The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Today's breads - SF SD from C&C and Vermont SD from "Bread"

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dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Today's breads - SF SD from C&C and Vermont SD from "Bread"

These were made with the San Francisco Sourdough starter from sourdo.com. 



Vermont Sourdough on the left. San Francisco Sourdough on the right.


Please note the 3 distinct shades of browning of the Vermont Sourdough bloom. This is a sign that the blooming occurred gradually over a large portion of the bake. To me, this is an indication that the stars (loaf proofing, scoring, baking stone temperature, oven steaming, etc.) were all aligned propitiously. The oven gods smiled on these loaves, as you can see from their smiles' reflection on the loaves. (Eeeeew ... That's corney! Well, that 's what writing while listening to Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 does. Consider yourselves fortunate I wasn't listening to the Dvorak Cello Concerto!)


Okay! Enough, already! On to crumb shots ...



San Francisco Sourdough from "Crust & Crumb" 


The crust was crunch-chewy. The crumb was a bit less open than expected. (The loaves were a somewhat over-proofed and collapsed slightly when scored.) The flavor was inoffensive but had no particular wonderfulness. It was mildly to moderately sour, which was what I'd wanted.



Vermont Sourdough from "Bread"


The crust was crunchy and nutty-sweet. The crumb was about as expected. It could have been more open, but I'm not unhappy with it. The crumb was quite chewy and the flavor was marvelous! Complex, sweet and moderately sour. It was close to my ideal for sourdough bread. 


The Vermont sourdough did have whole rye (10%) and the San Francisco Sourdough was straight white flour (except for a trace of whole wheat and rye in the starter feeding). Both of these formulas can make blow your socks off delicious bread. I credit the rye with the superior flavor in the Vermont Sourdough today. I certainly recommend a flour mix of 90% white and 10% rye to anyone who hasn't tried it. You don't taste "rye," but it does enhance the overall flavor greatly.


David

Comments

arlo's picture
arlo

Out of curiosity, you haven't noticed the taste of the starter starting to linger at all to something similar? Because I was under the assumption that when you start feeding a starter that was transported from some other location not nearby, the taste would start to morph to what you usual get from your location.


 


Other than that, the loaves are as always David, something awful close to perfect : )

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Various "authorities" dispute the persistence of the original micro-organisms in a sourdough culture. Most professional bakers who have written books say the culture will take on the organisms in your local flour (or air). Ed Wood, who sells sourdough cultures from around the world, says the culture will maintain the original organisms.


My experience to date has been that, while the culture may go through a phase at 1-3 months after activation when it has a distinctive flavor, it eventually changes.


I am skeptical about air-borne organisms being important, with the possible exception of a commercial bakery environment. Even there, the dose of organisms from the flour must exceed the dose from the air. That said, what if you feed your culture with a variety of flours which come from different mills in widely different locales? 


In my mind, I'm still uncertain. My own experience is insufficient to generate valid generalizations, and the experimental data with which I'm familiar do not represent "real life" circumstances for the home baker.


David

inlovewbread's picture
inlovewbread

Your baking has inspired a lot of my recent efforts. Thanks for posting! I always appreciate your formulas and detailed notes.


I'm interested in the tasting notes on these because I, too have been experimenting with the taste of my sourdough starter. I'm following the evolution of your purchased starter- from Idaho was it? Anyway, it will be interesting to hear how it changes over time.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

how you have so much oven spring with the Vermont or is it just the projection? I can't wait to hear about the flavor. I've used nothing but my homegrown and am thinking that I would like to try someone elses starter. It's such a delight to accomplish and maintain your own starter, which I've had for about 4 years. Time to try something new.


I have a Pain Normand formula I've saved for this time of year. Can't wait to hear about yours. I bet it would be wonderful with the batch of applebutter I made this weekend, thanks to MarkB.


Betty


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Betty.


The SF SD loaves were over-proofed somewhat. The Vermont Sourdough loaves were probably proofed just about perfectly.


Both breads had a moderately sour flavor. The Vermont SD was a little more sour but also had a more complex flavor. Both are probably due to the added rye flour more than any other factor.


Honestly, I can't say that the origin of the starter had much if any impact. I think the way I fed the starters - going through a liquid starter feed, then a firm starter build - and the overnight retardation account for the acid balance I got. I'm in no way either condemning or endorsing "Sourdoughs International's" claims.


David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

I'm always second guessing the timing..can I make it to the market and back before the loaf is overproofed? It's not quite ready when I leave, but time is precious on the weekends and have to make the most of it. Usually, I fare well.


Hmm. interesting also that you find little difference in flavor. I guess, I'm not surprised. The way I've fed my starter, varying feeding, flours etc. has made quite a difference in flavours.


I'm sure if I was consistent in my habits, I would have found a method to stand by. This will always be my downfall..I can't leave well enough alone..always have to try something new.


Thank goodness for people like you, who keep the barometer steady.


Betty

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

LOL! 


