The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My First Attempt at San Joaquin Sourdough

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

My First Attempt at San Joaquin Sourdough

Having carefully considered various names for this bread (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/19635/sourdough-typology-sjsd-sfsd-or-what), I have freely decided that it deserves to be called "San Joaquin Sourdough".  I used David's SJSD Version 10.23.09 with a 60% hydration all-AP starter (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/14140/san-joaquin-sourdough-another-variation-produces-best-flavor-yet).  Though there are many steps, including a lengthy cold bulk ferment, and two 3-or-so hour periods when one has to be continually close to the kitchen (one for mixing, autolysing, and stretching-folding, and the other for dividing, pre-shaping, shaping and baking), the process fit nicely into a weekend, starting with mixing the starter Friday night.  A person with a 9-to-5 job could do it in a Friday and Saturday or a Saturday and Sunday, by mixing the starter on the first morning, mixing dough and getting to the cold bulk ferment the first evening, and shaping and baking the second afternoon or evening.


The process gave me a good chance (as a novice baker) to observe by sight and feel how a lean sourdough behaves at various stages.  Here's the bulkly fermented dough at my "bread station", just adjacent to the all-important espresso station.


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And here is the glorious dough ball just before it is cloven.


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The pre-proofing after pre-shaping is the perfect time for an espresso.


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Here are the ill-formed batards, once again looking like my typical batardettes, proofing.


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After a 24 minute bake, the finished product looks pretty good, though not much grigne in my first attempt at scoring with my new lame.


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I'm very happy with the crumb structure.


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Except for my still-pitiful batard-shaping and the wimpy oven spring, this was a successful experiment.  And from the still-pitiful batard-shaping and wimpy oven spring, I learned some lessons that will improve my skills next time.  I should not shape the batard from such a stretched out starting point--a semi-flat football shaped oblong would be better.  And I need to score the loaves slightly more deeply and consistently.


The taste and texture are marvelous.  Slightly sour, very complex flavors.  Very moist, chewy but tender crumb and crispy crust.


The bread came out of the oven at 3, and some friends came over for an early dinner of all sorts of things that go with sourdough bread--smoky ham, Toscana salami, Jarlsberg cheese, egg salad, tomatos.  The SJSD and the re-heated Onion-Curry-Cheese Bread from Friday were both big hits.


This bread is a favorite.  


And making it is pretty fun!


Thanks, David, for the recipe and all the guidance.


Glenn

Comments

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Your SJ SD looks delicious. I'm happy you enjoyed it.


This bread is a challenge to shape and score. You shouldn't feel too badly about your first effort. (Not that you do.)


Your instinct regarding pre-shaping is sound. You might even pre-shape as a ball, then pat it flat and go from there. I can show you some additional options when we have the opportunity to bake together.


Scoring is difficult with high-hydration doughs. Just read past TFL pleas for help with this. However, scoring more deeply is not the solution. If you want a nice ear, in fact, the slacker the dough, the shallower the cut should be. Until you get the hang of it, you might want to stick to a single longitudinal cut.


From your description, you may have over-proofed the loaves. I'm not positive. Your crumb structure is simply perfect. 


This formula is quite versatile. I don't especially like it for boules (which doesn't mean you wouldn't), but it makes wonderful baguettes, and I have used it a couple times for ficelles with seeds, which I know you and Cat like.


Happy baking!


David

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

I'm sure you use the same technique in critiquing the failures of your pediatric residents.  The trick is not to cut too deep.  I will try a single quarter inch cut next time.


I will also be more watchful of the proofing loaves and bake them as soon as the poke test tells me to.


Perhaps seeded SJSD baguette will be my next-after-next bake.  I want to get better at batard-shaping next time. I've watched several videos on baguette-shaping, and think I can do it right in a few tries.  The future will bring ficelles.


Glenn 


 


 

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Nice Bake, Glenn! The crumb shot says it all. I can see that you borrow much of your brothers tools and techniques. You'll be baking breads like David in no time!


khalid

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

I do not aspire to bake like David, though I love his always wonderful bread. As with other hobbies he and I share, our approaches will be different I am sure.  David is an artist for whom precision is a high virtue.  I am an improvisationalist, driven more by semi-informed instincts, and enjoying the experience of hitting one home run for every three strikouts (kind of the Barry Bonds type, but without the performance-enhancing drugs).


Glenn 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

the bottom looks rather pale.  Maybe you need more heat under the loaf to get the spring you're waiting for. 


Mini

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Good observation.  The blond bottom has been a recurrent problem for me. I heated the oven with stone for 90 minutes, including 15 minutes on broil.  I think maybe the stone is inferior, or perhaps I should try baking directly on the stone instead of on parchment.


