The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

San Joaquin Sourdough

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

San Joaquin Sourdough

The "San Joaquin Sourdough" is my own recipe. It evolved through multiple iterations from Anis Bouabsa's formula for baguettes. Most of my deviations developed in discussion here on TFL with Janedo, who first suggested adding sourdough starter and rye, and, then, leaving out the baker's yeast and making it as a "pure" pain au levain.



I got a pretty nice ear and grigne on this one.



 


 


Ingredients

 

Active starter (67% hydration)

100 gms

KAF European Artisan-style flour

450 gms

Giusto's whole rye flour

50 gms

Water

370 gms

Salt

10 gms

Note: Whole Wheat flour or White Whole Wheat flour may be substituted for the Whole Rye. Each results in a noticeable difference in flavor. All are good, but you may find you prefer one over the others.

 

Procedures

 

Mixing

In a large bowl, mix the active starter with the water to dissolve it. Add the flours and stir to form a shaggy mass. Cover tightly and let rest (autolyse) for 30 minutes.

Sprinkle the salt over the dough. Using the plastic scraper, stretch and fold the dough 30 times, rotating the bowl 1/5 turn between each stroke. Cover tightly. Repeat this stretch and fold procedure 3 times more at 30 minute intervals. 

 

Fermentation

After the last series of stretches and folds, scape the dough into a lightly oiled 2 quart/2 liter container and cover tightly. (I use a 2 quart glass measuring pitcher with a tightly fitting plastic lid manufactured by Anchor Glass.) Ferment at room temperature for an hour, then place in the refrigerator and leave it there for 21 hours. (In this time, my dough doubles in volume and is full of bubbles. YMMV.)

 

Dividing and Shaping

Take the dough out of the refrigerator and scrape it gently onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently pat it into a rectangle. Divide as desired or leave in one piece to make a 980 gm loaf. To pre-shape for a bâtard, fold the near edge up just past the center of the dough and seal the edge by gently pressing the two layers together with the ulnar (little finger) edge of your hand or the heel of your hand, whichever works best for you. Then, bring the far edge of the dough gently just over the sealed edge and seal the new seam as described.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and/or a kitchen towel and let it rest for 30-60 minutes, with the seams facing up. (The time will depend on ambient temperature and how active your starter is. The dough should have risen slightly, but not much.)

To shape a bâtard, fold the near edge of the dough and seal the edge, as before. Now, take the far edge of the dough and bring it towards you all the way to the work surface and seal the seam with the heel of your hand. Rotate the loaf gently toward you 1/4 turn so the last seam you formed is against the work surface and roll the loaf back and forth, with minimal downward pressure, to further seal the seam. Then, with the palms of both hands resting softly on the loaf, roll it back and forth to shape a bâtard. Start with both hands in the middle of the loaf and move them outward as you roll the loaf, slightly increasing the pressure as you move outward, so the bâtard ends up with the middle highest and the ends pointed .

 

Preheating the oven

One hour before baking, place a baking stone on the middle rack and both a cast iron skillet (Mine is filled with lava rocks.) and a metal loaf pan (or equivalent receptacles of your choosing) on the bottom shelf. Heat the oven to 500F. Put a kettle of water to boil 10 minutes before baking.

 

Proofing

After shaping the loaf, transfer it to parchment paper liberally dusted with semolina or a linen couche, liberally dusted with flour. Cover the loaf with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel or a fold of the linen. Proof until the loaf has expanded to about 1-1/2 times it's original size. (30-45 minutes) Do not over-proof, if you want good oven-spring and bloom!

 

Baking

Put about a cup full of ice cubes in the loaf pan on the bottom shelf of the oven and close the door.

Slip a peel or cookie sheet under the parchment paper holding the loaf or transfer to a peel, if you used a couche. Score the loaf. (For a bâtard, hold the blade at about a 30 degree angle to the surface of the loaf. Make one swift end-to-end cut, about 1/2 inch deep.)

