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san joaquin sourdough

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dmsnyder

Powerless Baguettes: Not pretty but quite tasty.

April 10, 2013

A couple days ago, my wife pointedly remarked that there were only two baguettes left in the freezer. This was a fair warning, so I built up a liquid levain and made a batch of SJ SD dough. This afternoon, I divided, pre-shaped, proofed, slashed and loaded 4 baguettes in the oven. The timing was perfect to have them out of the oven in time to get to the farmer's market when it opened and then to enjoy fresh-baked baguette with dinner.

Eight minutes into a planned 20-minute bake, our power went out. The oven is electric. What to do? Well, I removed the steaming skillet as usual at 10 minutes. At 20 minutes, the loaves were browned somewhat, but still pretty pale. I gave them another 7 minutes in the cooling oven, at which point they were still rather pale but had a nice hollow thump and were over 205ºF internally. So, I took them out and let them cool.

 

The oven spring seemed pretty normal. The bloom was a bit crazy, but I don't know whether that was my scoring or an effect of the cooling oven after the first 8 minutes. The crust was pale and kind of soft, but I can't say the crumb structure suffered.

 

The crust did have some crispness but was more chewy. The crumb was fully baked. It was chewier than usual. The flavor was excellent – about the same as the last SJ SD Baguette bake, currently featured on the home page. I ate half a loaf with dinner.

David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

San Joaquin Sourdough Baguettes

April 1, 2013

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.

Today's bake takes the San Joaquin Sourdough back to its roots, so to speak. I used my current formula and method to make San Joaquin Sourdough baguettes. I am very happy with the results.

 

Total ingredients

Wt (g)

Bakers %

AP Flour

479

89

WW Flour

33

6

Medium rye Flour

29

5

Water

392

72

Salt

10

1.8

Liquid starter

17

3

Total

960

176.8

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

 

Final dough ingredients

Wt (g)

AP Flour

450

WW Flour

25

Medium rye Flour

25

Water

350

Salt

10

Liquid levain

100

Total

960

 

Method

  1. Mix the levain by dissolving the liquid starter in the water, then add the flours and mix well. Ferment at room temperature, covered tightly, until the surface is bubbly and wrinkled. (8-12 hours)

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

  3. Add the salt and mix to incorporate.

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

  5. 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.

  6. Refrigerate the dough for 18-24 hours.

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

  8. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and pre-shape as logs or round.

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

  10. Shape as baguettes and proof for 45 minutes, covered.

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

  12. Transfer the baguettes to your peel. Turn down the oven to 480ºF. Score the loaves 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. (Note: After 10 minutes, I switched my oven to convection bake and turned the temperature down to 455ºF.)

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

 

 

When tasted about 2 hours after baking, the crust was crunchy and the crumb was soft. The flavor was complex, with a caramelized nuttiness from the crust and a sweet, wheaty flavor from the crumb. There was some mild acidity but no discernible acetic acid tanginess. These are among the best-flavored sourdough baguettes I have ever tasted. Very yummy fresh baked and with great sandwich, crostini, toast and French toast potential.

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I can't help it. I'm so proud of my son's first bread. A month ago, I visited them for Thanksgiving and left him with some of my sourdough starter. I baked once while there, with Joel watching. Yesterday, he made his first on his own San Joaquin Sourdough.

I aske Joel how it tasted. He said, "Kind of like yours. Great."

Not too shabby, eh?

It's not quite like having another grandchild, but sort of like. 

David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

As those of you who have made San Joaquin Sourdough know, my procedure calls for a 21 hour cold retardation during bulk fermentation. The length of the cold retardation was taken from Anis Bouabsa via Jane Benoit (janedo on TFL). While I have often increased or decreased the 21 hours by 3 hours or so, I have been wary of a much longer time, because I feared proteolysis would result in unacceptable gluten degradation.

This week, I did (finally) retard my dough for about 36 hours, partly for scheduling convenience but also out of curiosity. To my surprise, the resulting bread was hardly different than those I had retarded for 15 hours less. There was no discernable difference in flavor, although I had expected a more pronounced sourdough tang. The crumb structure was actually better, in my opinion. The crust coloration was unchanged.

So, here are some photos of the breads made with a 36 hour cold retardation:

I would be interested in hearing about other bakers' experience with prolonged cold retardation of sourdough dough.

Our accompaniment to this bread was Chicken Paprikash.

David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I am gradually aclimating to retirement. I still get twinges Sunday nights in anticipation of a non-existant Monday patient schedule. But this week I broke the thought habit of baking being exclusively a weekend activity. Maybe I over-compensated, but I don't think so.

Tuesday evening, I activated my starter and I put up a bulgar soaker and a whole wheat poolish in preparation for a Wednesday bake of my favorite 100% Whole Wheat Bread, the one in BBA.

