The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

San Francisco Style Sourdough

Syd's picture
Syd

San Francisco Style Sourdough


 

Leaven

  • 20g starter @ 100% hydration
  • 100g water
  • 15g light rye flour*
  • 85g all purpose flour

Ferment @ 29C (84F) for 9 hrs. 

 Sponge

  • All of the leaven
  • 250g water
  • 250g bread flour  (12.4% protein)

 Allow to sponge @ 28C (82F) for 3 hours.

 Main Dough 

  • All of the sponge
  • 65g water
  • 250g bread flour (12.4% protein)

 Autolyse for 20 mins.  Now add:

  • 10g salt

Knead until gluten moderately to well developed.  You need to have the gluten fairly well developed because the bulk ferment is very short. One hour bulk with folds at 20 and 40 mins respectively.  Pre-shape.  Rest 5.  Shape. Place in cloth-lined banneton.  Three-quarter proof.(About 1.5 hours).  Retard in fridge for 7 - 9 hours.  Remove from fridge and allow to final proof (about 1 hour).

Pre-heat oven to 230C (450F).  Slash.  Load onto baking stone.  Immediately reduce heat to 205C (400F), convection off.  Bake for 20 mins with steam.  Remove steaming appartatus when the top of the bread starts to show signs of colour.   Reduce heat to 190C (375F), convection on.  Bake a further 25- 30 mins.  (You might have to experiment with baking temps/times.  I baked this at a lower temp than I usually do for my regular sourdoughs. You don't want to have a deeply caramelized crust like for that of a miche, but rather a reddish-brown crust with nice blistering).  

Notes

  • hydration is 69%
  • for the leaven build I use a very light rye with all the bran removed (for all practical purposes, this is an all-white loaf)
  • this loaf improves with flavour on the second day and gets sourer

Taste

 
It has a distinct but, what I would categorize as, mild sour flavour.  This was my third attempt at this recipe and was the least sour of the three.  This could be, in part, due to the fact that the weather was slightly cooler and the temperatures were slightly lower than the temperatures when I first formulated this recipe. It could also be due to the fact that I changed the composition of flours.  Despite the open looking nature of the crumb shot, it was actually quite firm to the bite.  This is undoubtedly the result of the high protein flour.  The crust was chewy, too.

 

Previous attempts


On my first attempt I used 11.4% protein flour for both the sponge and the main dough.  I also gave it a 50 min autolyse and added 3g of diastatic malt.  The main dough was very sour tasting and got sticky quickly.  I attribute this to too much enzymatic activity and the enzymes breaking down the gluten.  The resultant loaf had a rather low profile and a moderate to strong sour flavour. 

On my second attempt I considered using the same flour but lowering the hydration to counter some of the stickiness. Instead, I kept the hydration the same and used a higher protein flour for the main dough. The result was similar to the first attempt although the main dough wasn't as sticky.  The profile was still rather low, though. 

For this try, I ditched the diastatic malt, reduced the autolyse to 20 mins and used a 12.4% protein level flour for both the sponge and the main dough.  This resulted in the best profile but the mildest flavour of the three.  

I want to work on this one a little more. For my next attempt I want to keep everything the same but let it proof for only an hour in the bannetton, then give it double the time (about 16 hours) in the fridge. I am hoping this will get me where I want to be:  a moderately sour, chewy loaf with a reddish-brown, blistered crust.  

Finally, a different angled view of the whole boule (and a gratuitous crumb shot)  for Varda, lest she again accuse me of minimalism (or was it brevity)? :)

Syd

Comments

lumos's picture
lumos

Lovely clear crumb, Syd.   I also found  adding diastatic malt make dough sticky, so I've stopped using it.  Now my large-ish stock of diastatic malt finds its way to boiling water for bagels. :p 

Syd's picture
Syd

Thanks Lumos.  It seems it might well have been the diastatic malt.  It may also have been proteolytic enzymes activated by the low pH.  (Debra Wink mentions this phenomenon somewhere in this post).  Strange, though, because this is the first time I have ever associated this problem with the malt. I usually add it at a rate of 0.3 - 0.6 %.

Syd

chefscook's picture
chefscook

could you post cups and tablespoons amounts not into metric as yet

                                        thank you              

                                        chefscook    

Syd's picture
Syd

Chefscook, I apologize.  This may not be accurate but I will try my best.

Leaven

  • one tablespoon of starter @ 100% hydration
  • half a cup of water
  • a heaped tablespoon of  light rye flour*
  • 3/4 cup of all purpose flour

Ferment @ 29C (84F) for 9 hrs. 

