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S.F. Sourdough Yeast and Lactobacillus

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chris319's picture
chris319

S.F. Sourdough Yeast and Lactobacillus

I put this out for anyone who might be interested. It describes how to make L. sanfranciscensis and C. humilis, the lactobacillus and yeast in S.F. sourdough. It comes from US patent #3734743 by Kline and Sugihara. I have updated the names of the microorganisms from the patent to reflect the current names.

Is thre anyone with a knowledge of chemistry who could say how feasible this would be to do given a properly-equipped laboratory? Note that these both utilize baker's yeast.

EXAMPLE 4

Preparation of pure cultures of the sour dough bacteria L. sanfranciscensis

 The bacteria in question grows well on a broth containing the following ingredients:

Sour dough bacteria (SDB) broth

Percent

Maltose __________________________________ __ 2

Commercial yeast extract ____________________ __ 0.3

Fresh yeast extractives (FYE)* __________ __ 0.5 to 1.5

'Sorbitan polyoxyethylene monooleate (Tween 80) .. 0.03

Casein hydrolysate (Trypticase) ____________ __ 0.06

Water ____________________________ __ To make 100

 

*Prepared by autoclaving a 20% suspension of commercial compressed baker's yeast in distilled water for 30 minutes at 15 p.s.i., allowing the suspension to settle overnight at 34—35° R, decanting and further clarifying the supernatant by centrifugation. The extract prepared in this manner contained 1.5% solids and if not to be used within a few days, was frozen or freeze-dried immediately. The FYE preparations are used in a proportion to furnish 0.5 to 1.5% of the dry FYE solids.

 Adust to pH 5.6 with 20% lactic acid or acetic acid or1 to 6 N HCl.

 The broth is sterilized by autoclaving it, cooled, and inoculated with about 1% of a broth culture of the bacteria, then incubated at about 80° F. for 1 or 2 days.

Since growth of the bacteria is stimulated by CO2, it ispreferably to carry out the culture in an atmosphere containing some CO2. This may be done by ?ushing air out of the top of the culture vessel with CO2 and then stoppering the vessel. Alternatively, the vessel can be placed within a receptacle containing about 25 to 95 volume percent of CO5, (the remainder, air). Alternatively, one may sparge the culture with such gas mixture. During the culture the system is preferably agitated or shaken slowly to get good contact between the growing cells and the nutrients. The bacterial cells are harvested by centrifuging the broth culture, preferably using a refrigerated centrifuge.

The centrifuge cake is then washed with chilled 1% aqueous salt solution to remove nutrients, metabolic products, etc. The washed cells can then be used as the bacterial inoculum for liquid starter make-up.

 

If the cells are not needed a short time after preparation, they may be preserved as follows:

The washed cells (100‘ parts) are suspended in 200 parts of a stabilizing carrier (a mixture of glycerol and sterile SDB broth) and the suspension is ?ash frozen, using liquid N2 or Dry Ice-acetone slush. The culture is then held in a frozen state (about -20° F. or below),

whereby it retains its viability for at least 2 months. When the product is to be used, it is thawed and used directly.

 Further details on preparation of cultures of L. sanfranciscensis are disclosed in our copending application referred to above. Methods whereby this species may be isolated from source materials such as sour dough sponges are also disclosed in said application.

Cultures of several strains of Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis useful for the purpose of the invention have been deposited in the Stock Culture Collection of the US. Department of Agriculture, Northern Regional Research Laboratory, Peoria, Ill.61604, from which organization samples of these strains may be obtained.

 

EXAMPLE 5

Preparation of pure culture of the sour dough yeast Candida Humilis.

