The Fresh Loaf

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dmsnyder's picture

Reinhart's San Francisco Sourdough from "Crust & Crumb"

SF SD from Reinhart's Crust&Crumb

SF SD from Reinhart's Crust&Crumb


SF SD from Reinhart's Crust&Crumb Crumb

SF SD from Reinhart's Crust&Crumb Crumb


When I started baking bread again after a 20 year lapse, it was to make two types of bread I loved but I could not get locally: Jewish Sour Rye and San Francisco Sourdough. The first bread book I purchase was Peter Reinhart's "Crust & Crumb," and I made his (prize winning) version of SF SD several times. It has been a while since I baked from this formula, and my understanding of bread making has advanced considerably. The Fresh Loaf community deserves most of the credit.


Well, it was time to return to my personal starting point and try again. In the meantime, I had made many sourdoughs, most of which in recent months have been with higher hydration doughs. So Reinhart's SF SD dough seemed really stiff to me. This time around I followed Reinhart's formula exactly, adding the diastatic malt for the first time. 


I fed the starter with KA Bread Flour. I used the same flour for the chef and the dough and added about 1/2 cup of whole rye.  The firm starter was retarded overnight before mixing the dough, and I also retarded the loaves after they had risen to 1 1/2 times their initial volume. I baked them after warming them at room temperature for 2 hours. I had forgotten how much I liked the flavor of this bread. The taste was quite sour, which I happen to like, and the crumb, while not quite as open as I wanted, was moist and chewy. 


Next time, the only change I'll make is to increase the hydration slightly.



gluonmom's picture

maintaining and using barm?

Hi, I'm new to the forum and to sourdough, though I've been making killer, crusty, yummy artisan breads for several years now. I've a couple, (probably oh, so obvious!), sourdough questions I hope you can help me with.

I made some wild yeast starter several weeks ago (using BBA's recipe), feed it regularly, and it is apparently very happy since it bubbles and doubles readily. I made bread with it a couple of times, and each time was disappointed. It tasted really bland and was so soft it was hard to cut. Crisp crust when it came out, but soft as Wonder bread by the time it was cool. The non-sourdough french, l'ancienne, and the like I make are generally wonderfully blistered and crusty. What's different about the sourdough? How do I get a crusty, chewy, holey sourdough bread?

Also, how much starter (barm) do I need to maintain? Reinhart's recipe makes 6 cups of barm, yet uses only a cup or less in any recipe. ?? Why do I need this much? It seems like if I am to build up my barm in order to use it, I end up with masses. I either need to make way more bread than I need, or throw out gobbs, or simply keep a huge lot of barm for ???. I'd rather not use up so much flour when I only need a loaf every few days. Following BBA I had so much starter I honestly don't know why people talk about needing to "build up" their starter to make bread.

Am I misunderstanding something about the process? I decided to only keep 4 oz. starter (barm) that I am refreshing with 4 oz. each of flour (hard wheat with a bit of rye) and water about every 5 days. When I pull it out to feed it, I'll have at about 12 oz to start with; 6-8 oz extra (to toss or ??) and 4oz to feed and put back in the chill chest. When I make bread, do I need to refresh this "extra" part until it is at it's peak (is this called ripening?), THEN use it to make a firm starter, THEN make the final dough, or do I just use this 4 oz directly to make into a firm starter and go from there? Am I missing something, or adding a step I don't need?

Can I use sourdough barm in any recipe that calls for barm or poolish? Do I need to do anything different? Is firm starter a sourdough version of pate firmentee? Is there a sourdough version of pain l'ancienne?

Thanks for your help!

bakerb's picture

pain a l ancienne

HI...Tonight I'd like to mix-up Reinhart's (BBA) pain a l ancienne, but I won't have time to finish it tomorrow or maybe not even till Wednesday that OK?  Or will it change or affect it in some way?

Thanks!   Beth

bakingmad's picture

NY Style pizza- High Gluten Flour

I just tried some high gluten flour for a pizza...


The results made me a happy pizza eater/maker tonight.

 I made a dough that was semi-transparent in most parts of the dough.


It made a delicious thin crust.


My next experiment is with a thicker crust.

 1 cup High Gluten Flour

1 TSP Salt

1 TSP Active Dry Yeast

1 TSP honey

 Enough water to make the dough semi-sticky.






buns of steel's picture
buns of steel

got a Volkornbrot recipe you're happy with?

I'd like to make a Volkornbrot as soon as my next order of rye berries arrives. 


