The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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dmsnyder's picture

The "San Joaquin Sourdough" is my own recipe. It evolved through multiple iterations from Anis Bouabsa's formula for baguettes. Most of my deviations developed in discussion here on TFL with Janedo, who first suggested adding sourdough starter and rye, and, then, leaving out the baker's yeast and making it as a "pure" pain au levain.

I got a pretty nice ear and grigne on this one.





Active starter (67% hydration)

100 gms

KAF European Artisan-style flour

450 gms

Giusto's whole rye flour

50 gms


370 gms


10 gms

Note: Whole Wheat flour or White Whole Wheat flour may be substituted for the Whole Rye. Each results in a noticeable difference in flavor. All are good, but you may find you prefer one over the others.





In a large bowl, mix the active starter with the water to dissolve it. Add the flours and stir to form a shaggy mass. Cover tightly and let rest (autolyse) for 30 minutes.

Sprinkle the salt over the dough. Using the plastic scraper, stretch and fold the dough 30 times, rotating the bowl 1/5 turn between each stroke. Cover tightly. Repeat this stretch and fold procedure 3 times more at 30 minute intervals. 



After the last series of stretches and folds, scape the dough into a lightly oiled 2 quart/2 liter container and cover tightly. (I use a 2 quart glass measuring pitcher with a tightly fitting plastic lid manufactured by Anchor Glass.) Ferment at room temperature for an hour, then place in the refrigerator and leave it there for 21 hours. (In this time, my dough doubles in volume and is full of bubbles. YMMV.)


Dividing and Shaping

Take the dough out of the refrigerator and scrape it gently onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently pat it into a rectangle. Divide as desired or leave in one piece to make a 980 gm loaf. To pre-shape for a bâtard, fold the near edge up just past the center of the dough and seal the edge by gently pressing the two layers together with the ulnar (little finger) edge of your hand or the heel of your hand, whichever works best for you. Then, bring the far edge of the dough gently just over the sealed edge and seal the new seam as described.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and/or a kitchen towel and let it rest for 30-60 minutes, with the seams facing up. (The time will depend on ambient temperature and how active your starter is. The dough should have risen slightly, but not much.)

To shape a bâtard, fold the near edge of the dough and seal the edge, as before. Now, take the far edge of the dough and bring it towards you all the way to the work surface and seal the seam with the heel of your hand. Rotate the loaf gently toward you 1/4 turn so the last seam you formed is against the work surface and roll the loaf back and forth, with minimal downward pressure, to further seal the seam. Then, with the palms of both hands resting softly on the loaf, roll it back and forth to shape a bâtard. Start with both hands in the middle of the loaf and move them outward as you roll the loaf, slightly increasing the pressure as you move outward, so the bâtard ends up with the middle highest and the ends pointed .


Preheating the oven

One hour before baking, place a baking stone on the middle rack and both a cast iron skillet (Mine is filled with lava rocks.) and a metal loaf pan (or equivalent receptacles of your choosing) on the bottom shelf. Heat the oven to 500F. Put a kettle of water to boil 10 minutes before baking.



After shaping the loaf, transfer it to parchment paper liberally dusted with semolina or a linen couche, liberally dusted with flour. Cover the loaf with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel or a fold of the linen. Proof until the loaf has expanded to about 1-1/2 times it's original size. (30-45 minutes) Do not over-proof, if you want good oven-spring and bloom!



Put about a cup full of ice cubes in the loaf pan on the bottom shelf of the oven and close the door.

Slip a peel or cookie sheet under the parchment paper holding the loaf or transfer to a peel, if you used a couche. Score the loaf. (For a bâtard, hold the blade at about a 30 degree angle to the surface of the loaf. Make one swift end-to-end cut, about 1/2 inch deep.)

Transfer the loaf and parchment paper to the baking stone, pour one cup of boiling water into the skillet, and close the oven door. Turn the oven down to 460F.

After 12-15 minutes, remove the loaf pan and the skillet from the oven. Rotate the loaf 180 degrees, if it is browning unevenly. Close the oven door.

Bake for another 12-15 minutes, then remove the loaf and place on a cooling rack. Check for doneness. (Nice crust color. Internal temperature of at least 205F. Hollow sound when you thump the bottom of the loaf.) If necessary, return to loaf to the oven to bake longer.

When the loaf is done, leave it on the baking stone with the oven turned off and the door ajar for 5-10 minutes to dry and crisp up the crust.



Cool on a rack for two hours before slicing.




Submitted to Wild Yeast Spotting on Wildyeastblog

dmsnyder's picture

SusanFNP's "Norwich Sourdough" is her adaptation of Hamelman's Vermont Sourdough from his book, "Bread." The recipe can be found on, Susan's wonderful baking blog, under "My New Favorite Sourdough."