The yeast in question grows well on many media, including those used for growing commercial baker’s yeast. We have routinely cultured the organism on the following broth:

                                                                                     Percent

Glucose ____________________________________ _. 2

Yeast extract _______________________________ __ 0.5

Casein hydrolysate (Trypticase) _________________ __ 1

Water ________________________________ To make 100

 

The broth is sterilized by autoclaving it, cooled, and inoculated with about 1% of a broth culture of the yeast, then incubated at about 86° F. for 1 or 2 days under highly aerobic conditions. The yeast cells are harvested by centrifugation or filtration, then washed with chilled 1% aqueous salt solution to remove nutrients, metabolic products, etc. The washed cells can be used directly or stored in the refrigerator for future use. For longer storage, the yeast can be dried — this is preferably done by extruding it through a die to form noodle-like filaments which are dried to a moisture content of about 8% in a current of air at about 100-140°F. To prevent loss of viability, the temperature of the air during the last part of the drying cycle is kept in the lower portion of the stated range, or, alternatively, the humidity of the air stream is increased while keeping the temperature high.

Cultures of several strains of candida humilis useful for the purpose of the invention have been deposited in the Stock Culture Collection of the US. Department of Agriculture, Northern Regional Research Laboratory, Peoria, 111. 61604, from which organization samples of the strains may be obtained. The strains are designated as Nos. NRRL Y-7244, Y-7245, Y-7246, Y-7247, and Y

7248. As noted above, in the sporulating form the yeast may be termed Saccharomyces exiguus.

suave's picture
suave

It describes how to grow, not how to "make" them.  You'd still need a pure culture.

chris319's picture
chris319

It describes how to grow, not how to "make" them.  You'd still need a pure culture.

Yes, I see that now.

There are four strains of the yeast, candida humilis, in the on-line catalog of the USDA culture collection. Each strain has a single-letter identifier. I am going to work under the assumption that this letter corresponds to the bakery from which they were obtained.

Y-7244 - strain B (Baroni bakery)

Y-7245 - strain C (Colombo bakery)

Y-7246 - strain L (Larraburu bakery)

Y-7248 - strain T (Toscano bakery)

L.A. Times food writer Marion Cunningham spoke to Leo Kline in 1992 and the bakeries were identified: http://articles.latimes.com/1992-09-24/food/fo-1049_1_san-francisco-home

The USDA has the culture for lactobacillus sanfranciscensis but it does not appear in the on-line catalog. The identification number is NRRL B-3932. In my correspondence with the curator of the collection, no mention was made of multiple strains.

In patent #3734743, example 2 describes how to make starter from the pure cultures:

EXAMPLE 2
Using pure cultures
Parts
Flour _ ____ _____ .._ 100
Water ____ 250
Pure cultures (see below).
Salt ______________________________________ __ 2
Adjust pH to 5 with acetic acid (optional).

The pure cultures used are those of Candida humilis and of Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis. Enough of the culture is provided to furnish approximately the following concentrations of these organisms in the liquid starter:
T. holmii: About 2X106 cells/ g.
L. sanfranciscensis: About 1X108 cells/ g.

Note that the names have changed since the patent was filed.

So authentic S.F. sourdough has not been lost to the ages.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

to make your own SD starter from scratch.  I  know you have had problems doing so,.but I have made every SD culture listed in Clayton's book, used D. Winks and J.Ortiz method several times, done several YW's,  started some from just WW or Rye a little milk and some water,  Never had one that didn't  do well - it just isnlt that hard t do.  Some just take longer than others with J Ortiz being the fastest.  I think Debra Wink's method using OJ, pineapple or tangelo is pretty fool proof. 

To be honest i don't even think about making a starter or worry about it at all.   Just grind up some fresh gains, squeeze some fresh orange juice to lower the ph, use tap water that has sat out uncovered for 24 hours and follow the directions - no worries.  Next thing you know in a couple of weeks you will have a starter,

chris319's picture
chris319

Tell me how easy it is to make your own starter.

I felt this information would be of interest to those of us who grew up with this bread and to the many people who have expressed an interest in Larraburu, that this bread has not gone totally extinct.

Even easier would be to order Ed Wood's San Francisco starter mix.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

if you don't live in SF pretty near the location of the old bakery any starter will take on the characteristics of where you live in very short order..  When I started my first SD starter in SF in 1973 it was very different that the same one I moved all over the world.  Where ever it was it was different, sometimes more sour sometimes not and the local flour I fed it effected it too.  Since I have been in Phoenix the past several years it has been pretty much the same and only the flour feed and now stiff cold storage has changed it.