I have a nice big pullman/pain de mie pan, but to fill it it takes quite a quantity, so I was hoping someone would have a Volkornbrot that's tried and true.  I have most bread books (blush), so if you just want to send me to a book, chances are that I will have the recipe.


I was disappointed by Reinhart's in Whole Grain Breads, the rye berries per his instructions are cooked way to mushy.  I was looking at Dan Leader's recipe in Local Breads, and was also thinking of Hamelman's, but was hoping someone here could recommend a recipe.   With the amount it takes to  fill my pullman pan, it would be nice to have some recommendations.


Thanks in advance!

manuela's picture

Mrs. Sulzbacher's Chocolate Hearts

I think these cookies are really wonderful



3 oz. (3 squares, 85 g) unsweetened chocolate

1 lb. (454 g) sifted confectioners’ sugar

1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract

3 egg whites (or as needed), slightly beaten

granulated sugar as needed

The egg whites must NOT be added all at once, but little by little or the dough will be too soft and the recipe will fail. 

Melt the chocolate over hot water then add it to the confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer.Using the flat beater attachment mix briefly on the lowest speed, adding the vanilla. The mixture will be lumpy and most of the sugar will not be incorporated. Add the egg white 1 tbsp at a time, mixing on the lowest speed. You won’t probably need all of the amount indicated. The dough is ready when it is stiff and holds together when you work it by hand. The final consistency should be like play-dough.



Keep the dough in a bowl covered with a plate–plastic wrap does not work well—the dough tends to dry if left exposed to the air even for a few minutes.

Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). If the temperature is higher, the cookies will puff up too fast and loose their shape.

Sprinkle a very generous layer of granulated sugar on a board and take an orange-size piece of dough, leaving the rest covered. Work the portion of dough briefly between the palms of your hands, then place it onto the sugar covered surface and roll it 1/8-inch (3 mm) thick (not thicker). Flip the flattened dough a couple of times while rolling it so that both sides are well covered with sugar.chocolate-hearts-rolled.jpg

Form the cookies with heart shaped cookie-cutters and place the cookies on a very lightly greased baking sheet. The dough scraps cannot be kneaded again because of the granulated sugar, so try to minimize the spaces between cookies while you shape them. The scraps can be baked as well and will make cookies as delicious as the rest, albeit of less perfect shapes.

Bake the cookies for about 10-12 minutes, they will puff up a little and dry like meringues. When they are ready switch off the oven leave them in the oven for a few more minutes to ensure they are really dry.

Cool the cookies on racks and store in airtight containers.

Note: these quantities will yield approximately 4 baking sheets of cookies. You can halve the recipe, but they are so good it would be a pity to bake a smaller quantity.


from bakinghistory

proth5's picture

Home Milled Flour

For those of you who have followed bwraith’s adventures in artisan milling – and I commend them to all – let me say that I am nowhere near his level of attention to detail and analytics. I just thought I might post as I’ve taken an approach that is more accessible to the average home miller.


I am milling on a Diamant 525 which is hand powered and uses metal grinding plates. I hand sift using plastic sieves. Here is a picture:

My last milling effort was as follows:

  1. Temper 16 oz of Hard White Winter wheat with .5 oz of water for 36 hours – wheat is dry to the touch at milling time
  2. Coarse grind – sift through #30 sieve - return what remained in sifter to grinder
  3. 2nd coarse grind – sift through #30 sieve – reserve what remained in sieve which appeared to be fluffy bran (2.5 oz). Use what passed through sieve for next grind
  4. Medium grind – sift through #30 sieve – return what remained in sieve to grinder
  5. 2nd Medium grind – combine all of the material to the grinder
  6. Fine grind – sift through #50 sieve – return material in sieve to grinder
  7. 2nd fine grind – sift through #50 sieve – return material in sieve to grinder
  8. 3rd fine grind – combine all material.
  9. Age flour for 16 days (for no particular reason other than I was away and couldn’t bake)


This seems like a lot of passes, but they go pretty fast and aren’t as strenuous as doing a single fine pass from berry to flour. The flour was fine, silky, and creamy in color.

I am not a whole wheat purist and I have reserved the bran for other uses. The remaining flour (about 85% extraction) was used in a 100% home milled flour levain. I used the technique described in the book “Bread – A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes” in the formula for “Un-kneaded, Six-Fold French Bread” – I however, shaped a single batard.


Again, I am not a whole grain purist and I usually mix white flour with my home milled. Not this time – 100% home milled. This was the first time I considered my results acceptable and I am posting pictures of the finished loaf and the crumb. Despite its many, many flaws, the bread is good and well, a first attempt is a first attempt.

