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sourdough bread

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dmsnyder

Hamelman's Sourdough Seed Bread is basically a pain au levain made with rye and bread flour to which is added toasted sesame and sunflower seeds and a soaker of flax seeds. It has a crunchy, rather thick crust and a pretty dense crumb. Its flavor is delicious - mildly sour, even when cold retarded overnight, with well-balanced overtones from the seeds. Its flavor is not as complex as Hamelman's Five-Grain Levain, which is simply amazing, but it is a wonderful bread.


This bread has enough substance and flavor to be eaten plain. It would be wonderful with a flavorful soup or stew or with cheese or a salad. And it makes delicious toast.


It's another bread, like Tom Cat's Semolina Filone, that I like a lot but have not baked for quite a while, having been otherwise occupied by a baking agenda with way too many breads.


I baked these boules on a stone, pre-heated to 500F. A cast iron skillet with lava rocks was used for steaming. The oven was turned down to 460F after loading the loaves, and I baked them for 40 minutes.



Sourdough Seed Bread



Sourdough Seed Bread crumb


David

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dmsnyder

I have continued to play with my formula for what I call "San Joaquin Soudough." This continuing series of experiments started with my curiosity as to whether the baguette formula of Anis Bouabsa could be applied to other types of bread than baguettes. The short answer is, of course, "yes."


The basic approach I have been using is described in detail in the following blog entry:


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/8454/pain-de-campagne 


The present variation used 10% KAF White Whole Wheat flour, 90% KAF Bread flour and a slightly higher hydration - 76%. The techniques for mixing, fermentation, etc. were as I have described before. So, the ingredients were:


Ripe 65% hydration sourdough starter....100 gms


Water........................................................380 gms


KAF Bread Flour.........................................450 gms


KAF White Whole Wheat Flour...................50 gms


Sea Salt.........................................................10 gms


Instant Yeast................................................1/4 tsp




The combined effect of the different flours and the higher hydration was to yield a dramatically different bread with a much more open crumb structure - really ciabatta-like.


Now, I did bake these loaves under an aluminum foil roasting pan for the first 12 minutes and then for another 18 minutes uncovered. The oven spring was massive. My scoring was obliterated. Examination of the crust coloration of the bloom revealed that the bloom occurred very early in the bake and very rapidly. (The coloration was even and not different from the rest of the crust. See my Scoring Tutorial in the TFL Handbook for further explanation.)


With the higher hydration and covered baking, the crust softened quickly during cooling. The crumb was like a good ciabatta - very tender yet still chewy. The taste is very mildly sour, even on the day after baking. It made a delicious sandwich with Toscano salami, Beaver Brand Sweet Hot mustard and lettuce. (Sorry, Mini. It definitely would drip mayonnaise in your lap.)


This bread presented me with a number of surprises, but I'm far from disappointed. I'm happy to have a "new" bread in my repertoire. 


David

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dmsnyder

 


Last week, I baked Susan from San Diego's “Original Sourdough.” My description can be found at:


http://tfl.thefreshloaf.com/node/11321/susan-san-diego039s-quotoriginal-sourdoughquot


Susan also shared her formula for her “Ultimate Sourdough,” which has replaced the “Original Sourdough” as her personal favorite, I gather. The “Original Sourdough” was so good, it was hard to imagine a bread that would outdo it, and I was tempted to just make it again. But I thought the other deserved a try. So, this week, I baked Susan's “Ultimate Sourdough” - again, with some variations I will describe.


Susan's formula for her “Ultimate Sourdough” is described in her blog, here:


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/6927/well-i-finally-did-it


Susan's formula makes “one small boule.” I doubled the recipe. I wanted to make two boules, one to bake after overnight cold retardation, as I did with the “Original Sourdough.” I also added a bit more WW flour than Susan called for and used a different mixing and fermentation approach.


 


 


Ingredients

 

Active 65% hydration starter

24 gms

Water

350 gms

KAF White Whole Wheat Flour

75 gms

KAF Bread Flour

425 gms

Sea Salt

10 gms

 

Procedures

  1. I dissolved the starter in the water in a large bowl.

  2. Both flours were added to the water and mixed thoroughly.

  3. The bowl was covered tightly and the dough was allowed to rest (autolyse) for 60 minutes.

  4. The salt was then added and folded into the dough using a flexible dough scraper.

  5. After a 20 minutes rest, the dough was stretched and folded in the bowl for 20 strokes. This was repeated twice more at 20 minute intervals.