Transfer the loaf and parchment paper to the baking stone, pour one cup of boiling water into the skillet, and close the oven door. Turn the oven down to 460F.

After 12-15 minutes, remove the loaf pan and the skillet from the oven. Rotate the loaf 180 degrees, if it is browning unevenly. Close the oven door.

Bake for another 12-15 minutes, then remove the loaf and place on a cooling rack. Check for doneness. (Nice crust color. Internal temperature of at least 205F. Hollow sound when you thump the bottom of the loaf.) If necessary, return to loaf to the oven to bake longer.

When the loaf is done, leave it on the baking stone with the oven turned off and the door ajar for 5-10 minutes to dry and crisp up the crust.

 

Cooling

Cool on a rack for two hours before slicing.

Enjoy!

David

 

Submitted to Wild Yeast Spotting on Wildyeastblog

Comments

xaipete's picture
xaipete

Your SJS looks wonderful David! The grigne and ear are utterly professional. You seem to have an endless talent at coming up with new iterations. I am in awe of your baking abilities.


--Pamela

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Thanks, Pamela. <blush>


Not to be argumentative, but I'm no professional. Professional bakers' work schedules are way too demanding for me. And, although I thank you for the compliment, I feel that what's "endless" are the possibilities in making bread.


David

Yippee's picture
Yippee

I'm working hard to learn your techniques. 


Yippee

xaipete's picture
xaipete

I expect that if I were to drive through the San Joaquin Valley, I would be able to figure out where you live by a combination of smell and reputation!


--Pamela

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Pamela said



I would be able to figure out where you live by a combination of smell and reputation!



You are possibly correct, but I dare say "A and B are true but not related."


David

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

Hi David,


What a great reciep that you have developed and what a delicious looking bread you've made!  Is San Joaquin the San Joaquin between San Francisco and Los Angelas?  I am not familiar with California.  How do you pronounce "Joaquin," like "hoa-kwin"?


Shiao-Ping

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Yes. Between the Coast Range and the Sierra Nevada is California's "Great Central Valley." It is drained by two rivers, and the northern and southern portions are named respectively after the rivers which drain them into San Francisco Bay - The Sacramento Valley (North) and The San Joaquin Valley (south).


David

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

Is San "waa-keen" a Mexican name or a name of Spanish origin?  Many of Australia's street names and suburbs are aboriginal names; e.g. Indooroopilly (pronounced indro-pilli).


Shiao-Ping

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Or then maybe not?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Beautiful loaf and awsome ear...I love the photos!  Very nice write-up with your formula for success!


Sylvia

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The crumb of this batch is characteristic of my San Joaquin SD. It is fairly open. It's pleasantly chewy, yet also tender. The flavor is distinctly yet mildly sour with nice, subtle rye overtones.


My wife, who is not exactly "on a first name basis" with all the breads I make, has been trying to communicate to me which one is her favorite. When she tasted a slice of this one, I found out it's the San Joaquin Sourdough.


These things are important to know.


David

Susan's picture
Susan

Beautiful, David.  Congratulations, and thank you for the details.


Susan from San Diego

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Please do let us see your bread and let me know how you like it. 


Also, I've added a note to the ingredients about substituting WW or WWW for the rye. My own next baking will be with WWW, which I've become very fond of as 10% of the flour in SD breads.


BTW, I've also baked this bread as boules, and they turned out well.


David

LindyD's picture
LindyD

And a perfect bread (as usual), David.


The perfect timing part is because its raining and chilly, my SD culture is at peak, and I have some KAF European Artisan-style flour in the cooler.  Combined with your recipe, what more can a gal ask for?


Oops.  No Giusto in this part of the country, but I imagine Arrowhead organic whole rye will do.


Thanks for the inspiration!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I'm sure your Arrowhead rye would work as well. Also, see my note about substituting WW or (preferably) White Whole Wheat for the rye flour.


