The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Susan from San Diego's "Original Sourdough" -

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Susan from San Diego's "Original Sourdough" -

 


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


 


 

Comments

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Looking good David! I may wake up and bake something after all. Susans covered method is tops in my book. It has made me question the whole thing with steaming.


Eric

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

You're going to start baking now? Isn't it past your bedtime?


The magic bowl IS a method of steaming, as far as I'm concerned.


David

ehanner's picture
ehanner

David,
I think my inner cat is coming out. I am learning to appreciate the value of a good nap as I get older.


Isn't it great when you make a loaf that looks AND tastes great.


Eric

guan.xiu's picture
guan.xiu

The bread is so pretty, but why there is no yeast in this formula?


 


:)

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The yeast is in the sourdough starter or "levain."


David

Praxeas's picture
Praxeas

It's easy to miss in David's account, Guan Xiu, but he refers to 1 Tablespoon of "active starter" in the "Starter" section. So he's actually using an existing sourdough starter...

blackbird's picture
blackbird

thanks very much, this is very interesting, I'm making a note, must try in the future, great photos


Robert


 

Susan's picture
Susan

Thanks for playing with my old recipe/method. The chewy crumb is what I shoot for; it's my fav.  And I can't wait to see how your retarded loaf turns out, as I don't remember ever retarding that dough back in the olden days.  I'm guessing there will be more flavor.


Great job with bread and photos!


Susan from San Diego

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I think you answered a lingering questions: Your "Ultimate" SD replaced your "Original" SD as your favorite, then? ("The olden days" = 2007? Things move fast in the world of TFL, I guess.)


I'm partial to a more pronounced sour flavor, more like SF SD. I expect the loaf that I retarded, which is warming up and proofing at the moment, to be more sour.


Thank you for sharing your formulas. I will have to try your "Ultimate" SD now.


David

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Beautiful loaf and very nicely written!


Sylvia

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

ehanner's picture
ehanner

David,


One of the issues of using this method is deciding what surface to bake on. I usually revert to my stone since it is large enough to easily accommodate the 4L SS bowl. I have a two layer cookie sheet pan that is large enough but the last time I tried to bake this method, it popped out of level at the high temperature we use. As soon as it warps, the seal is broken and the effect is ruined.


So my question is what specifically do you use that doesn't warp?



I used a heavy-gauge black steel, non-stick sheet pan that is larger than the standard "half sheet" size.



I know Susan uses a shelf pan that came with her oven that is large enough to handle the bowl. I think that this would work well even starting with a cold oven using a pan instead of a heavy stone. Hmm maybe a black steel pizza pan?


Eric

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Eric.


I got a set of 3 Chicago Metalic sheet pans from the KAF Baker's Catalogue some time back when they were on sale. They have carried this set recently, but I can't find it on their web site today. Amazon.com has what I believe to be the same set. See:


http://www.amazon.com/Chicago-Metallic-Professional-Nonstick-Jelly-Roll/dp/B000FKUKL4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1238269303&sr=1-2


The set is nice. It includes a standard "half sheet" pan, a "quarter sheet" pan and one that is larger than a half sheet but smaller than a full sheet size. I used the last for this bake, as it is the only one deep enough to accommodate my SS bowl.


I've had lighter gauge pans warp when I heated them empty in the oven, but these are really substantial. I use them for baking rolls. Last night, we used one to bake chicken breasts with a bread crumb/mustard breading (recipe can be found on Epicurious.com). 


I almost always bake on the stone, too. But Susan doesn't, so I thought I'd give baking on my sheet pan a try. Oven spring was okay. The bottom of the loaf had crust that was browned to the exact same degree as the rest of the crust.


I would expect a thick pizza pan would work well.


David

gosiam's picture
gosiam

I am trying to understand, why not to put the loaf directly on the stone?  What is the benefit of placing it first on the sheet pan?


Gosia

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Use one or the other. There is no point in using both.


David

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

If your oven came with a broiler pan you can remove the top and just use the shallow pan...that might work..they are thick fairly large pans!


Sylvia

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

My imagination is failing. If Susan's "Ultimate" Sourdough is even better than this one, it purely boggles my mind.


The loaf that I cold retarded overnight is significantly more wonderful than the first one. In fact, it is close enough to my idea of "perfect sourdough bread" that I can't measure the difference. It has a fabulous taste, crunchy crust, chewy crumb. Wow!


Photos of this bread and updated text have been added to the original post above.


Thanks again, Susan!


David

Susan's picture
Susan

Please tell where me where to send the check, David.


Susan


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

If anything, I owe you, Susan.  


David

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

I knew you'd like the results. You did a great job, as usual, with Susan's recipe and the write and photos are very nice.  I copied it off and will try your changes.


 


weavershouse

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

One thing I didn't put in the write up (but I will now): The WW flour I used was KAF White WW.