  6. The dough was then transferred to a lightly oiled 2 liter glass measuring “cup” with a tightly fitting plastic cover and allowed to ferment, undisturbed, until doubled. (10 hours, overnight).

  7. The next morning, the dough was very soft, puffy and full of bubbles. I divided it into two equal pieces, gently rounded them, and allowed them to rest for 10 minutes.

  8. The pieces were then formed into boules and placed in well-floured coiled reed brotforms, each of which was then placed in a food-grade plastic bag.

  9. At this point, one loaf was allowed to proof on the bench, and the other was placed in the refrigerator to retard until the next day.

  10. The first loaf was allowed to expand by about 75% (3 hours).

  11. The oven was preheated to 500F, with a baking stone in place for1 hour.

  12. The loaf was transferred to a peel dusted with semolina, transferred to the baking stone and covered with a stainless steel bowl preheated with hot tap water. The oven was turned down to 460F.

  13. After 15 minutes, the bowl was removed. The loaf was baked for another 10 minutes, then left in the turned-off oven with the door ajar for another 5 minutes to dry the crust.

The retarded loaf was baked the next day. It was allowed to proof in a warm (75F) place for 4 hours. It was baked covered for 12 minutes, then another 15 minutes uncovered. It rested in the turned off oven for 10 minutes.

Susan's Ultimate Sourdough (Not retarded)

Susan's Ultimate Sourdough (Not retarded) - Crumb

Susan's Ultimate Sourdough (Retarded)

Susan's Ultimate Sourdough (Retarded) -Crumb

The boule that was baked without retardation was very similar in taste to the one I had made using Susan's “Original Soudough” formula. It had a nice flavor and was mildly sour. The sourness increased the next day, as expected. The crust was relatively thin but crunchy the first day and chewy the second day.

The boule that was retarded had a lot less oven spring. I think it was proofed more fully than the other had been. It was a bit more sour than the un-retarded loaf, as expected, but less sour than the “Original Sourdough” retarded loaf was. Tasted 5 hours after baking, the whole wheat flavor was coming through. I expect this to mellow out by tomorrow.

Bottom line: Both of Susan's sourdoughs are wonderful. I can't say I prefer one over the other after making each once. I expect I'll be making both regularly.

Thanks again, Susan!

David

 

 

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dmsnyder

 


Susan from San Diego, of “Magic Bowl” fame, has posted two of her basic sourdough bread recipes. These have been on my lengthy “to bake list” for a long time. The photos of her breads are stunning, and many other TFL members have baked from her recipes and enthused about their results.


This weekend, I baked two boules of her “Original Sourdough” - to be distinguished from her “Ultimate Sourdough.” The latter can be found here:


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/6927/well-i-finally-did-it


I made some modifications in procedures which I will describe, but Susan's original “Original Sourdough” formula can be found here:


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/8884/susan039s-original-sourdough-3262007


 


David's Un-original Sourdough after Susan from San Diego's Original Sourdough


Note: This recipe involves 3 “builds” - a “starter,” a “sponge” and the “dough.”


Starter


Active starter 1Tablespoon


Water           15 gms


Bread flour    25 gms


 


Sponge


Water           240 gms


Bread flour    173 gms


Whole wheat flour 50 gms (I used KAF White Whole Wheat.)


Starter All of the above


 


Dough


Bread flour      284 gms


Water              60 gms


Olive oil           14 gms


Salt                7.5 gms


 


Procedures


(I did my mixing in a KitchenAid Accolade.)


Make the Starter by dissolving the active starter in the water in a small bowl, adding the flour and mixing until all the flour is well hydrated. Cover tightly and allow to ferment for about 8 hours. It should be puffy and slightly bubbly. Refrigerate for up to 3 days if you are not ready to use it immediately.


Make the Sponge by dissolving the Starter in the water in a medium-sized bowl. Mix the flours and add them to the dissolved starter. Mix thoroughly and then cover the bowl tightly. Allow the Sponge to ferment until it is bubbly and has expanded - about 8 hours.


Make the dough by dissolving the Sponge in the water and mix in the olive oil in the bowl or your mixer. Mix the flour and salt, add it to the wet ingredients and mix with a spoon or spatula or with the paddle at Speed 1 to a shaggy mass. Cover the bowl and let it rest for 20 minutes to an hour. (This will allow the flour to hydrate and the gluten to start developing.)