So it is way cheaper and easier to start your own SD starter and let it be what it is going to be anyway,  

chris319's picture
chris319

I've been reading posts from people saying that, being outside S.F., their purchased S.F. starter changes flavor over time. Pioneer bakery used to be in Venice, CA and until recently made a sourdough which compared very favorably to S.F. breads in flavor, so maybe you have to be near the Pacific. 1973 was the year I first moved to S.F. and in those days you just went to Safeway or Cala Foods and bought a loaf of Larraburu.

It occurs to me that if the flavor in sourdough comes from the LABs, just use the USDA yeast culture in making your own starter and the LABs would be home-grown. That might be useful for the starter-challenged like me, rather than using baker's yeast.

julialee23's picture
julialee23

I am thre grand Niece of the owners of Larraburu Bakery.

I am trying to locate sources of the strains identified in the Kline/Sugihara study but my contact at the USDA indicates no strains remain in the collection this many years later.  Can anyone give me any other ideas on where I might find these strains?

Please contact me asap if you can help in any way!

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

but when they looked at the starter of 4 famous bakeries in SF they all had texactly he same SF LAB and Yeast in them.  It was how they were cared for and fed that made each one different.  If you get some starter going in SF or get some from one of the bakeries there and feed it like the patent above you should get very close.

It was my understanding that Interstate Bakeries bout out everything a the bakery when it closed and  that may have included the starter.  But they have gone bankrupt twice since then but it was odd that the makers of Wonder Bread ended up with the Larraburu stuff - maybe including the starter.

mixinator's picture
mixinator

Hi Julia, check this out. Hope it helps.

http://www.edibleaustin.com/index.php/people2/chefs/986-benjamin-baker

What I've read on line leads me to wonder if the Larraburu starter was perhaps acquired by Boudin when the Larraburu bakery folded. This is not a solid lead, merely speculation on my part. If this were the case, I doubt they would be forthright about it, perpetuating instead the lore of Isidore Boudin's old-country starter.

Were your grand uncles the original owners and founders or the Pauls?

Good luck!

mixinator's picture
mixinator

Interstate Bakeries did not buy Larraburu.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

hre is where you can find out the facts

http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=00Ahfz

Up to about 25-30 years ago, there were two major sourdough French bread bakeries in San Francisco, Parisian and Larraburu. San Franciscans were polarized over them. They weren't "interchangeable". They had distinctive flavors and both started during the gold rush, using starters or "mothers" that at that point were over 100 years old. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough business for both, and Parisian had better marketing, so Larraburu vanished.

However, the owners of Larraburu, ever hopeful that some day the brand could be resurrected, saved several batches of the starter and froze them. The batches were stored in at least two public cold storage warehouses in the city. I know that for certain, as at that time I ran Merchants Ice & Cold Storage, and had one of those batches in one of our freezers.

Does anyone know if any of the batches survived and who has custody of them?
-- Jonathan Sapp (jwsapp@sdco.com), March 30, 2003

Answers
I have heard that SF Baking Co (Parisian, Colombo, Toscano) when it was owned by the Giraudo family bought the Larraburu starter and name. SF Baking was then sold to Specialty Foods and then to Interstate Baking (Wonder Bread, etc,). I think that the Giraudo's still own Boudin. It's been hard track on the net so I can't vouch for all of this. There were a few other brands that have also disappeared including Pisano and Baroni. Larraburu went out of business after losing a lawsuit arising from a delivery truck accident.
-- Don Martinich (dutchm@dcn.org), April 01, 2003.
Don is correct on all counts.
mixinator's picture
mixinator

According to that post, the San Francisco French Bread Company, owners of the Parisian, Colombo and Toscano brands, acquired the Larraburu starter and name only; they did not buy the entire bakery. SF French Bread Co. then went to Specialty Foods and then to Interstate Bakeries, makers of Wonder Bread and Hostess Twinkies.