David

sullivantp's picture
sullivantp

Hi David,


Thanks for such a great post. I typically use the stone, ice cube, and spraying methods for steaming, but this has me itching to try the magic bowl. One question, though: Does the bowl really need to be stainless steel or might a Pyrex bowl work just as well?


I'd be much obliged for any insights!


 


Thanks,


TS

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, TS.


Thanks for your kind words.


A pyrex bowl will work and has the advantage of allowing you to see the bread while it's doing it's magic under the bowl. (That's my "insight.") However, you run the risk of shattering the bowl if you cold-shock it, bump or drop it or if it has a defect.


If you don't have a large stainless steel bowl, they can be quite inexpensive. I think I paid about $7 for mine at a grocery store. You don't need anything fancy or one where you are paying for a brand name.


David

sullivantp's picture
sullivantp

Well, when you put it that way, it seems that buying a stainless steel bowl is the best route, after all! I was afraid shattering might be an issue at 500 degrees.


Much obliged once again, both for these answers and all that you and the others share here. It really has been a tremendous tool for this amatuer-but-aspiring bread maker.


 


TS

Barbara Krauss's picture
Barbara Krauss

I have a question about the use of the magic bowl.  If you're using one, do you still add steam to the oven?  It seems like it wouldn't be necessary, but I usually do it anyway, just in case.


Also, I have found my perfect "magic bowl."  I use my stainless steel Kitchen Aide 5 1/2 quart mixing bowl, which is very easy because it has a handle on the side for easy removal.  I happen to have two (one is a spare) and they fit side by side very well on my stone for baking two boules at a time.


 

Susan's picture
Susan

Congrats on finding the perfect bowls!  No, it shouldn't be necessary to steam the oven when using your bowls.


Susan from San Diego

Barbara Krauss's picture
Barbara Krauss

Thank you for the response, Susan.  It must have seemed like an awfully dumb question, but a lot of this is still very new to me. 


Now that I have you for a moment, I would very much like to thank you for the wonderful tutorial on baker's math you gave on your website.  I've spent the better part of the past few days studying it, and finally am feeling pretty confident with it.  I can feel it's really going to open doors for me!


 

ajrosen's picture
ajrosen

i am in aggreement with the large hole deal regarding sourdough and not fast acting yeast creating nice large holes. 

the guy who runs Tartine a bakery in Calif has a great very simple recipe i guess i can share it here from his book. btw the best recipes and most reliably consistent list ingredients in gms and not cups and spoons

so here goes Tartine basic country loaf

water 700 gms

leven or starter 200 gms ( many recipes call for much more but this is amazing how active just 200 gms are)

bread flour 900 gms

mix all this up by hand ( i find a large plastic bowl and wooden spoon keeps it not so messy)

let sit covered for 20 mins and then add 20 gms of salt   (gms are different than tspns bc of salt types and density such as size of grains etc)

add 50 gms of water along with the salt and squeeze it into the dough as it will begin to feel rubbery bc of autolyze going on or basically the term means the gluten is forming connections

then let this set in a large covered trough and fold and stretch every half hour for 2 hours  let set out for 5 hours total then set in fridge overnight

the next day let it all come to room temp about 4 hrs and take out and mold into boules or balls and then place in basket or as i do since i have had horrid results in proofing baskets. i put in the bowl lined with parchment paper then cover with plastic and when risen ( usually takes about 2 hrs to rise properly)  i slice top and lower into a dutch oven with the corners of the paper and never have a loaf deflate then bake at 400 for 55 mins ( about half way thru remove lid and pour out onto cooling rack)

always a great loaf

 

 

 

 

 

ajrosen's picture
ajrosen

i bought Teresa Greenways ebooks on kindle and they are a whole $5 and basically a primer on sourdough and how it all works. She had partnered with many folks not the least of which are microbiologists who understand the whole starter and gluten and gliadin ( i made a "C" in micro) i am a Chiropractor and not an infectious disease Dr so no worries! Anyway, she has the best step by step work i have ever seen even better than Rheinhart and just got his book on bread and it leaves much out for us newbies. So if yu want to start making great bread and not have to hunt and peck as i did for 3 months go to northwest sourdugh site. 

ajrosen's picture
ajrosen

i bought Teresa Greenways ebooks on kindle and they are a whole $5 and basically a primer on sourdough and how it all works. She had partnered with many folks not the least of which are microbiologists who understand the whole starter and gluten and gliadin ( i made a "C" in micro) i am a Chiropractor and not an infectious disease Dr so no worries! Anyway, she has the best step by step work i have ever seen even better than Rheinhart and just got his book on bread and it leaves much out for us newbies. So if yu want to start making great bread and not have to hunt and peck as i did for 3 months go to northwest sourdugh site.