The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

San Joaquin Sourdough, Take 2...

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OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

San Joaquin Sourdough, Take 2...

The first time I baked this bread the results were tasty, but nothing to advertise.  The loaf was ugly, and an edible learning experience.  So we learned away at it!  After some consultation with dmsnyder on technique and hydration adjustments I've tried again with results I'm more proud of.


Here's the loaf:


San Joaquin Sourdough loaf


And the first crumb shot


San Joaquin Sourdough 2


and another crumb shot



And finally, a closeup of the slash on top


San Joaquin Sourdough Slash


 


I think the very large holes in the crumb are from the slight over proofing I caused.  It did not go so badly as to deflate, but I think there was a bit too much gas developed.  If I'm right it is a credit to my firm starter, which I was thinking was a bit sluggish.  This could also be from poor technique in forming the loaf, and I'll admit I have a long way to go there, but it looks like gas pockets to me, not an internal seam blow.  I'm interested in what others think this might be as well.


Overall this is a huge improvement over my first attempt.  Based on David's advice I reduced the water from 370 to 360 grams.  I added three additional stretch & folds at 30 minute intervals on a very lightly floured board before putting it into the refrigerator for the long bulk fermentation.  In order to get the loaf baked by bed time last night I stopped the bulk fermentation at about 18 hours and formed the loaf as prescribed here. I was surprised by how quickly the loaf proofed and did not get the oven started in time, so the loaf proofed a few minutes extra and the oven did without a few minutes of heat-soak time in preheating.


I baked the loaf with steam for 10 minutes at 500F then down to 460F.  Steam was removed at 15 minutes, and the loaves were baked for another 25 minutes at 460F.  I was trying for a bolder finish on this loaf so when I thought it was done I gave it 5 more minutes (included in the 25 minute bake time noted) before turning off the heat and opening the door.  I still did not get as bold a bake as I wanted, but I was afraid to dry it out too much.  Next time I think I will bo for a little more yet.  After 5 minutes with the door open to dry out the crust I moved it to a rack to cool.


I did not cut into the loaf till late this morning when my photographer wife was available. We took the shots, then we had some of it with lunch!  It has a wonderful flavor, and a light and tender crumb that is pleasantly chewy without feeling rubbery.  Next time I will let the crust dry out longer before taking it out of the oven, and perhaps reduce the time under steam by a couple of minutes as well.  The crust is not as crisp as I would prefer.  It will give me something to work toward, so I can bake some more!


OldWoodenSpoon

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I suppose we just can't stopping fiddling, but I'd say you got a winner there. I'm glad you got the nice crumb texture and flavor.


I would not say you over-proofed the loaf from its appearance. It looks like you got good oven spring and very nice bloom. The large holes in the crumb are characteristic of this bread. (That's a feature, not a bug!) My crust stays crunchy for just a few hours. Then it's chewy. You can re-crisp (re-crunch?) it by heating the loaf at 375ºF for 7 minutes.


Even if the mayo and mustard do drip out, this bread makes a great sandwich. (Toscano Salami or Hickory Smoked Turkey Breast). It makes great garlic bread. Fantastic French toast. After a week, it makes nice garlic croutons or bread crumbs.


Did I tell you I kinda like this bread? ;-)


David

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

This is a great bread, and your suggestions really helped.  I had a samwich with it for lunch with sliced pepperoni, mayo and lettuce, and some sliced red onion.  It was just great.  And I just love french toast made from sourdough bread.  My wife warned me today though that we need to slow down on the apple butter pull-aparts, sourdough pancakes and waffles and ...   Hmmm, I guess she's probably right.


I'm glad to hear that the large holes are a feechur, not a bug in my baking.  That gives me a good reference point for the proofing in the future.  I will bake this a few more times just like this till I can be consistent, then I'm dying to try it with roasted garlic and asiago cheese worked into it.  I'll get to that before Christmas for sure because I want to bake it with my daughter when she comes home for her holiday visit.


You didn't have to tell me, cuz it shows!


OldWoodenSpoon

ehanner's picture
ehanner

That really looks great from here OWS. I'd be very happy to have results as nice as that one.


Eric

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

I've seen your baking too, so that means a lot.  You and dmsnyder and many others set the bar very high indeed for us novices and newbies.  Then you coach us and encourage us to shoot for it.  Thank you indeed.


OldWoodenSpoon

ehanner's picture
ehanner

There aren't many people in the World that can make a loaf of high hydration bread as fine as yours my friend. You are just fine.


Eric

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

Thank you Eric.  Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

willsfca's picture
willsfca

the loaf looks great! it's encouraging to know that lowering the hydration and more kneading helped with the oven spring. (i've been struggling with oven spring for my baguettes.) i can't wait to try this recipe soon. congrats!