The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

SF Sourdough & Pain de Beaucaire - plus a book review

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

SF Sourdough & Pain de Beaucaire - plus a book review

Both are from the book "Advanced Bread and Pastry". I have been baking from it a lot lately as you can tell from my blog entries, my feeling about the book is mostly positive, with some caveats. It''s a textbook for SFBI students, and stays true to that premise. I like the fact that it not only has interesting recipes, but also solid theories. Some material doesn't apply to home bakers (flour enhancement etc.) and instructions mostly assume a professional baking environment with all the neat tools, but I don't mind, I like seeing the behind the scene theories and operations, with the principals explained, it's entirely possible to adapt the instructions to my own kitchen. The bread part is only 1/4 (if that) of the book, but it's a lot of material since the whole book is huge and dense - dense in both abstract and physical sense, I am getting an arm workout just holding it! However, textbooks often require in class instructions to make them complete, and this book is no exception. There are blanks in the book I can't fill by just reading it: various starter hydration ratios are not specified, formulas just say "stiff starter", "rye starter" etc.; some breads have interesting shaping procedures, but they are NOT outlined at all in the book, this Pain de Beaucaire is a well known example, the pear buckwheat bread is another; as I found out recently, some formulas have mistakes, the two castle rye I blogged last was a good example, there's also no picture of the bread, so I can't even guess from the crumb/crust. Unlike reliable cover-all books like BBA or "Bread", this book often leaves me feeling like a student who has skipped one too many classes (a scenario I am familiar with :P). However, these flaws can be easily overcome with the help of internet. I found shaping instructions (with step by step pictues) for both the pear bread and this pain de beauaire from wildyeast's wonderful blog; got the formula error figured out after noonesperfect emailed SFBI for me; other minor details like starter hydration can be approximated with educated guess. All in all I am glad I bought this book, and I will keep baking a lot of breads and other items from it (all those beautiful cakes!) - with the help of knowledgable resources from TFL and blogs of ex-SFBI students.


 


Now the breads:


1. Baked SF Sourdough a few weeks back. Recipe can be found here. Probabaly not a good idea to make the Auvergnat shape, then proof it upside down in the brotform overnight. Part of the "hat" got stuck, and it became crooked during baking, kinda a funny look huh?



Nice open crumb, not nearly as sour as I expected, probably due to my "not very sour" starter. However it IS more sour than my usual sourdough which uses a liquid levain with an overnight proof.



2. Baked the Pain de Beaucaire last weekend, what an interesting shaping procedure! Without Wildyeast's instruction, I would've never guessed how it's done.



The big holes in the middle are created by pockets of wheat bran and water/flour paste (as you can still see some wheat bran on the wall of the hole), sort of a "cheater's way" of getting holes in the crumb. :P However the rest of the crumb is pretty open too.



It's a bread with both levain and commercial yeast, so pretty quick to make. The taste is clean, crumb is nice, cool, and chewy, crust is thicker than a baguette.



 


Still amazed that a 60% hydration dough can lead to a bread this light and open.


Comments

audra36274's picture
audra36274

  I especially like shots 2, 3 and 5! Nice!

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Thanks! :) Most of us are obsessed with holes huh?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

So .... Now that you have built up your arm muscles toting the book, are you going to take the workshops at SFBI?


I finally decided to enroll, but then I'm a lot closer to San Francisco. On the other hand, when it's 110F (and 110% relative humidity) in Dallas, its 60F and foggy in San Francisco. Besides, SF has better dim sum (and bakeries).


David

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

I am actually enrolled in the baguette workshop 1.5 weeks from now! Booked it months ago. Which one are you enrolled in? I am interested in a lot of classes they offer, but this is the only one that fits my schedule. I live in San Jose for 5 years before moving to Dallas (why? why? why???), so I have some friends in the area that I will visit.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I'm enrolled in the Artisan I class in August. (It's a good time to go somewhere cool.)


I talked over which class to take with Shiao-Ping, who took Artisan I, II & III last summer and with Susan Talley of WildYeastBlog, who has caught every class that doesn't run faster than she does. My choice is predicated on plans to take additional classes, hopefully before year's end.


I hope you will tell us all about your baguette class.


David

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

I would love to take those longer classes, but with my work schedule, weekends are all I can spare. Shiao-Ping and Susan certainly both made the most out of those workshops, their blogs are such inspiration for me.


I will certainly bring my camera and report back after my baguette workshop!