The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


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anawim_farm's picture

This past Sunday I made enough dough to make four loaves of  bread using Daniel Leader recipe for San Francisco Sour dough.


This first photo is one of the two loaves I baked tonight, the dough having been in the refrigerator for two days.  The crumb was open and the sourness buildup wasn’t significant.  Lousy photo but the coloration was browned well, I  lightly sprayed the loaf with water then slashed, there was some tearing on these loaves from oven spring as well.


On the Sunday batch I used a glaze of one whole egg with a little water and a dash of salt. The coloration was nice and the crust was chewy instead of crisp which seemed to bring out more flavor. The glaze gave a nice texture and something I would like to experiment more with, maybe using just egg yoke. Even though the wash moistened the crust and I slashed the loaf.  It expanded out the slashes and tore along the side.


JMonkey's picture

This weekend was a long weekend. Presidents' Day, we call it in the U.S., and presumably, it's a day on which we celebrate the birthdays of Washington and Lincoln. I don't know this for a fact, but I'm pretty sure both presidents ate sourdough bread at some point, given the scarcity and expense of baker's and brewer's yeast. So, in their honor, I baked sourdough. And apparently, the sourdough beasts were having a party as well -- perhaps it was my rigorous application of an 85 degree F final proof? In any case, the sourdough critters were mighty happy over the long weekend.

On Monday, I made a couple of loaves of Five Grain Whole-Wheat Sourdough Sandwich Bread. I've never had sourdough rise like this before. And, wow, is it sour. I'm not sure what got the lactobacteria so excited -- the butter? the rye chops? the oats? who knows? -- but it is delicious, if, like my wife and I, you like sour bread.

Here's how I made it:


  • 430g starter (at 60% hydration)
  • 560 grams whole wheat flour
  • 465 grams water
  • 18 grams salt
  • 27 grams butter (roughly 2 Tbs)
  • 170 grams mixed grains (cracked wheat, ground flaxseed, rye chops, millet, steel-cut oats) soaked overnight in 250 grams hot water

How I made it

First, I dissolved (as much as possible) the starter into the water. I then added the flour and salt, and mixed it up until I had a dough. I gave it a good thorough kneading of about 450 strokes, and then added the butter, which I'd cut into pats. I spread half on the dough, folded it over and then repeated it. After another 100 strokes, the butter was mixed in, so I then used the same process to incorporate the grains.

I shaped the dough into a ball and let it ferment for about 4 hours at 68 degrees. It probably tripled in size. Next, I did a stretch and fold, let it rest for 15 minutes, divided it and shaped it into loaves. I then put it in my makeshift proofbox at about 85 degrees F for 2 hours, after which it was just about spilling over the side of the pan.

A slash down the center and then 55 minutes in a steamy 350 degree oven.

On Saturday, I made another loaf of desem bread MountainDog has a beautiful post on her success here. As you can see, though, by the time I got around to taking a picture, there wasn't much left (and, darn it, the best photo I have is blurry -- ah well). In any case, I made it this time at 80% hydration, and was pleased to see that I got an even lighter loaf. Next week, I'll shoot for 85%. For some reason, the crust was not as crispy as it had been last week. Still delicious though, and a good keeper. Two days later, it's still fresh, which is pretty amazing for a lean loaf.

I had some leftover starter, so I took a bit of it, and built it into a wet starter for sourdough muffins. I played around with the recipe a bit. For starters, I doubled it. I also (in the doubled recipe) upped the salt a bit to 3/4 tsp, used brown sugar instead of white sugar, added 1 tsp cinnamon, increased the bluberries to 1.5 cups and only used 1 tsp baking soda for all 12 muffins. They really popped in the oven but, sad to say, they were a bit bland. Next time, I think I'll up the blueberries to 2 cups, use butter instead of oil, and up the salt to 1 tsp. I think I'll also use less hard whole wheat flour and more soft whole wheat flour, and go ahead and acidify the whole thing overnight.

pumpkinpapa's picture


February 19, 2007 - 9:48am -- pumpkinpapa

I have a friend who needs a lot of par baked bread on hand but I have been having difficulty getting the bread out at 90% baked, usually 180 F. My thermometer takes about 20 seconds or longer to show the temperature and with differing temperatures in the kitchens it's all across the scale unfortunately.

