 

The crust was very crunchy after 18 hours' rest in bakers' linen. The crumb was chewy-tender, moist and cool in the mouth. The flavor was deliciously wheaty and complex with moderate sourness. What a delicious bread!

David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

San Francisco Sour Dough French Bread

according to

Kline, Sugihara and McCready

(The Bakers Digest, April, 1970)

 

In their 1970 Bakers Digest articles, Kline, Sugihara and McCready first deliniated the microbiology of San Francisco Sourdough bread. Their discovery of the special relationship between the dominant yeast – S. exeguna – and a unique species of Lactobacillus provided understanding of the special flavor of San Francisco sourdough and the stability of the sourdough cultures over time.

In the first of their articles, they also described the process San Francisco bakeries used to maintain their starters and make their breads. They describe the process as if all of the bakeries used the same process without actually stating this was the case. Regardless, the process they describe is significantly different in several respects from those found in any of the currently popular baking books in my collection. Because of that, and because I'm curious about whether the process they described can be successfully replicated in my own kitchen and produce bread like that of the traditional San Francisco sourdough breads with which I'm familial, I made a couple of loaves following their procedures.

The formulas and procedures described by Kline, et al. in the articles cited are as follows:

Sponge

Bakers' %

Firm starter

100

High-gluten flour

100

Water

46-52

  1. Ferment for 7-8 hours at 80º F

  2. In the bakery, fed every 8 hours

  3. Can feed less often by fermenting for 6 hours and retarding at 50-55ºF or fermenting 3-4 hours and retarding for longer times with refreshments 3-4 times per week, rather than 3 times per day.

 

Dough

Bakers' %

Sponge

20

AP flour

100

Water

60

Salt

2

  1. Mix ingredients (No mix method or time is given.)

  2. Rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.

  3. Divide and pre-shape.

  4. Proof for 1 hour at 90ºF

  5. Shape.

  6. Proof for 6-8 hours at 85-90º F.

  7. Score loaves and Bake with lots of steam for the first half of the bake at 375-390ºF for 45-55 minutes.

To make 2 kg of dough, I proceeded as follows: 

Sponge

Bakers' %

Wt (g)

Firm starter

100

88

High-gluten flour

100

88

Water

50

44

Total

250

220

1. I built the firm starter for the sponge with two elaborations, starting with my firm stored starter.

2. The sponge was mixed and fermented at 80º F for 10 hours.

 

Dough

Bakers' %

Wt (g)

Sponge

20

220

AP flour

100

1099

Water

60

659

Salt

2

22

Total

182

2000

Note: Accounting for the flour and water in the sponge, the actual final dough hydration was 58.9%.

Procedures

  1. All the dough ingredients except the salt were mixed and allowed to rest, covered, at room temperature for one hour.

  2. The salt was sprinkled over the dough and mixed in a Bosch Universal Plus mixer at First (lowest) speed for 1-2 minutes, then at Second speed for 5 minutes.

  3. The dough was then divided into two 1 kg pieces, pre-shaped as rounds and proofed at 90º F for 1 hour. (I placed the pieces on a bakers' linen-covered 1/4 sheet pan in a Brød & Taylor Folding Proofer.)

  4. The pieces were than shaped tightly as boules, transferred to floured bannetons and placed in plastic bags.

  5. The loaves were then proofed in the Folding Proofer at 85º F for 6 hours.

  6. 45 minutes before baking, the oven was pre-heated to 450º F/convection with a baking stone on the middle shelf and a cast iron skillet filled with lava rocks on the bottom shelf.

  7. The loaves were dusted with semolina, transferred to a peel, scored and loaded on the baking stone. A perforated pie tin filled with ice cubes was placed on the lava rocks. The oven was turned town to 380º F/conventional bake.

  8. After 23 minutes, the skillet was removed from the oven. The oven setting was changed to 360º F/convection bake, and the loaves were baked for another 22 minutes.

  9. The oven was turned off, but the loaves were left on the baking stone, with the oven door ajar, for another 15 minutes.

  10. The loaves were then cooled on a rack before slicing.

This is a low-hydration dough. After mixing, it was very smooth and barely tacky in consistency. It was still very dry and firm before the final shaping. After the six hours final proofing, the dough was very soft and puffy. I was afraid it was over-proofed and would deflate when scored or, at least, have poor oven spring and bloom. However, It took the scoring well and had good oven spring and bloom.

The baking temperature was lower than I usually employ for lean dough hearth loaves, and the crust color was thus lighter than most of my bakes. The crust color was quite characteristic of the San Francisco Sourdough breads I remember from the 1960's and 1970's. The loaf profile also was typical – a rather flat loaf.

The aroma of the vented oven air was remarkably sour during the final 10-15 minutes of the bake. The bread, once baked, cooled and sliced, revealed a very even crumb. The crust was somewhat crunchy but more chewy. The flavor was minimally sour and had little complexity or sweetness to it. All in all, a handsome loaf with undistinguished eating quality.

I expect I could tweak more sourness out of this dough by retarding the loaves overnight, but I don't particularly feel inclined to experiment further when there are so many other breads that are so much better.

 Comments regarding the process described would be very welcome. I am curious regarding the disparity between the San Francisco Sourdough's I have had, supposedly produced by this method, and what I baked at home. Any thoughts?

David

 

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - dmsnyder's blog