The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Franko's picture


Hi Folks,

A few days ago I decided to make a white sourdough , the aim being to get as close to a SanFrancisco type flavour as possible. I based the recipe mainly around Hamelman's Vermont Sourdough however with a few changes such as omitting the whole rye flour and changing some percentages. The starter that I have is a little over 3 months old with a good flavor but a little mellower than I would like it at this time. Instead of the 20% mature sour that Hamelman's recipe called for I increased it to 40%. It turned out a decent loaf , although because I was pressed for time I had to push the final proof and slash it a little deeper than I normally would. I think I could have left it at least another 15-20 minutes before the slash and bake . Next mix I'll give myself enough time for a  long, slow rise .  The flavor is good, with a nice tang to it. Not as sour as SF Sour but headed in the right direction. I don't think I'd want to increase the percentage of mature sour as it probably wouldn't make  that much of a flavor difference and could have some adverse effects on the overall formula . I'll work on increasing the acetic acid levels in my starter over the next week or two of feeds if anyone has some experience doing this and wouldn't mind sharing it, it would be greatly appreciated. The main reason I made this loaf was to use in making hot Italian pannini sandwiches, which it does brilliantly!

The recipe below is based on my notes during mixing and baking . I tried to keep it as accurate as possible but it's not a thoroughly 'tested' recipe, so use your best judgement if you feel something is out of whack .

Picture #2 is where you see the underproofing most clearly. Note the white at the base of the slashes.



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White Sourdough Loaf


                                Grams         %

Final dough


Liquid levain                   289        71.5

White bread flour           404       100.0

Instant dry yeast             10         2.4

Salt                                12         2.9

Water                           148        36.6


Total                           863



Liquid levain


White bread flour               120       100

Mature sour                        48        40

Water                               121       100.8


Total                                289


Baking weight           808 gr

Weight after baking   700 gr

Portion returned

 to mature sour          55 gr


Add all the ingredients for the final dough and mix on 1 for 3-4 minutes. Change mixer speed to 2 and mix for 4-5 minutes. Adjust the hydration as necessary to achieve a medium soft dough. Turn onto the bench/counter, or leave in bowl, covered with plastic in both cases.





The levain stood for 24 hours @ approx. 65>70* before being mixed in to the final dough.

The final dough temp was 74* coming to a steady 70* +/- during the entire fermentation.

The dough rested for 1.5 hours before the first fold and another 50 minutes before the second.

Final rise was 1.25 hr     *** could have been 1.5/1.75 hrs for full proof ***

The bake was 440* F for the first 15 with 3-4 sprays from the mister in addition to the pan of water in the oven. After 15 min. the temp was reduced to 420 for 10 min., then turned, and baked for 10 more minutes.



erlinda100's picture

Franko,  It looks great.  Is your 48 g mature sour at 100% hydration?

I'm very new at baking bread.  I've probably made 5 loaves total of sourdough, I am trying a new recipe each time.  I'm enjoying the process but making a lot of mistakes which is fine with me as you learn so much from it.

Thanks, Erlinda

Franko's picture

Thanks Erlinda,

But honestly I think that this particular loaf didn't reach it's full potential, simply because I ran out of time. I couldn't say exactly what the hydration of my sour is because I don't keep notes on it. It's more of a textural thing with me, depending on what I want to use it in next. I tend to keep it loose because it's easier to thicken it than to thin it. My best guess from the appearance when I used it in the recipe would be 100% or higher. It has the consistency right now of a very thick sauce . It will fold over itself as it falls from a spoon. This might be why it's not as strong in sharp flavor as I'd like. As they say ' a work in progress'

All the best,