The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

San Joaquin Sourdough for Christmas Dinner

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occidental's picture

San Joaquin Sourdough for Christmas Dinner


I needed something to accompany Christmas dinner.  I went with something that doesn't take a ton of effort and produces a fairly reliable tasty loaf.  I found one of David's recent postings on his masterpiece formula: San Joaquin Sourdough Updated (thanks David) and went forth.  I followed the formula fairly close except that being away from home I'm lacking a few standard tools and supplies.  I substituted the rye flour with whole wheat.  I also did not have a stone to bake on so I went with my fall back method - no preheat.  The ready to bake loaf is placed in a cold oven with a pan of water on the lower rack.  The oven is turned on and the prolonged time the burner is on creates plenty of steam and enough intense heat to cause some good oven spring.  And boy did I get oven spring.  This is one of the most impressive looking loaves I have produced.  You can carry this loaf by the ear.  The taste was great, as usual, and I even got some cracking of the crust.  I hope you all had a great Christmas.  On to the pics....

The loaf


Happy Holidays TFL'rs!!

Happy Holidays TFL'rs!


arlo's picture

Very nice example of SJSD, but I have a question. At what time do you take out the water pan during the baking?

occidental's picture

I am generally hoping for 15 to 20 minutes of steam.  If the crust is beginning to brown and the oven spring has stopped 'springing' I usually take the pan out, provided the water has not all evaporated.

dmsnyder's picture

I'm glad you enjoyed it!