Switch to the dough hook and mix at Speed 2 until you have moderate gluten development. (This took me about 10 minutes.) The dough should clean the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom with a diameter of about 6 inches.


Scrape the dough onto your lightly floured bench and do a couple of stretch and folds. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly. (I use a 8 cup glass measuring “cup” with a tight-fitting plastic cover.) Stretch and fold the dough 3 times at 30 minute intervals, then allow to rise in the bowl until double the original volume – about 4 hours in my coolish kitchen.


Divide the dough into 2 equal parts and pre-shape into rounds. Cover and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes. Then, shape the pieces into boules and place each in a floured banneton. Cover with plastic wrap, a towel or place the bannetons in food grade plastic bags.


At this point, you can either allow the loaves to proof until 1.5 times their original size or retard them for 8-12 hours in the refrigerator. (For this bake, I proofed and baked one boule immediately and retarded the other.) If you retard the loaves, allow an extra hour or two for proofing – about 4 hours from when you take them out of refrigeration until you bake them.


Forty-five minutes (or 45-60 minutes, if using a baking stone) before baking, pre-heat your oven to 480F with a sheet pan or baking stone in the oven. (Make sure your sheet pan is large enough to form a base for the cover you will be placing over the loaf. See below. I used a heavy-gauge black steel, non-stick sheet pan that is larger than the standard “half sheet” size.)


When the loaf is proofed, transfer it to a peel dusted with semolina or corn meal, load it onto your sheet pan or stone and immediately cover it with a stainless steel bowl that has been pre-heated with hot tap water. (Dump the water but do not dry the bowl just before loading the loaf in the oven.)


Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the bowl from the oven, close the door and lower the temperature to 450F. Bake for another 15-18 minutes until the loaf is nicely colored and its internal temperature is at least 205F. Turn off the oven and leave the door ajar with the loaf in it for another 5-10 minutes to dry the crust.


Cool the loaf on a rack completely before slicing.


 


The loaf that was baked without overnight cold retarding was much like a French pain au levain. Right after cooling, it was only very mildly sour and had a nice wheaty flavor. Thirty-six hours later, it had a more pronounced but still mild sourness. The flavors had melded and were improved, to my taste. As you can see, the crust was rather light-colored. There was almost no coloration at the point I removed the bowl. The boule had moderate oven spring but great bloom. This is typical of the results I get when I bake loaves covered in this manner. The crust was crisp, and the crumb was nice and open but chewy.


Susan from San Diego's SD boule


Susan from San Diego's Sourdough (Not cold retarded)



Susan from San Diego's Sourdough (Not cold retarded) Crumb


I baked the cold retarded loaf the next day. This time, I baked the loaf covered for the first 15 minutes, but on a baking stone rather than a sheet pan. Also, I preheated the oven to 500F then turned it down after loading the loaf. I baked at 450F for 30 minutes total, then left the loaf in the turned off oven with the door ajar for another 5 minutes.


As you can see, the second loaf had significantly greater oven spring. I think this was due to the hotter initial temperature and, maybe, the stone. Also, the crust is significantly darker, which I prefer in this type of bread.



Susan from San Diego's "Original Sourdough" baked after cold retardation.



Susan from San Diego's "Original Sourdough" baked after cold retardation - Crumb


This loaf had a crunchier crust and significantly more sour flavor than the loaf that had not been cold retarded. The crumb was chewy but maybe a bit less than the loaf baked the night before.  To my taste, this loaf was just about perfect - very close to my personal ideal sourdough bread. I bet it's going to be even better the next day.


Thanks Susan!


David


 


 

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dmsnyder

These were baked yesterday ...


I wanted to try some variations on a couple of breads that I have baked a lot - The "San Joaquin Soudough," which is a pain de campagne that has an overnight cold retardation at the bulk fermentation stage and the Sourdough bread from SusanFNP's Wild Yeast blog.


My San Joaquin Sourdough (SJSD) derived from Anis Bouabsa's baguette formula, as related to Janedo. See this blog entry: 


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/8454/pain-de-campagne 


I used KAF European Style Artisan flour with 5% each Giusto's whole rye and KAF White Rye. I also add 100 gms of firm sourdough starter. For this variation, I added to 500 gms total flour (not counting the starter) 3/4 T barley malt syrup and 3/4 T toasted wheat germ.


The malt probably resulted in the darker crust color. I really could not perceive a distinct effect from the wheat germ. In any case, this was a very tasty, wheaty, mildly sour bread. The bâtards were somewhat under-proofed, resulting in exuberant oven spring and bloom, as you can see. 



