The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

The Return of SF Country Sourdough

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

The Return of SF Country Sourdough

After fiddling repeatedly between last October and this March with my formula for pain de campagne, which I dubbed “San Francisco Country Sourdough,” I got distracted by other things—mostly Tartine Basic Country Bread.  A couple weeks ago, we thawed and enjoyed the last of that SFCSD, a sign that it was time to return to that formula and try it again.   I was curious after all this time (four months may not seem like a long time, but its 30% of my bread-baking history), to see if the product would be better due to my experiences baking the Tartine BCB.

I can say that the product was better, but—of course—I can’t say why.

I used the same formula as last posted (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/22679/spring-air…and-oven), with the following variations: (1) I got stuck on a long phone call, so the stretch and folds were at something like 30 minutes, 110 minutes and 150 minutes; (2) I shaped the dough into three 500 gram batards, and (3) I proofed the loaves on a linen couche instead of my usual brotforms.  These smaller loaves were done baking after about 30 minutes at 450 F.

What had shifted my focus to the Tartine BCB was its magnificent crumb, the perfect point for me on the chewy-tender spectrum.   This bake of the San Francisco Country Sourdough was very close to that ideal, and it has the dash of rye flavor I love in pain de campagne.  This one—which I didn’t retard—had a nice slight sourness.

In looking at the two formulas, the procedures are fairly similar.  But the SFCSD has a lower hydration and the dough is much less sticky and, therefore, easier to handle. 

I wonder now whether the improvement in this bread since my last try at it has to do with the progress of my skills in dough handling and judging fermentation, or was it just kitchen karma, or do I not remember how good this bread was in previous bakes?

In any case, fresh-baked with butter, it was an ideal accompaniment for a Summer dinner of seafood salad with homemade Louis dressing.

This bread will again be a regular in my rotation.

Glenn

Comments

lumos's picture
lumos

You've got beautiful crumb, there, Glenn!  I'd say that's a sort of  'ideal crumb should look like' for me.  And the colour of the crust is very nice and rustic. 

I'm also intrigued to find out what how to make your 'Louis dressing ', too, if I may...;)

Best,

lumos

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Thanks for the comment, Lumos.  The rustic look of the crust is due to my very uneven oven.

Here's the Louis Dressing recipe:

LOUIS DRESSING

INGREDIENTS

1 cup Mayonnaise - low fat

1/2 cup seafood cocktail sauce

1 tb Parsley - fresh, minced

1 teaspoon Lemon juice - fresh squeezed

1 ts Horseradish, prepared

1/2 teaspoon Onion - grated

1/8 ts Salt

1/8 ts Pepper

PREPARATION

Stir ingredients together. Cover and chill. Makes 1-1/2 cups.

Note: Like all recipes, this one can be tweaked to your taste.  I like a bit more lemon juice, a bit more onion and a bit more black pepper than the recipe calls for.

Glenn

lumos's picture
lumos

Thanks, Glenn for the dressing recipe. :)

It looks like quite similar to what we call 'Aurora sauce' in Japan, only with horseradish instead of chilli sauce.  It definitely sounds really yummy!

Is 'seafood cocktail sauce' shop-bought one?  I don't think I can get it in UK, but am I right in thinking that's tomato ketchup (pr tomato sauce) based sauce with bit of a kick from chilli and other spices, the one you serve with cold prawns?

I really like the rustic look on your crust. Kudos to your uneven oven! ;)

lumos

 

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

"Seafood Cocktail Sauce" is tomato paste, vinegar, peppers and spices.  It is the sauce usually served with cold prawns.  

There are lots of recipes on the web.

Glenn

lumos's picture
lumos

Thanks, Glenn.   Gosh, you make me feel so old. I used to make seafood cocktail sauce (we call is just 'cocktail sauce' in Japan) in '70s and early '80s (I usually made with ketchup, though) but haven't done it in years.  From people's reaction I can guess Louis crabs are something really special. I'll see if our English brown crabs can be  of any  good company for your lovely dressing.

lumos

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Crab Louis is a composed salad invented by Louis' Restaurant, a wonderful extremely un-fancy San Francisco institution. The crab used is Dungeness crabs, which are caught along the Northern California, Oregon and Washington coasts and in B.C. This salad is also made with shrimp, in which case it's called "Shrimp Louis." 

David

lumos's picture
lumos

Thanks for the information, David. I googled for the image and got a basic idea. I think I know what we're going to have next Saturday when my local fishmonger gets freshly boiled crabs on their premises. :) 

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

There is some dispute about the origins of Crab Louis or "Louie" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crab_Louie).  But I've never heard anybody dispute that its gooood!  Especially with sourdough bread and Sauvignon Blanc.

And, by the way, Dungeness crab's range goes all the way to Alaska, where we had some great ones last visit.

Glenn

lumos's picture
lumos

I had a look at the wiki's article on the salad, too, but you're right, who cares about the name and origin when it tastes good!

Dungeness crab look very similar to what we call 'brown crab' but maybe smaller.  And the legs seem bigger in proportion to body than our kind, something I feel very jealous about.  Brown crabs have lovely moist meat in the body, but not so much meat on the legs.  For someone like me who was brought up on very leggy crabs like this, leg meat is THE thing when you eat crabs.

When I watched the tv programme (above), I mis-heard what the chef said and ever since when I hear or read about a Dungenese crab, the image of a dungarees-clad crab comes up to my mind......

lumos

EvaB's picture
EvaB

the seafood coctail sauce I get has horseradish and no pepper to speak of, sort of like ketchup with horseradish in.

I've made my own version of Heinz Chili sauce from an old cookbook, its basically ketchup with less sugar, and more chunky bits of green pepper, and onion and of course a bit of spice but not a lot.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I'm sure the improvements observed are due to your improved skills. I found the same mysterious improvements occurring in my breads. They represent the accumulation of a myriad small refinements in technique with experience. It's possible to figure them out, but I'd rather be making bread.

David

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

I'm happy to believe that my increased experience results in better bread.

Glenn

varda's picture
varda

and your crumb.    Nice!  -Varda

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Glenn

Syd's picture
Syd

Lovely looking bread, Glenn!

Syd

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Glenn

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Sylvia

PS 'lol'.  I almost forgot, I love a big ol Crab Louis, perfect summer food.  Nice dressing recipe!

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

The Louis Dressing is a nice tart and spicy complement to crab or shrimp salad.

Glenn