Given that the Giraudo family owned SFFBC at the time, and the Giraudos being the current owners of Boudin, I have to wonder if the Larraburu sponge followed the Giraudos to Boudin. Again, it is but speculation on my part.

julialee23's picture
julialee23

Thank you all for your answers. 

This is turning out to be a fascinating journey of discovery.

My Aunt was in contact with Boudin a year or so ago and they indicated they did not have the Larraburu starter.  I have read the reports of the study done by the USDA and/or Oregon State University and Cal and I interpreted the findings as the researchers having localized strains for each of the breads they tested.  The strains were all labeled individually.  I am in contact with professors at OSU microbiology department to see if they can help.  I still need to get into contact with the USDA in Peoria.

What seems to be universally accepted is that the same starter, in different hands using different baking methodologies will certainly produce different results.

What I am now curious about is whether the starter even matters at all.  Some say absolutely - others say no. Some are obviously proud of their 100 year old mother.  Other say just get one going with good flour and naturally ocurring wild yeast and you will be fine.  Some say mothers change over time if they are introduced to a new location, others that a stable starter is just that....very stable, and only severe tampering will alter it.

I have the documented Larraburu methodology.  I don't have the ovens or the starter but I am hearing from many of you that you are close to replicating the flavor and texture without it.

I will be speaking with my uncle Hal's wife in the next few weeks and hope to learn whether any of the starter remains in cold storage....or by some miracle, whether someone has been lovingly tending it all these years in a kitchen cupboard. 

How exciting would that be?  Would it be sentimentally wonderful because a little bit of SF history remains alive or would it be more significant than that?  What say all of you?

I'm descended from the Paul's by the way...not the Larraburu's.  I haven't been able to find any of them....

 

mixinator's picture
mixinator

What I get from the Kline and Sugihara research is that, although they studied starters from five different bay-area bakeries, there are two microorganisms of interest: the yeast and the lactobacillus. The currently-held belief is that the yeast is airborne and settles on the grain in the wheat field rather than being in the air over San Francisco or Oakland. By the time the sponge is made up as it is each day, the microorganisms have already colonized it, so any airborne yeast that made it into the bakery from the outside wouldn't really be a factor. The USDA researchers did preserve the strains they found at the different bakeries, but I've seen nothing to indicate that there was any biological difference among them.

I'm in the camp that believes the starter doesn't matter so much as bakery technique. It has been documented that different bakeries used different proofing times and temperatures. This would account for some of the discernable differences among the bakeries.

Keep in mind that a certain commercial interest (one that boasts of a 100+ year-old sponge) has an interest in perpetuating the mythology surrounding S.F. sourdough: "It's the air, it's the fog, it's the temperature, it's the humidity", etc. They aggressively hype this mythology and the age of their sponge to create a mystique and aura around their product which they sell at various touristy locations such as fisherman's wharf, Disneyland and airports. It's all P.R., smoke and mirrors in my opinion. I have never seen any scientific backing for these claims that "It's the air, the fog", etc.so I've dismissed them entirely.

Here are examples of the P.R. hype of a recent publicity stunt of theirs:

http://fox40.com/2014/02/05/chp-escort-for-165-year-old-dough/

http://www.thereporter.com/breakingnews/ci_25068799/mother-dough-arrives-at-vacavilles-newest-bakery

 

julialee23's picture
julialee23

The links you inserted are...amusing.  And yet, if it had been Larraburu trucks rather than Boudin trucks proffering their wares, would I smirk so?  ;-}

I have confirmed that the USDA does have the Larraburu strain preserved in their archives but have been unable to confirm whether there is any real difference between it and the other four strains found in the other samples tested.   For obvious reasons, I am hoping you are wrong that they are not unique!  More investigation is warranted. 

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

The wheat grown and supplied to bakeries in California before, during and after the Gold Rush was Sonora Wheat a low protein spring wheat.

Slow Food USA has a good story on it:

http://www.slowfoodusa.org/ark-item/white-sonora-wheat

This is another variable to the origins of SFSDFB. It is also responsible for super sized burritos and is good for making wheat beers. 