I followed Susan's recipe with the following differences: 1) I used Guisto's Baker's Choice and Guisto's whole rye flours, 2) I baked three 500 gms loaves and froze the remaining dough in two pieces for future pizzas, 3) I cold retarded the loaves overnight, and 4) I baked the boule at 440F, 20 degrees cooler than the bâtards, to see how I liked this bread with a lighter-colored crust.

We had a few slices of the just-cooled bread with a salad for lunch. It was delicious - moderately sour with a crunchy crust and chewy crumb.

Something for blister lovers: The crust of the boule


And for the crumb-obsessed:



Shiao-Ping's picture

The method of these two sourdough breads came from Bolangerie Comme Chinois' head chef, Nishikawa Takaaki, in Kobe, Japan.  His most recent cook, "Varie" (i.e., variety breads) is one of the most amazing books of modern French breads I have ever read.  For over many decades Japan has had dedicated chefs working and training in France; they then went back to Japan to not only spread the French bread culture but also to enrich their own.   The breads and pastry shops in Japan are simply wonderful.  In 2002 Japan won the triennial Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie in Paris.  (The US team took gold in 2005 and France only reclaimed their home gold in 2008.  Incidentally, Taiwan's first-ever representation to this event in 2008 came second to hosts France.)  

As Taiwan was under Japanese occupation for 50 years which ended at the end of the Second World War, many of my parents' generation speak Japanese.  I grew up in Taiwan eating what I now know as "variety breads" from Japan, which in turn came from France but with a heavy Japanese influence.  The "variety breads" that I had as a young kid were, and still are today, a meal on its own.  They can be either savory or more desert like - anything is possible with these variety breads.     

All variety breads came from a basic dough piece with "variety" built on to it.  Before I tried anything fancy, I thought I'd start off plain.   I used Nishikawa Takaaki's Pain Paysanne recipe for both breads here, which has 15% whole wheat and 5% rye meal.  It employs a poolish as well as a very firm starter @ 49% hydration.  My basic dough weighed 1,250g at 65% hydration, 700g of which I used for the plain sourdough bread below, and the balance 550g for the "wave" loaf.  For the sourdough bread, it's bulk fermented for 50 minutes at 28 degree C (82F) with one stretch & fold at the 30 minutes mark, then shaped and proofed for 3 hours also at 28 degree C.  

plain sourdough bread using Nishikawa's Pain Paysanne recipe

My "wave" loaf below is a poor representation of Nishikawa Takaaki's version.  The basic dough is placed in freezer for 30 minutes to firm up, at which point a piece of flatten out butter (25% dough weight) is incorporated and folded several times - much like the way dough is prepared for croissant.  The dough is then divided into two pieces which are twisted and, at the same time, braided before being placed into a loaf tin to proof for 3 hours at 28 degree C (82.5F), then bake with steam.


sourdough "wave" loaf using Nishkawa's Pain Paysanne's recipe as the basic dough


davidg618's picture

Happy with my progress manipulating starters, and baking sourdough boules using D. DiMuzio's San Francisco Sourdough formula, beginning last night, and finishing this morning I let my starters rest, and tried, for the first time, to bake classic baguettes, i.e., baguettes initiated with a poolish. I was stimulated to do this by my mixed results--great flavor, ok crumb, disappointing proofing and ovenspring--baking sourdough baguettes.

For a first attempt I'm very satisfied with the results, especially the flavor. While I was setting up to photograph, I paused three times to have yet another piece with butter.

The formula, and guidance came from Ciril Hitz' Baking Artisan Bread", which I followed to the letter.

So I've got my baking focus, for the next couple of months centered on working with these two basic formula: DiMuzio's sourdough, and Hitz' classic baguette dough. Like the moldy, oldy directions to Carnegie Hall...practice, practice, practice.

koloatree's picture

hey all,

here are some pictures of 100% sourdough breads. i am trying to achieve the wonderful ears as seen in many breads here in this wonderful forum. i think my issues are in the shaping and cutting too deep. will try again this weekend! i also notice my breads dont get that nice golden caramelized color. maybe 500 is too hot?