So I am looking at a Thermapen, it is expensive (120.00 CAD) but it measures temp in 4 seconds and has a good range too, -50 to +570 F.

scottsimka's picture

Volume Recipe Request

February 18, 2007 - 6:46pm -- scottsimka

Hi, I'm new here.

 I am a chef, working in NC.  At my job, part of our daily responsibilities is roll production for 120 people. 

So far, we've been doing basic white & wheat.  I would like to get some sourdough into the mix and I'm having great difficulty obtaining a recipe for about 120 - 1.5 oz rolls.

I realize that I may need some trial & error on my part to perfect my method of prep but I would like to take advantage of others' expertise in this area before I dive in and waste precious time & money.

I am interested in making sourdough once, possibly twice a week.

ehanner's picture

Milk fed sourdough

February 17, 2007 - 9:44pm -- ehanner

I have a sourdough starter I got from a friend out west who said she had been feeding it a 50/50 mix (by volume) of AP flour and skim milk. I have been using it for over a Month and it has been performing so far. However I have started to notice that the activity level seems to be decreasing and actually it has only occasionally doubled after feedings. Only recently did I read the advice of sourdolady and others on this site to toss most of the starter and feed at least 1:1:1 or greater ratios. I have been keeping a 4 cup measure half full or more and using the starter for bread, pancakes and waffles. From the sound of it I have been starving the starter by not doubling the batch.

Srishti's picture

Hi all,

Today I made Dosas in a Non-Traditional way. If anyone is not familiar with these: They could be called Indian Crepes made with Rice.

The traditional way of making these is

(1) Soak rice and Urad dal overnight. (Urad Dal is a kind of split bean which can be found in an Indian Grocery Store).

(2) Grind these up in the morning (you can do this in a Food Processor if you don't want to go absolute traditional). This will give a nice paste.

(3) Now you let this get sour (kinda like sourdough). Put in the sun all day long, if the outside is warm), or put in some other warm corner of the house. Hopefully, by the end of the day you will have the batter sour and bubbling. If not wait longer :-(

(4) Add salt to it, and adjust the thickness of the paste. (I would say the thickness is in between that of a pancake and crepe batter).

(5) stir the batter briskly.

Then you cook them up on a hot skillet, in a slightly different manner than crepes.

(1) Grease the skillet with Ghee or any other cooking oil.

(2) Depending on how big your skillet is, pour some paste on the in the center (a metal measuring cup can be convinient), and with the flat base of the measuring cup start spreading it thin on the skillet. It takes some practice to get this right.

(3) The thinner the better.

(Though if you want you could probably make it thinner and cook it like crepes, I haven't tried that!)

(4) When it seems to be really crunchy and golden brown on the bottom flip it over and cook slightly on the other side.


These can be filled with a variety of filling, but the most common is a spicy potato mixture spiced with (of cource) Indian spices.

(If anyone interested I can post that.)


OK, so what does it have to do with the SOURDOUGH us people talk about here on the Fresh Loaf????

So here it goes. I had some brown rice flour sitting on my shelf not getting used.... Also I didn't make any breads this week and since I needed to feed my starter, I was going to have some extra starter.

So here goes my modified SourDough Dosa Recipe:

(All the ingredient amounts are in approximation, so use your intuation).... ;)


About 1 1/2 cups stiff wholewheat sourdough starter. ( you could probably use less )

2 1/2 cups water. (but maybe less like 2 cups, as you can always add more water later to get the consistence right).

4 cups (brown) rice flour. (you could probably use white if you want)

salt (about 1 tbsp not too sure, you'll have to go by feel here)


(1) break the starter up into smaller pieces (10-15 pieces).

(2) Add water and with your hands dissolve all the sourdough chunks in the water until it is a big slurry.

(3) Now, start adding rice flour to this. and mix up with a fork making sure all the clumps of flour get dissolved nicely.