100% Whole Wheat Bread 

100% Whole Wheat Bread crumb

This is probably my favorite bread for almond butter on toast, BLT's and Tuna Salad sandwiches. We had all of these this week.

Wednesday evening, I fed the starter at 100% hydration for Thursday's bake of San Joaquin Sourdoughs and started on txfarmer's 36+ hour baguettes for a Friday bake.

San Joaquin Sourdough Breads

This bread is good with everything. We had some with almond butter, more with penne with butternut squash, sage and hazelnuts and more with a salad lunch.

Thursday evening, I mixed a firm levain for Hamelman's Pain au Levain with Whole Wheat. Txfarmer's baguette dough was mixed, fermented and refrigerated.

We were invited to some friends' home for dinner Friday. The response to "What can we bring?" was not hard to guess. This morning, the baguettes and Pain au Levain for dinner tonight got baked.

Baguette Crust

Pain au Levain with Whole Wheat crust

Pain au Levain with Whole Wheat Crumb

 I have the walnuts toasted for Cinnamon-Raisin-Walnut Bread.

To top off the week, my son, Joel, sent me a photo of the latest bagels he and 3-year old Sasha made this week, and he expressed some interest in "trying" to bake sourdough breads. I'll take him some starter when we visit in November. What fun!

It's just that I can't figure how I ever had time to "work."

David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

 

Yesterday, I made Chicken Cacciatore for tonight, when my sisters would be at our house for dinner. It seemed to me I should be serving some sort of Italian bread with this dinner. I didn't really feel like tackling a brand new recipe, although there are a number of Italian breads on my “to bake” list. I thought about the sourdough version of Reinhart's Italian bread from BBA which I have made many times and enjoyed. However, once the idea of formulating an “Italian version” of my San Joaquin Sourdough occurred to me, I knew that's what I was going to make.

I was delighted with the result, although I don't know that anyone more knowledgable than I regarding Italian breads would recognize it as in any way “Italian.” 

Ingredients

Wt. (g)

Baker's %

AP flour

400

80

Fine durum flour

100

20

Water

350

70

Salt

10

2

Sugar

14

3

Diastatic malt powder

5

1

Active Liquid levain

100

20

Olive oil

14

3

Total

993

199

 

Method

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

  2. Add the flours, sugar and malt 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 20 stretch and folds in the bowl. Repeat 3 more times at 30 minute intervals.

  7. Refrigerate for 12-36 hours.

  8. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow to warm up for 1-2 hour.

  9. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and pre-shape as rounds. Cover with a clean towel or plasti-crap and let rest for one hour.

  10. Shape as boules or bâtards and proof en couche or in bannetons for about 45 minutes. (Note: Optionally, if proofing en couche, 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. If proofing in bannetons, you would use the second method but after transferring the loaves to a peel, just before baking.)

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

  12. Transfer the loves to the baking stone. Steam the oven, and turn the temperature down to 460ºF.

  13. After 12 minutes, remove the steaming apparatus. (Note: What I actually do at this point is switch to convection bake and turn the oven down to 435ºF for the remainder of the bake.) Continue baking for another 12-15 minutes or until the loaves are nicely browned and the internal temperature is at least 205ºF.

  14. Turn off the oven, but leave the loaves on the baking stone and the oven door ajar for another 5-10 minutes to dry the crust.

  15. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing.

  

The crust was chewy except for the ear and bottom crust which were nicely crunchy. The crumb was nice and chewy-tender. The crust flavor was sweet and nutty with the sesame flavor we always enjoy. The crumb was sweet and nutty. Absent the rye flour and with the addition of the oil, sugar, malt and durum flour, the flavor was delightful but very different from that of the San Joaquin Sourdough.

The four of us consumed 2/3 of a loaf with dinner. When I was going to slice some more, sister Ruth told me she would prefer to save it for breakfast toast. Her proposal prevailed.

I'm sure this will make delicious toast, even competing with the Hamelman 5-grain Levain I also baked this afternoon.

 

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

Ryan Sandler's picture
Ryan Sandler

One of my favorite sourdough variations is inspired by a combination of the classic blue cheese and walnut sourdough (which I've never made because I don't like blue cheese) and a twisted sourdough with chunks of dark chocolate that I got from a bakery in Chelsea Market in Manhatten on a family vacation some years back. The combination: sourdough with dark chocolate and walnuts.

It's best as a breakfast bread: a little too sweet for dinner, but too bread-y for dessert. The dark chocolate is overpowering when melted, so the trick is to bake it the night before you want to eat it, and let it cool overnight so the chocolate hardens. The taste is delectable: the sour of the bread and the chewiness of the crust combines with the crunchy nuts, and the bitter-sour flavors of the dark chocolate, all infused with the walnut oil.

I've made it with several different sourdough formulas, but last night I baked up a batch based on David Snyder's famous San Joaquin Sourdough, to good effect.

