The Fresh Loaf

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My San Francisco Sourdough Quest, Take 3

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dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

My San Francisco Sourdough Quest, Take 3

San Francisco-style Sourdough Bread 2/12/2012

Today, I baked two more loaves of my evolving San Francisco-style Sourdough bread. (See: My San Francisco Sourdough Quest and My San Francisco Sourdough Quest, Take 2)

The only change in the formula was to double the amount of dough, so each loaf was twice the weight of those previously baked. As those who have followed this adventure may note, there were also some minor changes in the procedures. The only really important one was to bake the breads at a lower temperature for a longer time, as an accommodation to their larger mass.

Those who have asked for ingredient weights in metric measures will be happy to note that weights are now given in grams.

So, here are the formula and procedures for today's bake. I have adjusted the tables below for 1 kg and for a 2 kg batch of dough.

 

Stiff levain

Bakers' %

Wt (g)

for 1 kg

Wt (g)

for 2 kg

Bread flour

95

78

157

Medium rye flour

5

4

8

Water

50

41

82

Stiff starter

80

66

132

Total

230

189

379

  1. Dissolve the starter in the water. Add the flour and mix thoroughly until the flour has been completely incorporated and moistened.

  2. Ferment at room temperature for 6 hours.

  3. Cold retard overnight.

  4. The next day, take the levain out of the refrigerator and ferment at 76 degrees F for another 1-2 hours. The levain is ready when it has expanded about 3 times, and the surface is wrinkled (starting to collapse).

    Final dough

    Bakers' %

    Wt (g)

    for 1 kg

    Wt (g)

    for 2 kg

    AP flour

    90

    416

    832

    WW Flour

    10

    46

    92

    Water

    73

    337

    675

    Salt

    2.4

    11

    22

    Stiff levain

    41

    189

    379

    Total

    216.4

    953

    2000

     

    Method

  1. In a stand mixer, mix the flour and water at low speed until it forms a shaggy mass.

  2. Cover and autolyse for 20-60 minutes

  3. Add the salt and levain and mix at low speed for 1-2 minutes, then increase the speed to medium (Speed 2 in a KitchenAid) and mix for 5 minutes. Add flour and water as needed. The dough should be rather slack. It should clean the sides of the bowl but not the bottom.

  4. Transfer to a lightly floured board and do a stretch and fold and form a ball.

  5. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly.

  6. Ferment at 76º F for 3 hours with a stretch and fold at 1 hour.

  7. Divide the dough into two equal pieces.

  8. Pre-shape as rounds and rest, covered, for 10 minutes.

  9. Shape as boules or bâtards and place in bannetons. Place bannetons in plastic bags.

  10. Proof at room temperature (68-70º F) for 1-2 hours.

  11. Cold retard the loaves overnight.

  12. The next morning, proof the loaves at 85º F for 2-3 hours. (This is ideal, in my opinion. If you can't create a moist, 85 degree F environment, at least try to create one warmer than “room temperature.” For this bake, one loaf proofed at about 76 degrees and the other at 85 degrees F.)

  13. 45-60 minutes before baking, pre-heat the oven to 480º F with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  14. Transfer the loaves to a peel. Score the loaves as desired, turn down the oven to 440º F, and transfer them to the baking stone.

  15. Steam the oven.

  16. After 15 minutes, remove the steaming apparatus, and turn down the oven to 415º F/Convection. (If you don't have a convection oven, leave the temperature at 440º F.)

  17. Bake for another 30-35 minutes.

  18. Turn off the oven, and leave the loaves on the stone, with the oven door ajar, for another 15 minutes.

  19. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack, and cool thoroughly before slicing.

Note: Because I was baking larger loaves, the oven temperature was set lower and the bake time was lengthened. Also note that, if you make two loaves of this size, it may be prudent to bake one at a time, unless your oven stone is larger than my 16 X 14 inch one.

Those who enjoy soft crust and cannot abide a sour-tasting sourdough would be well-advised to skip making this bread. On the other hand, it is as close to my ideal San Francisco-style sourdough as I expect to get.

San Francisco-style Sourdough Crumb

The crust was thick and very crunchy but not “hard.” The crumb was denser than my first attempt but somewhat open and fully aerated with varying sized alveolae. The crust had a sweet, nutty flavor. The crumb had sweetness but a moderately present acetic acid tang.