Let us see how yours turns out and how you like it.


David

LindyD's picture
LindyD

I explicitly followed your recipe instructions, David, deviating only from the two-liter container to stash the dough.  When I looked at my mixed dough and the container, my intution told me to go with something larger.  So I went with a five-liter and am glad I did, as overnight the dough had risen more than half of the height of the larger container.


The dough was nice to work with (felt much lighter than the bread, rye, and high-gluten flours I've been using over the past months) and was cooperative in the shaping.  


They would have made a couple of nice batards were it not for my spurt of demonic Jack the Ripper slashing.  I think I was supposed to score the bread, not stab it. Maybe our very cold spring weather here is affecting my hand-eye coordination?  



These were baked around 35 minutes and I think they could have gone longer although the crumb temp was 210F when I removed them.  The crust is nice and firm, but not hard.  No idea what the crumb looks like since they're still a bit warm and won't be cut till tomorrow.  


They smell nice, but I know this is going to be a do-over.


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Lindy.


If I'm reading the entrails of those breads correctly, you got some sort of incredible blooming! Did you slash too deep?


They do look like they are going to be delicious, though. Hope you remember to photograph the crumb before it's gobbled up.


I'm have some of my SJ SD with Bruce Adell's Smoked Chicken and Apple Sausage for dinner tonight. (Beaver Brand Sweet Hot mustard, cherry tomatoes from the garden)


David

LindyD's picture
LindyD


Did you slash too deep?



Yupper, I sure did.   I also did the oddest shaping on one loaf (that hand-eye coordination problem?).  Looks like one side was handled with a velvet glove and the other with an iron fist.   I've never done this before and am not sure I could do it again.  At least I hope I won't!



Fortunately, the other batard didn't have the same issues, although I think the crumb could have been more open.  I don't think I underproofed it, but then, this is the first time I've ever retarded dough without shaping it first.   


I was totally unimpressed when I tasted a slice after it had completely cooled.   I could barely taste the SD culture or the rye and thought this was similar to the no-taste baguette I made a few weeks ago.  Tuesday, I had another slice and the flavor had improved a bit.  Today, Wednesday, I had a thin slice when I got home from work and the bread had taken on a completely new personality.  So delightful, I had four slices with dinner!  The rye and sourdough flavors were there in full bloom - not that I understand why this particular bread took two full days to develop the flavor.


I have been keeping my SD culture at around 60 percent hydration, so maybe that has something to do with it?  


Your formula has been such an interesting experience that I'm definitely going to try it again tomorrow - sans my Jack the Ripper slashing technique!


Thanks for sharing it, David.


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Lindy.


What an interesting effect. I have to think you got this somehow in shaping the loaf, unless it baked up against a cooler surface.


I have found many of my breads with mixed flours, soakers, etc. change flavor over 2-3 days. The change is usually for the better. Now that I think of it, I also find this with breads made with a single flour if it is first clear flour or a high extraction flour.


Even though the yeast and lactobaccili are dead, there is clearly an active chemical process of some sort going on.


David

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

Now that you know which is your wife's favorite, I hope you'll be making it for her often! That's a lovely batard with such a beautiful smile :)

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder


Now that you know which is your wife's favorite, I hope you'll be making it for her often!



You can bet on it!


I think it must be one of my favorites, too. My test is which bread I'm most likely to take out of the freezer when I'm looking for tomorrow's breakfast. This is certainly one I can't keep "in stock."


Another wonderful thing about this bread is that it only takes 3-4 hours .... on two consecutive days. It permits bread baking during the work week. I mix the dough one evening. Refrigerate it overnight, and divide-shape-proof-bake the next evening. And I still get to bed "on time," which is defined as no more than an hour later than I really should get to bed!