San Joaquin Sourdough Variant



San Joaquin Sourdough crumb


SusanFNP's Sourdough bread formula has proven to be a reliable and easy bread to make. Her formula can be found here: 


http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2007/07/08/my-new-favorite-sourdough/


I used a mix of high gluten and bread flour with 10% Giusto's whole rye flour.


 The boule was formed and cold retarded overnight, proofed for 5 hours in a cool kitchen.


Susan's formula calls for 68% hydration. For this variation, I made a 70% hydration dough, trying for a somewhat more open crumb, which is what I got. I plan to boost the hydration even higher next time.


The cold retardation results in a somewhat more sour flavor in this bread compared to the SJSD. The bread was fully proofed, so I got decent oven spring and bloom, but less than with the under-proofed SJSD pictured above.



Sourdough boule



Sourdough boule crumb


David

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dmsnyder

This weekend, I baked a couple sourdough baguettes and a bâtard using the mixing and fermentation methods described in the posts about Anis Bouabsa's baguettes. For these breads, I used 90% AP four, 5% WW and 5% rye. Interestingly enough, the flavor of the bâtard seemed much better to me.




These were nice, but the real star attraction was the Cherry Pecan Pain au Levain. I made it according to the formula and method recently posted by mountaindog. (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/10313/cherry-pecan-pain-au-levain)


This is a spectacular bread. The flavors are wonderful and, at this point when the first batch is just cooled (well, almost just cooled), the bread dough, the cherries and the pecans each sings its own sweet tune.


This bread would be good with butter, cream cheese or a fresh chevre. In fact, it is pretty darn good just by iteself.


My wife's verdict is: "This is wonderful bread!" Now, she says such things fairly often, but this afternoon, she said it twice, separated by a minute or so. In Susan Speak, this indicates "I want to be certain my judgement has gotten through to you.  You will make this bread for me again!" To which I say, Amen!




 


Happy baking!


David

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dmsnyder

Ever since Jane prompted me to add levain to the Bouabsa baguettes, I've wondered what this bread would be like raised by wild yeast entirely, without the small amount of baker's yeast it calls for. And, more recently, I made the best tasting ever Miche with the first clear flour Norm sent. I wondered how much of its wonderfulness was the method, and how much was the flour.


So, today I explored both questions by baking a couple loaves with Norm's first clear as 100% of the flour and used Anis Bouabsa's technique of a long cold bulk fermentation. This is a 75% hydration dough, while the Hamelman Miche is 82% hydration.


The result was a really nice, moderately sour bread with the distinct flavor of first clear flour. The crust was crunchy, but it needed 10 extra minutes in the turned off oven to crisp up. The crumb was quite open with a lovely cool feeling and chewy texture.


I will use this technique again, but with the same AP/WW/Rye flour mix I have liked best with Bouabsa's baguettes.



 



 


David

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dmsnyder

I haven't blogged about this bread for a while. We have lots of new members, and they should be aware of this wonderful bread. The recipe is in Jeffrey Hamelman's "Bread." Like Poilâne's Miche, it is an attempt to replicate the bread of the common folk in the 17th and 18th century in France and Quebec. A "Miche" is a very large boule. This recipe makes 3.6 lbs of dough.


This is a pain au levain made with 100% high extraction flour. I used the first clear flour that Norm got in December and shared with some of us. This flour is more finely milled than KAF's First Clear. It is slightly gray in color and acts like a high-gluten flour.


This dough is higher in hydration than Reinhart's Miche in BBA. It is quite slack. It makes a very moist and open crumb. The taste is wonderful and gets better for several days after baking. The bread stays moist for nearly a week. 



Miche, Pointe-à-Callière





Miche, Pointe-à-Callière Crumb


David

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dmsnyder

Susan's Sourdough

Susan's Sourdough

Susan's Sourdough

Susan's Sourdough

The sourdough bread recipe from SusanFNP is wonderful.

 These bâtards were made with 10% Giusto's whole rye flour and 90% Giusto's high-gluten flour. The starter had been last refreshed 2 days before mixing. This resulted in a 6 hour fermentation. The formed loaves were allowed to proof for 1 hour then refrigerated overnight. They then proofed for 4 hours more before baking. I baked them on a stone, under a disposable aluminum roasting pan for 10 minutes at 480F, then uncovered for another 15 minutes at 460F.

Crunchy crust. Chewy crumb. Moderately sour, delicious flavor.

 David

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