To my bread baking teacher – whose raised voice I can hear telling me that I always focus on what is wrong – I apologize for my negativity. But you gave me this assignment and if you are on this forum and happen to see this post – I am handing in my homework. Yes, tempering makes a big difference for the home miller…

newbreadman's picture

Sourdough Flavor

I have had several active starters over the years and have just recently started a "wild yeast" starter. No matter what I try, I can never get that strong sourdough flavor in my bread. The loaves look and rise beautifully but always have just a hint of the sourdough tartness.

Any ideas??
THANKS in advance!!!

rainbowbrown's picture

Pain à l'Ancienne

Pain à l'AnciennePain à l'Ancienne


The other day I made the Pain à l'Ancienne from Reinhart's BBA. I can't even believe the flavor this bread had. Really, I was thoroughly taken aback. I feel like I can't even talk about it...but it was...

I know many of you have this book and if you haven't yet, try this recipe. Really. Try it. It was a very simple recipe. Do it. Now.

and have fun.

bwraith's picture

Flour Milling Lab Results

In order to fine tune my milling and sifting process, I ran a series of tests at different mill coarseness settings to see which setting might result in the best separation of bran from endosperm. I then ran a successive reduction multi-pass milling and sifting process at what appeared to be the best first pass settings and sent samples of all these tests to CII Labs to see what some of the ash content, protein content, and dough rheology might be. I also sent in some samples of Heartland Mill flours to use as a reference, since these are the types of flour I would like to emulate with my home milling process. In fact, I use Heartland Mill Hard Red Spring Wheat Berries in all these milling tests.

The equipment and general process has been described in previous blog entries on home milling and sifting.

The processing is accomplished using a Meadows 8 Inch Stone Mill and a Meadows Eccentric Sifter, as well as a sieve shaker that can stack several 12 inch diameter stainless steel or brass sieves of US standard sizes.

The CII Lab results for the initial test of varying coarseness settings of the mill have sample descriptions such as "P1 open 1/3 turn 35-50". The P1 is just a label for the setting of the mill, which is listed next. At 1/3 turn, the mill stones are separated by about 1/2 a grain width. Similarly 1/6 turn would be about 1/4 of a grain width, and so on. The numbers at the end refer to the size of the sieves used. So, a sample labeled 35-50 went through a US standard number 35 sieve and was caught in the US standard number 50 sieve.

The CII Lab results for the second test start with a first pass with a 1/6 turn opening, which seemed to be a good setting to get good initial separation of bran from endosperm in the initial tests to determine the best first pass mill coarseness setting. The sample descriptions have labels like "P2a <70" or "P1 40-80m". The P2a is the label of the pass in the process described in the process flow chart for this milling session. The "<70" refers to product that went through the US standard number 70 sieve in the stack of sieve shakers used for all but the first pass.

On the first pass, "P1", the Meadows Eccentric Sifter was used. It has sifter sections specified by the mesh size of the screens in the three sections of the sifter. So, the "40-80m" refers to flour that went through the 40 mesh section and was caught in the 80 mesh section.It so happens that due to the wire diameters of the material used in the screens, the 26m section has about the same opening size as a US standard number 20 sieve, the 40m section has about the same opening size as a US standard number 35 sieve, the 60 mesh (not used in this session) is about the same opening size as a US standard number 50 sieve, and finally the 80 mesh screen has the same opening size as a US standard number 70 sieve. So, in order to simulate the use of the Meadows sifter in subsequent passes with my smaller sieve shaker that is just more practical for these smaller amounts, I used US standard numbers 20,35,50, and 70 sieves in the stack.

I also include a spreadsheet (xls, html formats) that summarizes the results of the milling session. On the "model" sheet, there is an attempt to model what would happen at other mill settings than the one I used, based on data from the initial runs at various coarseness settings and my guesses about how the subsequent millings would go. All of that may not be very useful, except to me. However, the "model" sheet also shows a summary of the basic ash content output of each stream from the process I ran.

The flour streams with ash content around 1% had very reasonable rheological properties, which makes sense, since I was able to make some very nice breads very similar to what would have been possible with Heartland Mill Golden Buffalo flour. The stream of lower ash content flour seemed to have low mixing tolerance, so I must have inadvertently separated out some important components of proteins needed to form good quality gluten. This tells me I can create a flour with an ash content of somewhere around .85% by mixing some of the other higher protein streams with the very low ash stream to get an off-white flour that is whiter than Golden Buffalo, yet still will create a strong enough dough. I suspect that using the lowest ash stream by itself might result in a dough that doesn't have the best baking properties, since the farinograph showed weak mixing tolerance relative to the other Heartland Mill products or my own higher ash content flours more similar to Golden Buffalo.

