The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My Weekend baking - Variations on familiar themes

dmsnyder's picture

My Weekend baking - Variations on familiar themes

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: 

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:

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



Stephanie Brim's picture
Stephanie Brim

What's the 'varient' in the San Joachim loaf? It looks incredibly good.

dmsnyder's picture

Hi, Stephanie.

I added barley malt syrup and toasted wheat bran.


crunchy's picture

Delectable-looking crust and crumb on all of those. I'm assuming that the San Joaquin is based on Vermont sourdough recipe?

You're a tough one to match, David. It seems like you've baked everything that I've been baking lately. Maybe it's because we're partial to the same books? I tried Hamelman's semolina sourdough, thinking that there probably wouldn't be too many posts about it on TFL, but little did I know! It's now one of my new favorites. Have you baked the hazelnut and prune loaf from Hamelman? I can't get enough of it.

dmsnyder's picture

Hi, Crunchy.

See the link in the post. The SJSD is derived from Bouabsa's baguette formula, actually.

I think SusanFNP''s sourdough is derived from Hamelman's Vermont SD.

I haven't tried the hazelnut/prune bread. But see my blog on cherry/pecan bread. You might like that if you like fruit/nut loaves.


blockkevin's picture


both of your breads look beautiful, but I especially love the grine on the San Joaquin sour.

dmsnyder's picture


Janedo's picture

Hi David!

I don't have any bread this morning!!!! Pass those over quickly. I think I'll do up a San Joaquin with Richelle malt powder she sent me with the starter I have waiting. They look fantastic.

I have been playing with the hydration level a lot in the past months. Our flour absorbs less water and yet with a T65/rye bread (basically like the San Joaquin), I have been going easily up to 80% hydration (that's the picture on my blog where I windowpane in a big sheet). The crumb is great... BUT it remains quite humid even after a good baking and a dark crust. Now I am sort of curious about what I consider extremely LOW hydration breads (under 65%). That's my next experiment.


dmsnyder's picture

If you want a really good, low-hydration levain, try SusanFNP's. I know you know her Wild Yeast blog.

For your taste, I'd skip the overnight in the fridge for less sour flavor (flavour, to you.)


ehanner's picture


trailrunner's picture

I love the gorgeous bloom that you got on those loaves ! Wow many great breads here and so little time. I always look forward to your posts and pics. C

dmsnyder's picture


stefchik's picture

Thanks David,

My scoring and forming cannot match yours but I am thrilled with this bread; absolutely delicious!

Thanks so much for posting this recipe,



dmsnyder's picture

It sure looks good!


LindyD's picture

I have a serious case of bread and scoring envy.

I need a bread therapist.

They're gorgeous (as usual), David.