Formula: (All credit goes to dmsnyder's post here)

  • 450g King Arthur AP flour (90%)
  • 25g WW Flour (5%)
  • 25g Whole Rye Flour (5%)
  • 150g Active Starter at 100% hydration (30%)
  • 360g Water (72%)
  • 10g Salt (2%)
  • 125g Coursely chopped walnuts (or broken by hand) (25%)
  • 100g Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chips (20%) (ideal for their shape, and for being excellent chocolate a a bargain price)
  1. Mix flours, water and starter (David likes to mix the water and starter first; I don't know if it matters).  Autolyze 20-60 minutes.
  2. Add salt, walnuts and chocolate, then do 30 stretch-and-folds in the bowl.
  3. Cover tightly and ferment 3 hours at room temperature.  Repeat the stretch-and-folds in the bowl at 30, 60 and 90 minutes, then a french-fold on the board at 135 and 180 minutes.
  4. Place in refrigerator for 18-21 hours.  
  5. Remove dough from refrigerator, divide in half and pre-shape as rounds.  Allow to rest 1 hour.
  6. Shape as batards or boules, and place in a couche or banneton, as appropriate.  Preheat oven to 500 degrees with baking stone.  
  7. Proof loaves 45 minutes, then transfer to parchment on a sheet pan/peel, score and load in oven.  Steam using your favorite method, and lower temperature to 460.  
  8. Bake 30 minutes, turning loaves and removing any steaming apparatus after 15.  Turn off oven and crack the door for 5 minutes, then remove loaves to a cooling rack.  Cool at least 8 hours before eating.
 
dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

We have my sister and brother-in-law and my younger son's two daughters staying with us this week. This morning, we had a traditional Sunday brunch with bagels, smoked salmon, farmers' chop suey and sourcream coffee cake. My neighborhood bread tasters joined us.

The bagels were made with the Krakow Bagel formula I tested last Summer for Inside the Jewish Bakery. The bagels are supposed to be twisted, but I shaped them in the more usual manner. They are very chewy with a crisp crust and delicious flavor. They received rave reviews. If you want the formula, you will have to buy Stan and Norm's book when it's released in the next few weeks.

I also baked a couple loaves of my San Joaquin Sourdough to have with our dinner of proscuito and melon and fettucine with ragu.

I loved five year old Naomi's comment on the bloom as I took the loaves out of the oven: "Ooooo .... They got so big, they broke!"

Hope you all are having as much fun this weekend as I am!

David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

While I enjoy a variety of breads, the San Joaquin Sourdough remains my “go to” bread. It's easy to fit into a busy schedule. It uses few ingredients. It always tastes delicious. It's wonderful freshly baked but also makes great toast, French toast, garlic bread and croutons for salads or onion soup. It is almost as good after being frozen as fresh. What's not to like?

 

I first developed this formula about 3 years ago. Since then, I've tweaked the formula and methods in many ways. I know many TFL members have made this bread and enjoyed it. So, I thought an update on my current recipe might be of interest.

To summarize the changes I've made in the past 6 months:

  1. I substituted 25 g of whole wheat flour for an equal amount of the rye flour in the original formula. The difference in flavor is subtle, but I like it better.

  2. I adopted the oven steaming method for home ovens we were taught in the SFBI Artisan I and II workshops. 

    SFBI Steaming method

  3. I switched from using a parchment paper couche to a baker's linen couche. (Highly recommended! Here is my source for linen: San Francisco Baking Institute)

  4. Most recently, after trying several different methods, I've settled on the method of pre-shaping and shaping bâtards taught in the King Arthur Flour instructional video. (See: Hamelman technique videos  The relevant instructions are in the fourth video, starting at about 7:00 minutes.) The SJSD dough is very extensible. This method forms a tighter loaf which is shorter and thicker than that produced with the method I had been using.

Ingredients

 

Active starter (100% hydration)

150 g

All Purpose flour (11.7% protein)

450 g

BRM Dark Rye flour

25 g

Whole Wheat flour

25 g

Water

360 g

Sea Salt

10 g

Procedures

Mixing

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 20-60 minutes.

Sprinkle the salt over the dough. Using a plastic scraper or silicon spatula, 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.

Fermentation

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 90 minutes with a stretch and fold after 45 and 90 minutes, then return the dough to the container and place it in the refrigerator and leave it there for 21 hours. 

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 the dough into two equal pieces.