Glenn

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I was thinking the same thing as MiniOven stated and noticed it on another bake you presented...I was just to shy to say and didn't want to offend...some bakers are very offended if you give any opinion...and I know you have stated you would appreciate opinions...5 stars for that...but I think it would help to check into a different stone, something definately is going on here, 90 minutes it should be hot, unless maybe your pre-heating temperature is low..I preheat at 500F if that's any help and then reduce the temp. Your doing wonderful for starting with what I would call not so beginner breads and baking! 


Sylvia

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

All criticism is welcome, as long as it includes useful advice.  I mean "That's one ugly batard" would not be welcome, but I appreciate advice like "Your batard wouldn't be so ugly if you scored the loaves before your fourth cocktail".


I may just have to replace the Amazon.com stone with one from NYB.


Thanks for the support.


Glenn

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

is worth 10 gorgeous loaves.


Sylvia

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Glenn,


Bread looks good - crumb looks great! Sounds like you had a great shared meal.


For the rest you mention shaping so I offer some few reflections, hopefully 'useful'. I know you have expert mentorship from David and doing things hands-on is always preferable to remote guidance. However I've found on TFL that it has been good to have both mentorship and peer feedback.


I've been baking sourdough since May and find that when shaping high hydration bâtards and proofing them in a couche as opposed to a banneton I have also had to address how to best preshape and shape to get particular effects. 


Your dough looks very good so should be responsive to a range of approaches. This has not always been true of my own dough which has been proteolytic at times although seems back in shape now.


The longer, thinner shape you have above is a fine shape for a rustic loaf. I just passed Le Pain Quotidian on St. Pancras the other day and they were selling loaves in this shape.


However I found that I personally produced this shape more regularly with high hydration doughs when I used Hamelman's preshaping technique - preshape a rectangle, origami in the sides then roll the tube.


I like the shape and it results in even slices of bread but I also wanted to be able to achieve the 'lemon shape' that I could get with lower hydration doughs. With the Hamelman I was starting with quite a lot of dough at the sides and less in the middle so as I rolled the bread got longer.


Following advice from Andy and a link on David's site I moved to Ciril Hitz' technique for bâtard shaping, which starts with a circular preshape then pulls, rather than pushes, the dough into a more mounded bâtard. It sounds as though this is what David might show you hands on, which as I say is preferable. However I encountered it via this link, which I think David also highlights in a post. Maybe you know it? I have to say it was inspirational for me. 


 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgqPli_sLLM


Have to say crumb looks delectable and sounds also like it was a great foil for the food.


Kind regards, Daisy_A

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

That is very helpful.  I now have seen three batard-shaping methods that appear to work.  I just need to successfully follow one or more of them.


Glenn

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Glenn, I admire the crumb you achieved with your loaves.
Hello Daisy_A, thanks for posting the link to the shaping videos. I wish I had some dough ready, so I could get to work!
Regards, breadsong


 


 

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi breadsong,


My pleasure! Cracking videos aren't they? Off to roll some dough now...


Best wishes, Daisy_A

EvaB's picture
EvaB

in fact its wonderful looking bread, and even if you think it needs work, and it may do so, I think its perfectly good.


I also think that most of us have difficulty shaping the dough and getting the cuts made properly, its a learning curve,which you may manage better than some of us, as you have David to show you hands on!


That having been said, I still think you don't need to worry about the shape of the bread, when you get such lovely crumb! Besides my criterea for whether anything I cook or bake is good, is whether or not any is left on the serving dish after offereing it to my family and friends (not that I have large amounts of friends but you know what I mean) I have only had one or two failures, over the past 30 years, and I can't even remember what they were, since I immediately scrubbed whatever it was from my mind (fibro does help at times) and have never attemepted it again.

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

I am very happy with the taste and texture, and that is what's most important.  Applying Eva's test, the bread is gone.


I have not had the pleasure of baking with David in person since I got serious about bread.  But he has provided good guidance remotely.  You all know how skilled he is at communicating in words, but I look forward to the having the kind of immediate learning he experienced at SFBI (of course, the Fresno Baking Institute still--for now--lacks a 50 quart mixer and a 200 square foot deck oven).


Glenn

EvaB's picture
EvaB

You will eventually get the mixer and deck oven I'm sure, then we shall see the Snyder brother's bakery in operation or failing that at least get great posts of bread baking trips!


I'm sure that if the human race had waited on the deatails we would have died out long ago,and then where would the cats be, no staff!


I apply that test to everything I bake, and believe me, I rarely have failures with that test, now the looks good test is sometimes a D- or even an F- (can we go down below F?) but it usually tastes great, and if not great, at least good enough to eat.


Part of the trick is to have rules, like the one we've had forever, "you complain you make the next..." and the other one "first one to complain washes up" the second trick is to make sure the testers are "starving" and they will eat just about anything and rave about it!


Like I said, I've had very few failures and those have been sent to purgatory and don't even get thought of! :-)))