The Fresh Loaf

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San Francisco Style Sourdough 4.5 adapted from Dave Synder

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isand66's picture
isand66

San Francisco Style Sourdough 4.5 adapted from Dave Synder

After reading about Dave's never-ending quest to create the perfect San Francisco Sourdough bread I felt it was time to give his latest recipe a whirl.  I have never been to SF so I don't know exactly what the final bread should taste like other than by his description.

I tried very hard to follow his exact recipe but alas my string of good luck continued and my refrigerator decided to mimic an oven.  I was forced to let the bulk ferment dough rest in my mini beer/assorted alcohol refrigerator instead of the shaped loaves.  I let the dough bulk ferment over night and the next afternoon while I waited for my refrigerator to be fixed I let the dough rest at room temperature for a couple of hours.  I then formed the loaves into Boules and let them rise in their bannetons inside my oven with a bowl of hot water for 3.5 hours.

The dough was nice an elastic and puffed up very nicely.  Unfortunately I didn't realize that the risen loaves would be too big to fit in my oven at the same time.  I had to adjust the loaves while the oven was nice and hot and subsequently one of the loaves was hanging off the baking stone for a few minutes causing it to sag slightly.

The final result was an excellent crust and a nice open and light crumb.  I did however discover the first loaf I cut into had a mysterious hole running through a big part of the bread, almost like someone or thing was trying to dig its way to China.

Overall the bread turned out excellent.  I would have expected it to be slightly more sour though and I'm not sure why it was so mild.  It could be due to the fairly new converted starter I used.  I turned my 65% AP starter to Dave's multi flour starter at 50% so maybe it wasn't mature enough.

You can find Dave's recipe  here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/27982/san-franciscostyle-sourdough-bread-two-ways-3252012.

Thanks again Dan for an excellent recipe!

Comments

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Thanks for trying my formula!

From your description, you retarded the dough in bulk but did not retard the formed loaves. Did I understand correctly?

I've now made mabe 6 versions of this bread with the same ingredients, only varying levain feedings and fermentation times and temperatures. No two bakes have produced exactly the same flavor. The best was "version 4" (the version before the one you used, I think). 

I'll come back to this formula for more fiddling. What I'd like to do is be able to isolate the variables that are most critical. Of course, the truth is "everything matters," yet we home bakers have circustances that require accommodations that, in the end, create noticable differences in our breads. The simpler the bread, the more difference these changes in temperature and timing seem to make. 

David

isand66's picture
isand66

Thanks Dave.

Yes, you are correct, the main difference was that I retarded the bulk dough and not the loaves in the refrigerator.  Had I realized my mini fridge had enough room earlier I could have actually followed the original plan.

The breads came out very good in the end but I will certainly try this again and try it your "version 4" way to see if it tastes different.  Hopefully I will still be able to remember the difference by then!

Regards.

Ian

varda's picture
varda

Ian,   Your bread looks great.   I can see a nice shine to your crumb in the second picture and nice crust color on the star loaf.   I also have never had a real SF sourdough, so wouldn't even know if I got it right or not.   Hopefully your refrigerator will cooperate next time.  -Varda

isand66's picture
isand66

Appreciate the comments Varda.  With the way my luck is going lately I may only be able to afford to eat bread and water.....and maybe some cheese......not that would be such a bad thing!

Hopefully I can go to SF some day and try some authentic sourdough myself.

Regards

Ian

Syd's picture
Syd

Looks great Ian.  Lovely dark looking crust especially on the loaf with the star scoring pattern.  Promises of lots of flavour there. As far as getting more sour goes David's posts are a great source of information.  The addition of wholegrain will definitely make for a more sour and equally important is the length of fermentation.  The longer the bulk ferment and final proof the more sour.  

Best,

Syd

isand66's picture
isand66

Thanks Syd....appreciate the compliments.

My usual method is to bulk ferment after about 2.5 hours of S&F's and resting.  I usually leave it in the refrigerator for about 24 hours or longer and it usually does the trick.  I followed Dave's recipe exactly for the amount and mixture of flours, so I'm thinking the only issue for the mild sour flavor was my refrigeration problem.

We will see when I try this the next time what happens.

In any case my co-workers were happy to eat one of the loaves and I'm enjoying the other while I type this with some scrambled eggs and ham...

Regards

Ian

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

better and better.  Very nice to look at - airy, glossy with little brown flakes.  Love the dark crust too.  Looks like SFSD but it is all in the taste for this bread very special bread.  Without taste-o-vision we are doomed to wonder.  David has been final proofing a higher temps, retarding his levains, adding in some WW and whole rye both in the bread, levain  and the starter,  doing long retardation etc - all in a quest to build that SFSD taste - and he would know it when he gets it right.  I have to say that I have been following his lead  in these combinations also looking for the right SF sour.  Not easy to get to in my book, unless you live there and can get SF wee beasties but I know I am a lot closer than I was 3 months ago.  You might well be right with your starter not converted long enough. 

I miss you T- Rex slash.  2 out of 3 toes just doesn't do it for me :-)

Hope o fridge is cold now.

Nice bake Ian - Bake On

isand66's picture
isand66

Alas, my experiment with adding beans to my bread was an abjecty failure.  I had typed up the post, taken the photos, and then tasted the bread....all I can say is YUK!  I don't know why, but the beans made the bread taste like it needed a lot more salt and had a very unpleasant taste to the bread.  Oh well,.....onto the next experiment....I'm going to try a Desem loaf and a sourdough loaf with some cherry liquore and vanilla added.  Hopefully one of them will be worthy...

isand66's picture
isand66

Thanks DA!

The fridge is back to its old glory days.  It will be interesting to see how my starter reacts to its old familiar 55 degree climate versus the recent 60+ steam bath.

I'm thinking about using my recently converted starter from Dave S.'s 50% starter for my hairbrained bean bread.  I added some white rye, spelt, durum and bread flour and made it my usual 65% hydration.  It rose up nicely overnight, so tonight after its rest in the fridge it may be ready to take on some beans!

Will let you know how it comes out.

Don't fret, the T-Rex shall return soon enough I'm sure.....

Thanks again for your encouragment.  I do appreciate your feedback.  I know I can always count on you for some kind words and critiques.  It does make it enjoyable to hear from our fellow bread heads one way or the other.

Regards

Ian