Betty! Surely you jest! 


With all the messing around I've been doing in the name of experimentation, this weekend was meant to get "back to basics." I certainly learn from the experiments, but one thing I have learned is that the Hamelmans and Reinharts of the world have "been there and done that," and, by time they publish a book, their formulas and methods are tried and true.


Does that mean I'm going to stop experimenting? No way! If every 2 years I come up with a San Joaquin Sourdough-type winner, it's worth all the bags of flour used in less satisfactory tries.


David

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

What beautiful blooms you've got on your Vermont Sourdough, absolutely gorgeous!  Did you use wicker baskets (bannetons) for proofing?  From your pictures, it looks as though the white lines have no residual flour on them.  How did you manage to dust such thin layer of flour on the basket such that it shows the design and yet there is no excess of flour? 


Thank you.


Shiao-Ping

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I used regular coiled brotformen (from SFBI). I rub 50/50 AP/Rice flour into the spaces between the coiled, leaving as little as possible loose in the brotform.


Less flour sticks to lower-hydration doughs like the Vermont Sourdough, but I also probably use a bit less flour in the brotform since I'm less concerned about the loaf sticking to it.


David

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

That's a beautiful piece of art work you've got there as far as I am concerned.


Shiao-Ping

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Beautiful loaves and nicely written!  I've only just recently been using a little rice flour on my linen/brothforms.  I would have searched it out in the stores a lot sooner had I known how great it works.


Sylvia 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Rice flour is like Teflon. It really helps the bread release from the brotform. Try it!


David

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I meant to say linen lined bowls and my brothforms.   Have you ever used the brown rice flour?  I have some but I have not used it yet after finding the wrf!


Sylvia

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Sylvia.


Nope. I've never tried it. I think WFM carries it in bulk, but I've been buying the BRM white rice flour. One package lasts more than a year.


David

M2's picture
M2

Hi David and Sylvia,


I've tried both white rice flour and brown rice flour.  They both work great.  For some reasons, the white rice flour remains on the crust after baking, i.e. white patches of flour here and there, and it isn't appealing at all (yes, I did try to dust the flour off before putting it in the oven).  I don't have any problem with the brown rice flour...though the crust with brown rice flour does look a bit dark...actually pretty dark.  If I remember correctly, the flour gave the bread a nutty taste.


Now I use whole wheat flour on the linen instead.


Thanks David for sharing the photos and notes.  It is lovely.  It is inspiring.  Tomorrow will be my third attempt to try Reinhart's SF SD.  My first two attempts were a success.  The end products were a bit different due to various factors during the process.  I couldn't wait for see how it turns out this time ;)


Michelle

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Michelle.


The SF SD in BBA is a bit different from the one in "Crust and Crumb." The latter is superior, in my opinion.


Let us see your results!


David

M2's picture
M2

I did try the BBA's SF SD and it was a failure...well, the fault is probably on my part as a new sourdough baker.  Now I follow the SF SD formula from C&C.  Yes, I'm loving this one :)


This is the 3rd time I make this bread.  This time, I proofed the dough in a baking tray lined with linen instead of in basket.  Bad idea.  The dough didn't get support on the side and it expanded sideway. 


I was unable to follow the proofing schedule, so the dough may have overpoofed a bit (the dough was on the patio for about 5 1/2 hours...a rainy day and the temp. was around 8C/46F; then in the fridge for about 19 hours).  The texture is pillowy, not the chewy texture that I had achieved in my previous attempts.


I only used half of the recipe and divided the dough into two small loaves.  Each weight about 18-19oz.


 



Michelle

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

One trick to keep your loaves from spreading when proofing en couche is to support the outsides of the loaves with rolled up kitchen towels, rolling pins or the like. You drape the linen over the supports.


I hope this is clear, if not, let me know.


David

M2's picture
M2

I'll give it a try.  I really enjoy making sourdough ;)


Michelle

hullaf's picture
hullaf

The continuing fine-tuning of my sourdough gets me frustrated at times. Yesterday I made a "Vermont" bread of Hamelman's, the one with increased whole grain but with less hydration (61%) because . . . just because that's what my levain ended up with and consequently it helped due to the rainy day moisture in my house. 


      


Like dmsnyder, who says the stars have to line up propitiously, there's a lot of events that have to line up in a timely manner to get what you want. The boule on the right was underproofed - see the uneven burst (or the slashes were off kilter?) -- and the left one seems better because I let that one proof 30 minutes longer. 


Taste was good with a mild sourdough flavor, which I had expected. I did not retard overnight. Ah-ha, patience is a virtue I need to acquire. Or else more time! 


Thanks David for your on explanations and pictures.   Anet

judyinnm's picture
judyinnm

If a person has a sixty-year-old SD starter, and moves to a new location, won't that starter take on the characteristics of the new locality, in a short time?  All things being equal and assuming it's been well and properly cared for, does the fact that a starter is that old make any difference in real life? 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David