I am left wondering if this wheat has a natural affinity as a natural anchor for Candida Humilis and Lactobacillus Sanfranciscensis?

Wild-Yeast 

mixinator's picture
mixinator

http://www.haydenflourmills.com/flours-grains/white-sonora-whole-wheat-flour

https://roanmills.com/?product=sonora-wheat-flour-4lbs

http://shop.nativeseeds.org/blogs/news/6573907-white-sonora-wheat-flour-now-available

http://www.sphinxdateranch.com/100-arizona-white-sonora-wheat

Is it possible that L.sanfranciscensis found its way to the new world when Sonora wheat was brought here?

It is entirely possible that any flour used by bay area bakeries was milled by Giusto's. I believe that is where Acme gets its flour.

I have read that mello judith flour played a role in SFSD. The pdf says Sonora flour was grown in Calif. until the 1950s. Maybe they switched at some point?

http://sustainablegrains.org/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/sonorawheatflyerjanuary2012.pdf

I don't see Sonora wheat flour on Giusto's web site but it might be worth a call or an email. I have a feeling Sonora wheat is no longer grown in any significant quantities in Calif. any more.

baybakin's picture
baybakin

"It is entirely possible that any flour used by bay area bakeries was milled by Giusto's. I believe that is where Acme gets its flour."

Acme and many other Bakeries (such as tartine) have switched to Central Milling's flour recently. http://www.centralmilling.com/
I have toured Boudin, and they have a big stack of ConAgra bleacned AP flour sacks in the bakery, which I believe uses Canadian wheat (but then we weren't really talking about Boudin as indicitive of the style anyway)

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Sonora is hard to get and expensive when available. It is low in protein which is a contraindicant for bread making. I am now wondering whether there were any other alternate source(s) available to the Gold Rush era bakers? 

Wild-Yeast

mixinator's picture
mixinator

Bleached AP flour? Really?

Disregarding Larraburu, it shouldn't be difficult to find out where Parisian, Colombo and Toscana got their flour. How many flour mills are there in northern California? As for the gold-rush era, some mills may have disappeared over the years and not left a trace.

mixinator's picture
mixinator

Central milling is in Logan, Utah. It's a much longer journey from Logan to San Francisco/Berkeley than from South San Francisco. Central milling must be some kind of flour!

mixinator's picture
mixinator

Central Milling is run by none other than Keith Giusto. That answers that.

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Central Milling is separate from Giusto's Specialty Foods, Inc.

Central Milling company brochure:

http://www.centralmilling.com/Central%20Milling%20Insight.pdf

Wild-Yeast 

mixinator's picture
mixinator

I believe Keith Giusto, who now owns Central Milling, used to be associated with Giusto's in South S.F. It is possible that Acme et al. followed him from Giusto's to his new enterprise, Central Milling. Just theorizing.

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Central Milling is in such bakeries as Tartine.  I don't think he owns Central Milling as much as he's a partner with the Perry family. Central's flour is great - I've been using it for around five years - I am very satisfied with their product.

I'm not sure what's going on inside the Giusto Family if anything. Keith may have the family's blessing to head-up the organic market. Just a guess on my part...,

Wild-Yeast

baybakin's picture
baybakin

I read somewhere that the Giusto family sold "Giusto's" the flour company a bit ago.  The new owners changed the flour making process in some way.  A few, including Keith Giusto, became unhappy with the quality change, and formed a new company which worked with and distributed Centrial Millings flours to the areas around northern California (I've visited the petaluma location to pick up flour many times). 

If you can find any Central milling flour, I highly recommend it.  I use the type 70 (high extraction) flour for nearly all my baking.

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

@baybakin - Here's the story on the new owner. Interesting way of segueing the news of the new ownership...,

http://www.savorcalifornia.com/template1.php?id=370&img=21

The next is a story about Keith Giusto's new store in Petaluma:

http://www.northbaybusinessjournal.com/26503/keith-giusto-expands-artisan-flour-facility-in-petaluma/

I am beginning to think that Central Milling is using King Arthur Flour as a template for their expansion - that's just my impression...,

Wild-Yeast