(4) Let it sit in a warm place, for as long as it takes :)

(5) Add salt before cooking them. Also adjust the thickness of the paste. It should be thinner than pancake but thicker than crepes' batter.

(6) stir the batter briskly.

(7) Cook them according to the directions above in the traditional method.

(8) Fill them up with your favourite filling or keep them plain.

(9) Eat them hot and crispy right off the skillet or they'll loose the crispyness fast.


(I started it late morning yesterday, but because of using so much starter it was progressing pretty fast. I actually started with 3 cups of rice flour, and  about by night it was super bubbly and I didn't want to cook them last night, so I added 1/2 cup more flour and refigerated it. I took it out of the fridge about noon today and since it was quite bubbly again, I added 1/2 cup more flour and cooked them after 1/2 an hour).

(We had these for lunch as well as for dinner :D, yum) They had a nice sour taste which stays in your mouth a long time after you eat them, but not super sour when actually eating them. Also I think, the potatoes balanced them out as well.

These are accompanied by coconut chutney and Sambhar (which is like a thin soupish dal/soup made of split beans).

Luber's picture

Ersatz Hopfister Oko-Schwabenlaib sourdough rye

February 15, 2007 - 9:59pm -- Luber

My German roommate complained that he couldn't get bread here like at home, so he brought me a loaf to try and emulate. It was
heavy and dense with a great crust. Here's the official description:

I hadn't baked for a few years, but since I'd worked as a baker for a while I figured it was
like riding a bicycle. However, I hadn't worked with sourdough before, so after reading a bit here, at and
elsewhere and getting some good advice from a few people, especially Samartha, who's made a serious study of it and shares it here:

I went ahead and made a starter as he described and tried a loaf or two. After three iterations, the results are pretty darn good! My
roommate from Munich said it's almost like the real thing, 90% the same - anyway I like it. So I thought I'd share it. I used the
Detmold 3-stage process as he describes here: he even has an online calculator!
He does everything by weight like a real baker, but I've gotten lazy and use cup measure at home, so you may have to play with
hydration a bit.

Pull starter out of fridge and warm up till active.

1) 2 Tbsp. active starter, 2 Tbsp. rye, 1.5 Tbsp. water; 80º-84ºF for 6 hr.
2) ¼ cup rye, 1.5 Tbsp. water; 70º-80º for 12-24 hr.
3) ¾ cup rye, ¾ cup water; 86º for 3 hr

Pull out 2 Tbsp. of #3 and reserve in fridge for next batch.

Autolyze: During Stage 3, in separate bowl mix

2 cups water @ 70º
2+ cups bread flour (King Arthur AP, Giusto's Baker's Choice or Gold Medal Harvest King - 11.5% protein)
2 cups clear flour (available from King Arthur)
1 cup high-gluten (eg Giusto’s Ultimate Performer)

just until wet and let sit for 30 min - 2hr. Then put this “autolyzed” mix along with the sour into the mixer and add:

1 cup rye
1 Tbsp. each salt and ground caraway
1 tsp. each ground fennel and coriander

Work up about five min in the KitchenAid, let rise till double (~1 hr @ 80-85º).
Re-roll into a ball and rise till doubled again (~for 1 hr @ 75º).

Egg wash, poke deep holes instead of slashing, bake on the stone at 450ºF for 20 min with steam, then another 50-60 min at 350º or
until the internal temp is 200-205º.


clyde scarberry's picture

san fran sour

February 12, 2007 - 6:39pm -- clyde scarberry

I've been at a bakery for six years and have run into a problem that has never come up before. Our san fran sour seems to have either come close to dieing or, has gone dorment. It still has bubbles but it will not triple in size the way it use to. I was wondering if this could be caused by the fact its been extreamly cold and our flour is cold. I've let it sit out at room temp for six hours after rejuvinating it but its still flat. Could some fruit juice give it the kick it needs? Could someone please give me some ideas to discuss with the other bakers at our bakery. We also have 10%, 100%, and rye sours but,none of them seem to be effected,it's just our san fran sour.


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