Additional Results From Wheat Montana Berries Milling Session (added 2/26/08)

I conducted a similar series of milling tests with Wheat Montana Bronze Chief berries, which are hard red spring wheat berries. I wanted to see if the process would go differently with the harder berries and if this would suggest changes to the process of the mill settings and sifting approach.

A flow chart of this milling session, very similar to the last, other than the addition of a fourth pass, has been posted. The preliminary report from CII Lab (now updated to final as of 3/6/08) is also posted. The nomenclature for the various passes is similar to above. However, the various tests of the "first pass" are labeled with letters. For example, a label of "PA 35-50 1/12 Turn" refers to a first pass test using a mill setting of 1/12 turn (1/3 turn is about 1/2 berry width in the separation of the stones, so 1/12 Turn would be a stone separation of about 1/8 of a berry width), and the 35-50 refers to product that fell through the #35 sieve and was caught in the #50 sieve.

The numbered passes refer to the multipass milling process in the flow chart above, which was used to create various grades of flour, bran, and red granular product.

I also include an updated version of the spreadsheet (xls, html formats) mentioned above that summarizes the results of the Wheat Montana milling session in two addition sheets ("WMactual" and "WMmodel"). On the "WMmodel" sheet, there is an attempt to model what would happen at other mill settings than the one I used, based on data from the initial runs at various coarseness settings and my guesses about how the subsequent millings would go. All of that may not be very useful, except to me. However, the "WMmodel" sheet also shows a summary of the basic ash content output of each stream from the process I ran. The "WMactual" sheet summarizes the actual results for the settings used, but it adjusts for the fact I removed some of the intermediate products to send in as samples for testing at the lab. The model is not exactly what I did, but it is a better description of what would happen if the intermediate samples had not been removed as I conducted the milling session.

Overall, what I discovered is that a finer setting on the mill seemed neccessary to get about the same breakout between "bran", "coarse red granules", "coarse white granules", and "cream flour", which is a rough way of describing 4 products that seem to be produced when I mill berries using a fairly coarse setting for the mill (1/6 turn of the screw from when the stones just touch, corresponding to about 1/4 of a grain width).

Also, I am becoming aware of the fact that there is a threshold effect in the mill setting that has a big impact on the separation of the bran and the yield of white granules that seem to then yield flour with the lowest ash content when remilled and sifted. Only the slightest change in the coarseness setting around the 1/6 turn setting for HRW or at about the 1/8 turn setting for HRS berries seems to make an enormous difference in the relative yield of "white granules" in the first pass of the mill. If the initial pass is too coarse, then result is much more bran attached to large granules, and if the setting is too fine, then the result is too much high ash content flour in the first pass, and less yield of white granules, consequently reducing any chance to extract lower ash content flour in the second milling steps.

I was also struck by the variation in protein and ash content of the berries sent in for testing. I'm wondering if there is a more accurate test or larger sample size needed for the grain in order to get more consistent results. The ash content and protein levels for the berries weren't as expected. For example, the HRS berries (Bronze Chief) from Wheat Montana should have had a higher protein content than the results on the tests show. Also, the HWS berries (Prairie Gold) had an inordinately low ash and protein content than what is normally said to prevail with this type of wheat berry. So, either the tests aren't revealing the true levels for some reason, or the wheat berries vary much more than I thought. Unfortunately, this will require convincing someone at the lab or another expert in this somewhat esoteric area to take a charitable interest in educating me.

Tempering may need to be adjusted for these berries, and I may have learned something new about the tempering time. First of all, it seemed to me that the berries milled as if they needed a little more moisture content. The amount of ash is larger overall. My sense was that the berries and the flour seemed dry. Although I added enough moisture to reach a moisture content over 14%, the moisture content tested at only 13.3%, which may have resulted from letting the berries sit for a little over 48 hours. The tempering period may have been long enough to allow some moisture to escape. Possibly these harder berries have trouble absorbing the moisture, which makes it more available to evaporate from the surface over a period of time. The lids on my tempering containers are probably not perfectly air tight, so moisture may escape very slowly over a period of time. Next time, the tempering for Wheat MT HRS and HWS berries will be conducted in two steps. First, enough moisture will be added to bring the berries to 14% moisture content. Then, in a subsequent step about 24 hours later, the berries will be tested and enough moisture will be added to bring the berries to around 14.5% moisture content followed by an additional 24 hours before milling the berries.