Hmmmm ... "No. I'm not in bed yet. Therefore, it's not 10:30." (To understand this, you must read Susan's latest blog entry)


David

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

... the temperature of your refrigerator?  I checked mine and I found different temperatures at different spots of the fridge, varying from -1C to 7C (30F to 44.7F)?!  I have a dough retarding right now at the spot where my IR thermometer registers 7 degree C (but the space right next to it registers 1C!); it's been there for nearly 12 hours, and it feels stoned cold.  


I am not very comfortable retarding sourdough this way through lack of experience.  Will it not need longer time to proof once it is out the fridge for it to come to room temp?   Does yours feel that it's back to room temp after it's done 30-60 min (btw pre-shaping & shaping) and another 30 - 45 min (in proofing)? Or, it does not matter?


Thanks


Shiao-Ping

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Shiao-Ping.


Okay. I just stuck a thermometer in the refrigerator on the shelf I use for retarding dough.


Meanwhile, to address your other questions: I have had variable expansion of the dough during retardation. I finally figured out that this depends most on the dough temperature at the time you refrigerate it. Now, I have taken to mixing the dough with tepid (80-85F) water, but, the truth is, I don't think the purpose of the retardation is dough expansion as much as flavor development. I have had good results when the dough expanded very little in the refrigerator and when it doubled. I have also retarded it for less than 21 hours and more, both with good results. 


Here's the trick: You will see that Bouabsa's method on which this is based calls for an extraordinarily long rest between pre-shaping and shaping the loaves. Usually, pre-shaping and that rest is primarily to relax the gluten to make shaping easier. My analysis is that, for this bread, the long rest is also to warm up the dough and allow some continued yeast action such as normally occurs during bulk fermentation. 


I judge when to shape the loaves according to how the pre-shaped pieces are behaving. So, if I see them starting to expand in 30 minutes, that's when I shape. If they rest for 60 minutes with minimal or no expansion, I let them rest that long and then shape.


This would be impractical in a commercial setting with a rigid production schedule. There, one would be meticulous about dough temperature and the temperature of the retarder. But it has worked for me. That said, I am using warmer water to mix the dough these days, as described above.


Okay. Time to check the thermometer. .......... 41F (5C).


I hope this makes sense to you.


David

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

Hi David


Your points are quite clear.  Thank you.


Given that the purpose of retardation is flavor development rather than dough expansion, would you say it makes little difference whether we retard at bulk fermentation or final proofing stage and that it all comes down to personal preferences?


If your cold retardation temp is 41F, I bet it will not have come back to room temp before it goes into the oven (with just 1 & 3/4 of an hour max between dividing and bake).  You often stress not to over-proof if we want oven spring; I guess all this is somewhat linked.


Many thanks for your clarification.


 

wan ping's picture
wan ping

Hi David


I have to say They look so so good,I am very new in bread making, and I love it to try and try the new recipes, your bread and shiao-Ping 's bread are the best to me, can u please help me here, if I can't get the Acitce starter can i make it and how I am going to make it? what's 67% hydration?


I like to ask you to help me, which book will be a best for a new student like me?


wan ping

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, wan ping.


Thank you for the message, and welcome to TFL.


This is a sourdough bread. You do need a sourdough starter to make it.


"67% hydration" means that 67% of the starter weight is water. This is "baker's math," which you should learn about.


Peter Reinhart's "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" is a good first book for a new baker. Read the book reviews on TFL. You may find another that appeals to you more.


David

wan ping's picture
wan ping

Hi,David


thank you for your help,I will go get this book.


wan ping

tslil's picture
tslil

hello david (and other TFL friends)


i'm a very new newbie in SD buisness, and have a white flower starter that is about 2 weeks old.. it is lively enough these days that i decided iit''s time to make it work


i looked at many recipes and instructions for how to start, and found this recipe, which contains siple flowers (i used WW instead of the rye), and has elaborate enough instructions for me


so i started the process yesterday, trying not to deviate from all you said.. and happily- the thing worked! i couldnt belive it when i took the bowl out of the refridgerator this morning- the dough was nearly doubled, and had many air bubbles..


i made 2 loafs (batards?) which are now having their final rest in a turned off oven.. they look nice


i have a few questions though:


1. after retardation, the dough was still fairly wet and slack-ish.. which made shaping difficult, and the rising was not high, and more like spreading- how do i make it rise up??