To pre-shape for a bâtard, I now form a ball rather than a log. Place each piece of dough smooth side down. Pat into a rough circle, degassing the dough gently in the process. Bring the far edge to the middle and seal the seam. Then go around the dough, bringing about 1/5 of the dough to the middle and sealing it. Repeat until you have brought the entire circumference of the piece to the middle. Turn the piece over, and shape as a boule. Turn each ball seam side up onto a lightly floured part of your board.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and/or a kitchen towel and let it rest for about 60 minutes. (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, I now favor the method portrayed in the King Arthur Flour instructional video. I encourage you to watch the video, but here is a verbal description of the method:

  1. For each piece of dough, place it in front of you on an un-floured board.

  2. Hold down the near side and stretch the far side of the piece into a rough rectangle about 8 inches front to back.

  3. Now, fold the far end two thirds of the way to the near end and seal the seam with the heel of your hand.

  4. Take each of the far corners of the piece and fold them to the middle of the near side of your first fold. Seal the seams.

  5. Now, the far end of the dough piece should be roughly triangular with the apex pointing away from you. Grasp the apex of the triangle and bring it all the way to the near edge of the dough piece. Seal the resulting seam along the entire width of the loaf.

  6. Turn the loaf seam side up and pinch the seam closed, if there are any gaps.

  7. Turn the loaf seam side down. 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 put your steaming apparatus of choice in place. (I currently use a 7 inch cast iron skillet filled with lava rocks.) Heat the oven to 500F.

Proofing

After shaping the loaves, transfer them to a linen couche, seam side up. Cover the loaves with a fold of the linen. Proof until the loaves have expanded to about 1-1/2 times their original size. (30-45 minutes) Test readiness for baking using “the poke test.” Do not over-proof, if you want good oven-spring and bloom!

Baking

Pre-steam the oven, if desired.

Transfer the loaves to a peel. (Remember you proofed them seam side up. If using a transfer peel, turn the loaves over on the couch before rolling them onto the transfer peel. That way, the loaves will be seam side down on the peel.) Score the loaves. (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 loaves to the baking stone. Steam the oven. (I place a perforated pie tin with about 12 ice cubes in it on top of the pre-heated lava rocks.) Turn the oven down to 460F.

After 12-15 minutes, remove your steaming apparatus from the oven. Rotate the loaf 180 degrees, if it is browning unevenly. Close the oven door. (If you have a convection oven, switch to convection bake, and turn the temperature down to 435ºF.)

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 loaves are done, turn off the oven but leave the loaves on the baking stone with the oven door ajar for another 7 minutes to dry the crust.

Cooling

Cool on a rack for two hours before slicing.

Enjoy!

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I think I know at least 6 different ways of shaping bâtards. I often choose how I shape them on impulse. This weekend, I decided to be a bit more reflective and consciously chose 3 variations to try. I think I gained better control over bâtard shaping as a result.

I made two loaves of Hamelman's Pain au Levain from “Bread” and two loaves of my San Joaquin Sourdough.

The first loaf was shaped using one of the methods learned from the San Francisco Baking Institute. I can't recall seeing this method demonstrated elsewhere.

Pain au Levain from Hamelman's "Bread," shaped using Method 1.

Method 1

  1. Pre-shape as a log. Rest 20 minutes, seam side up, covered.

  2. Place the piece on the board with one short side closest to you. De-gas.

  3. Take the far edge and fold it towards you about 1/3 of the length of the piece. Seal the seams.

  4. Fold the left side 1/3 of the way towards the middle and seal the seams. Repeat for the right side.

  5. Starting with the far end, roll the piece towards you, sealing the seam with the edge or heel of your hand at each turn. Seal the final seam well.

  6. Turn the loaf seam side down and roll it to even out the shape and achieve the desired length.

This method is suitable to make a bâtard with a fat middle and little tapering, as pictured.

Pain au Levain from Hamelman's "Bread," shaped using Method 2.

Method 2

  1. Pre-shape as a log. Rest 20 minutes, seam side up, covered.

  2. Place the piece on the board with a wide side closest to you. De-gas.

  3. Fold the far side to the middle. Seal the seam.

  4. Rotate the piece 180º.

  5. Fold the far side 2/3 of the way towards you. Seal the seam.

  6. Grasp the far edge and bring it all the way over the piece, to the board and seal the seam. (Essentially, this is the method traditionally used to shape baguettes.)

  7. Turn the loaf seam side down and roll it to even out the shape and achieve the desired length.

This method makes a longer, thinner loaf with more tapered ends.

The two loaves of Pain au Levain after shaping and scoring - ready to bake. Note that these loaves were of identical weight.

San Joaquin Sourdoughs, both shaped using Method 3.

Method 3

  1. Pre-shape as a ball. Rest 20 minutes, seam side up, covered.

  2. Place the piece on the board. De-gas.

  3. Proceed as in Method 2, steps 3 through 7.

This method results in a loaf similar to that from using Method 2, except a bit thicker in the middle. It solves a problem I have had shaping bâtards with higher-hydration doughs with excessive extensibility. They tend to get too long and thin as I shape them, even before the final rolling out. Starting with a round piece of dough, rather than a log, helps me get the shape I want.  

Thanks for listening.

Happy Baking!

David

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