SylviaH's picture

I love making pizza and it's done pretty often around my house..indoors and in the wfo.  So all these pizza's on TFL lately have really been giving me the craving!  I used the Neo-Neapolitan Pizza Dough recipe from PR American pie book.  I made dough with KAAP and KAB flours.  This is a recipe that makes a thin crisp crust with airy pockets in the crown.  Usually I make a thicker crust for use with heavier toppings like sausage or pepperoni and the extra cheeses and tomato that we like...but this time wanted the heavier toppings with the Thin and Crispy crust...It's a little sticky and a touch tricky to stated in the book..  Well, I've had enough practice now that it's become fun and consistant to make great tasteing pizza's.  Useing the KAAP flour makes the dough even a little more stickier...but with a little practice the dough can be shaped fast with only a little added flour on the peel!  Tonight I wanted a thin, crispy crust with extra's,...I used the AP flour dough balls out of my freezer.   I love the tomato sauce with the spices, herbs, garlic, several cheese blends, fresh garden basil, EVOO and sausage on this one pictured..the other 2 were devoured to fast to get photos.  I went pretty heavy on all the toppings and still got a great crust that stood up, crispy, crunchy and very tastey.  Also this dough was frozen and thawed.  Another plus for convenience!  One thing I do to assure the crust stays crispy is to always place it either on a paper bags are great...or saved cardboard.  I place the bag on top of a cutting board and then is served on paper plates...another plus for cleanup time..  If you put your pizza onto a pizza pan or a plate your going to get a soggy crust real fast.  The crust has a fantastic flavor!

Baked at 550F on 1 hour pre-heated stones indoor convection oven

Lot's of thick tomato sauce under the cheeses,  and carmelized on top of the bubbles!

Thin, Crispy, Crunchy enough to hold that piece of sausage and cheese on the tip without folding under...nice crispy, crunchy, bubble in the crown!

The dough was stretched out thin enough to see through and the crown left a little thicker..placed directly onto a lightly floured paddle after being shaped between my two palms and flipped back and forth over my wrists and gently stretched in my hands and topped and slid onto the stone and baked about 6 minutes.



TeaIV's picture

I made Pizza on Sunday, and had about a pound of grated cheese left. we also had potatoes, so I decided to combine the two!

the combination was very pleasing! I had a preferment going for 20 hours, about 10 of them in the fridge. I made the dough with 2 or 3 mashed potatoes. I cut off individual pieces, then flattened them, put the cheese on the middle, and rolled them up. In the end, they had a hole in the middle, with a layer of cheese in the middle. their texture was very good, I added about a tbs of olive oil and milk each as well, which might have helped. I think the potatoes and cheese mixed well. Sorry for the bad pictures!



P.S. made my first successful Ciabatta! (successful as in an open crumb). I used this recipe:


Yippee's picture


This is my first baking project using rye flour.  It is a sourdough bread made with 20% rye flour, which was all used to make the water roux starter.  There are three objectives of this project:


  1. Practicing scoring techniques learned from David, in preparation for making his high hydration baguettes.

  2. Testing the vitality of my starter which was fed differently than before. This starter was immediately returned to the fridge after given  a 1:2:2 feeding.  I wanted to compare the activities of this starter to the ones that were refreshed several times.  

  3. Observing the effects of water roux starter in artisan breads.


I made three slashes, two according to David's instructions and the last one as a control and was done by the way that I'd been doing before.  The results were dramatically different.  The ones done following David's method were the pretty ones that I've always been envious of.


My starters performed similarly even though they were fed differently.  By adopting the 'immediately back to the fridge' methodology, I will be relieved of the workload of feeding and minimizing waste of flours. 


This crumb was softer and less chewy compared to the boules I've made.  Breads made with water roux starter normally have a longer keeping time. However, this feature has become less important as I have frozen my breads as soon as they cool.


        Yippee's portion  Brands/Hydration      
    (%)   (g)        
B -  bread flour 80 = 160 King Arthur      
R -  rye flour 20 = 40 Whole Foods bulk      
SD -  starter 40 = 80 100%      
S -  salt 1.7 = 3.4 Kirkland sea salt      
W -  water 68 = 136        
1 Dissolve S in W.            
2 Mix R in 1              
3 Heat up 2 either on stove (keep stirring) or in microwave (stir halfway) to 65C / 149F  
4 Mix 3, B and SD until just incorporated        
5 Autolyze 20 minutes            
6 S&F 4-6 times, round up every time        
7 Dough in fridge overnight          
8 Dough out of fridge            
  S&F 4-6 times, round up every time, last 2 times shaped into a bartard      
9 Final proof on canvas            
  Yippee went to sleep and left the dough out in a warm kitchen for 5 hours    
10 Preheat oven to 550F            
  Slash, steam            
  Lower oven temperature to 500 for the first 20 minutes
  460 for the last 10 minutes          
  Leave loaf in the turned off oven for 10 more minutes with door ajar      


jolynn's picture


This was the result of my daughter's first attempt at hand kneaded (very high hydration) sourdough olive loaf. Pretty impressive, huh?


nice crumb

Baker_Dan's picture

Thought I'd share a picture of my new baking tattoo. Got it last week. From now on, I'll never have to look for a whisk, there'll be one on my right forearm for good.



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