2. i dont have a baking stone, and instead heat up a pan and place the loaves on it.. it worked before for nonSD breads and pizzas.. but this tie it seemedd that the rising stopped very early.. the loaves are not very high, and the scorings i did did not open so much.. why? and advice on getting more over rise?


other than that i need to wait some more before i see the crumb and taste the bread.. but i'm very satisfied with just the fact that it risen and looks like actual SD bread.. thanks for all the good advice i read here, and the recipe..

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, tslil.


Welcome to TFL!


This is a somewhat slack dough, and you need to support it while it is proofing to get it to rise up rather than spread out. You can do this with either a banneton or using a couche. The couche is traditionally a piece of baker's linen that is well floured. You create creases with the cloth on either side of the load to support it while it is rising.


From your description, it sounds like you may have over-proofed your loaves. I take it that you didn't get much oven spring.


Let us know how the bread looked and tasted after it is cooled and sliced.


David

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

Instead I used KAF All Purpose and BRM Organic Dark Rye.  Otherwise I followed your excellent instructions as closely as I could.  The results were an edible but less than stellar success.  The dough was extremely wet and would not hold any shape.  I expected a wet dough at that hydration, but there was no way I was going to "roll" this loaf after the basic shaping.  Instead it just lay down and spread much like I would expect ciabatta to do, and proofing only made it worse despite careful shoring up of the couche.  The loaf did not spring much at all in the oven, although I got a lot of steam up.  The crumb was pretty dense and a little gummy, with a few very large holes but few small ones.  Sorry I don't have a picture, but it tasted wonderful so it was not a failure.  It was just not a rousing success. 


So, to my question for you if you will:  What is your opinion of how these flours would impact the slackness of the dough, compared to your original choices?  I'm not familiar with either the KAF or Guisto's flours you used.  Do you think my flour choices would result in a more or a less slack dough?  Since I will repeat this bake again soon with these same flours, I'm wondering if I need to adjust the hydration to compensate for the difference, or just focus on the workmanship issues I know I must improve?  Thanks in advance!


OldWoodenSpoon

willsfca's picture
willsfca

Hi OldWoodenSpoon, your experience sounds very much like mine! I've tried the recipe few times and I often get a pretty flat bread. It does spring up just a bit in the oven, but often after pre-shaping and proofing, the dough would spread out flat as soon as i take it out of the couche (or parchment paper couche in my case), and gets even flatter after i score it.


I've done a bunch of research into this, and so far there're two possibilities: one is the gluten wasn't developed enough, thus not holding the shape. the solution would be to knead or stretch-n-fold more. I tried this with my last batch but still got somewhat flat results.


The other possible cause i just read is that perhaps the dough was over-proofefd. I've been doing the 45  minute "pre-shaping" and 1 hour of proofing after shaping. The theory is that if the dough has been proofing for too long, then the yeast is worn out by the time the dough goes into the oven. I haven't tested this theory yet but for my next batch I'll try halving the over all proof time to see what happens.


For what it's worth at least even the flat-ish loaves I get are not too dense and are still edible. But it would be nice to get some 3-dimensional loaves at some point.


Good luck!


will

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, will.


I think your problem solving is right on target. See my response to OWS.


David

willsfca's picture
willsfca

David, I think my "problem-solving" was really just regurgitating what I've read on the board!