I can't promise I won't tweak this further or conduct experiments on, for example, the difference between proofing at room temperature, 76 degrees F and 85 degrees F. However, I expect to be making this bread regularly pretty much as I did this week.

I also baked the Tartine “Basic Country Bread” and Hamelman's “Pain au Levain” this weekend.

Tartine Basic Country Bread 

Tartine Basic Country Bread crumb

Pain au Levain, from Hamelman's Bread

Pain au Levain, from Hamelman's Bread, crumb

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

 

 

Comments

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

You been busy, Bro.

All are beautiful.  The BCB crumb looks perfect.

Glenn

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Yeah. Lots of breads. The three doughs kept me on my feet most of yesterday. It almost felt like "work."

David

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

It's an intruiging ride, your SF SD quest. I'm not a huge fan of very sour SD bread, but as you commented in another thread, your version of the SFSD allows other flavours to come through. I like the sound of those sweet, nutty tones cohabiting with the sour. Have this one marked down to try, but will be away travelling in Thailand and Laos for a month leaving next week, so may be a while from now. Anyway, looking forward to trying it, and thanks for taking us along as you've progressed to this current version.

Cheers
Ross

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

At some point, I will try to make this bread in a less sour version. If you want to try it, my suggestion would be the following changes:

1. Use a younger levain, and don't retard it overnight.

2. Do the bulk fermentation at room temperature.

3. Don't retard the formed loaves.

My expectation is you would get a nice, French-style pain au levain. (But I can't imagine one better than those I get using Hamelman's formula.)

Have a safe journey and return! 

David

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

both in execution and in appearance.  A good testimony to the importance of attending to each of the details.

Paul

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi David,

They all look wonderful, but I happen to think the Pain au Levain is the "pick of the bunch"

All good wishes

Andy

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Good choice!

David

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Great, David.. all look very attractive!

Though the SF sourdough crust looks paler than your previous attempt. (Paler as opposed to the rich redness your crusts always enjoy).

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I think the slightly paler crust resulted from the lower baking temperature, in this case. 

David

varda's picture
varda

All very nice, but I must say your Pain au Levain are awesome.   Next time I make it, I'll put your pictures on my screen to keep my standards from slipping.  -Varda

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

MichaelH's picture
MichaelH

Gives the rest of us goals to strive for. Nice Job.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

Your loaves are so beautiful, David.   I am also interested in the camera with which you took the pictures. The bokeh shot of the Tartine crumb is perfect !

Best,

Anna

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The photos were taken with a Canon Digital Elph. Nothing fancy. It does have a fair macro function. I do a bit of color correction, etc. in Photoshop Elements.

Thanks for the compliment!

David

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

For my birthday this year I have put a DSLR camera on my wishlist.  Just deciding which one is a huge undertaking :)

Thank you,

anna

 

mamatkamal's picture
mamatkamal

The crust of your Bread David is so incredibly crunchy, and the whole bread looks wonderful.  Thanks for sharing.   Your recipe is now officially on my list of breads to try!

Cheers

candis's picture
candis

at the moment my average kitchen temperature (in the Cotswolds) is around sixty degrees with all heaters going. . it would probably take a week to get the rise needed. your loaves do look wonderful, though, so I'll wait for as much of a heatwave as we get.

BurntMyFingers's picture
BurntMyFingers

David, can you give us any perspective on the difference between the 2 loaves with the final proofing at 76 vs 85 degrees? Difficult to maintain 85 degrees in my kitchen.

Thank you, Otis

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I don't think it makes a ton of difference. In theory, the higher proof temperature should give you a little more SD tang, and it will be a bit faster.

Actually, I think the biggest difference is getting the whole loaf up to temperature before baking, rather than having a greater temperature differential between the surface and center. I think this improves the crumb structure. This is much more of an issue if you are making a very large boule - say 1.5 kg or larger - than with a smaller one.

David

BigelowBaker's picture
BigelowBaker

I'm curious -- is there a reason you're using AP Flour in your final dough instead of bread flour? It looks like you're getting great results and I'm wondering if that's one of the reasons.

Thanks!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

AP flour gives me the crumb and crust I want with this bread. Note that the AP flour I use is 11.5-11.7% protein. If I wanted a thicker crust or a chewier crumb, I'd use Bread Flour and increase the hydration a bit.

I used BF for the levain because it resists proteolysis better than AP.

David