BTW, I've always wondered about the accuracy of weighing the flour. I know it's much more accurate than measuring by volume, but it also seems even the exact same flour may absorb different amount of water on different days. Unfortunately I don't know of a way to describe or measure how much water should be absorbed into the flour. I guess this is where experience comes in and you just have to know how the dough's supposed to feel. I know this would take more trials and time, and most likely more inches in my waist! :-)


will


 

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

My first attempt here behaved exactly as you describe yours.  I know my loaf was not over proofed though.  It was just very slack. I also have to work on my firm starter.  It is taking a long time to peak, so it is not yet fully up to speed.  I'm feeding it more regularly, and have moved it to a warmer room, and I will wait till it has improved some before I bake this again.  As you can read in my response below, we need to do more gluten development in the dough as well.  All these tips are appreciated, and thanks for offering your own experience.


OldWoodenSpoon

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, OldWoodenSpoon.


I have made the SJ SD with a variety of flours. You do need to adjust the hydration according to how the flour absorbs water (which varies with the flours but also day to day). For example, the last couple times I used only 360 gms of water using KAF AP and Bob's Red Mill Dark Rye. The dough should be a bit sticky at first, but not as slack as you describe.


I have also altered my procedure a bit. After the series of "stretch and fold in the bowl" x3, I let the dough rest 45 minutes, then do a stretch and fold on the board. I repeat this a second time after another 45 minutes then put the dough in a clean, oiled bowl and let it rise about 50% before refrigerating for 18-24 hours.


I find the additional stretch and folds improves the crumb structure and makes for a chewy crumb, even using AP flour. The crumb is still very open, even at the lower hydration level. The added fermentation time before retarding also improves the flavor.


After retardation, the dough is very extensible, but it holds its shape well after forming batards and has good oven spring, if not over-proofed.


Give the bread another try using less water and the other modifications I mentioned in procedures. Let us know how it works for you.


David

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

I had decided I needed more gluten development based on the density of my results, and it is comforting to know you have found the same in your own efforts.  I suspected when I made this loaf that I needed to add more flour, but decided to stick exactly to the formula the very first time in order to get a reference point I could see, feel and taste before starting to make adjustments.  I was determined to hold the substitution of the flours I had on hand as the sole departure in my first attempt.  If my results are that similar to your own then I must be getting the process pretty close as well.  From here I'll start with your suggested adjustments, and follow my slowly developing instincts.


When you do your stretches on the board do you use a wet board, oiled board, or just a scraper?  My inclination is to decrease the initial hydration of the dough as you proposed, and then use a wet board for the later stretches and let the dough pick up the little more water it will at that point.  It should remain managable since the gluten will be developed much more by then.


We loved the flavor of this loaf.  It is just what my wife has been looking for in the results of my baking.  Like yours, I think my wife has found San Joaquin Sourdough to be her favorite sourdough in my still very small collection of recipes.  Thanks again for your support and encouragement.


OldWoodenSpoon

willsfca's picture
willsfca

The last batches I made were actually just the straight dough recipe (the Anis Bouabsa one), just to remove the starter variable. And in the last batch I increased the amount of stretch-n-folds (the 20 strokes in-bowl type) from 3 sessions to 5 sessions. The dough did look more solid at the end, but after the overnight rise it went slack again... The dough did not have many small bubbles after the cold rise so maybe it wasn't over-proofed right out of the fridge, but maybe it was after the hour and 45 minutes proofing after it was out of the fridge.


When I do the stretch-n-fold in the bowl, the first or 2nd time I usually wet the scraper, so it does add a little more water, but maybe not as much as wetting a whole counter? But usually by the third stretch-n-fold the dough does not stick to the side any more.


Another variable that I just started thinking about is that I proof my baguettes on parchment paper instead of a canvas couche. My dough does not get a "skin" after proofing, like the photos I've seen of the ones proofed in canvas/fabric couches. I wonder if this skin helps hold the shape a little. At the very least it makes it easier to score. So maybe i'll try not to cover the dough when i proof on parchment paper next time.


will


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, OWS.


I lightly flour my board. If there is any sticking, I use a bench knife to loosen the dough, but the sticking is usually minimal.


David