 Sponge

  • All of the leaven
  • a cup of water
  • 2 cups of bread flour  (12.4% protein)

 Allow to sponge @ 28C (82F) for 3 hours.

 Main Dough 

  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 2 cups of  bread flour (12.4% protein)

 Autolyse for 20 mins.  Now add:

  • slightly less than two teaspoons of salt

Best,

Syd

varda's picture
varda

Syd,  I find your pictures to be extremely tasteful and not gratuitous at all.  Your bread looks delicious.   I see you have used a three stage method which I don't think I've seen before for this type of bread.    I'm so glad you've added to your collection of posts.   I'm unlikely to make your squid ink bread, but have enjoyed many of the others.     And am looking forward to trying this one.   -Varda

Syd's picture
Syd

I always look forward to your comments Varda and I like teasing you!  Now if you start taking me seriously, I will have to call you Sylvia again. :)

The three stage process I borrowed from my post on my first sourdough recipe.  It produces a lovely flavour with a mild tang and I thought I could enhance that tang by extending the times and increasing the temperatures.  I still have to experiment some more, though.

Best,

Syd

hansjoakim's picture
hansjoakim

Lovely boule, Syd! Those blisters on the crust caught my eye immediately! Beautiful golden colour to boot.

You've probably also followed David's on-going SF SD quest? He has posted some very interesting formulas with a long (and partly refrigerated) elaboration of the starter itself, in addition to long fermentation/proof of the dough afterwards. Perhaps some tweaks along those lines could help you bake loaves like this with a lower protein flour?

Once again, looks great, Syd!

Syd's picture
Syd

Thanks Hansjoakim. Yes, I think it is the reddish brown crust and the blisters that almost define a San Francisco sourdough. Of course, it needs to be sour, too!  

It was David's quest that got me started on the whole San Francisco sourdough thing.  I got hung up on the original formula he posted in his first post.  It also appears in the Handbook of Dough Fermentation, Chapter 6. I think I had five tries at that recipe and, like David, was disappointed with the results.  Eventually, I threw in the towel and went this route.

Best,

Syd

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

Syd's picture
Syd

Thanks David! It was your quest that got me started on this project.  As I said to Hansjoakim in the post above, I got hung up on that original formula that you posted in your first post.  Try as I may, I couldn't get that recipe to work.  My copy of it comes from the Handbook of Dough Fermentations.  For all practical purposes, it seems the same as the one you posted sans the temperatures.  I think, in the end, I had five shots at it, but not one of them remotely hit the target. I even bought an inexpensive, hand-held, digital pH meter and made sure that the pH of the starter was 3.9 before mixing the main dough. It still produced a bread with little to no sour at all. 

Best,

Syd

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Looking good Syd,

That loaf has a really pretty crumb plus the crust colour is fantastic. Looking forward to seeing your next bake.

Cheers,
Phil

Syd's picture
Syd

Thanks Phil.  The crumb looks open but actually it has a chewy mouthfeel to it.  This is due to the high protein flour used. Thanks for your comment.

Best,

Syd

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Syd,

I was wondering when this loaf would go public :-)  

Your photos are great - especially the first shot showing the blisters, your great scoring and lovely crust color.

I use both diastatic malt and non-diastatic malt in breads and they do end up being a bit sticky so I use a minimal amount - can't recall the % off of the top of my head but I do have on tucked away somewhere....

I know that using non diastatic malt as a sweetener gives the loaf a malty flavor and it doesn't compete with the yeast for water the way other sweeteners do.  To me, it seems like a more 'natural' sweetener for bread but then there is the stickiness to contend with.

Thanks for the post :-)

Take Care,

Janet

Syd's picture
Syd

Thanks Janet!  Ha, ha! It has taken a while to post. In my defence, however, I only get to bake once a week and sometimes only once every second week.  Also, I don't always take photos. It's either I get too engrossed in the process and forget about the pictures, or my hands are full of flour and I couldn't be bothered. :)  I use diastatic malt at a rate of about 0.3-0.6% of the total flour weight.  Lovely to hear from you Janet.

Best,

Syd

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

In my book, good things are well worth waiting for :-)

I completely get the 'engrossed' piece :-0  Happens all the time here but I am usually forgetting things like cooking dinner for the kids or doing laundry or........the list is long and most of it is happily forgotten :-)

Your rates for DM have a familiar ring to them...

Janet

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Beautiful, Syd.  Mind if I throw it up on the home page for a bit?

-Floyd

Syd's picture
Syd

Thanks Floyd!  I would be honoured.  Would you be throwing it up from Vancouver, then?

Best,

Syd

Floydm's picture
Floydm

We spent last week in Vancouver apartment hunting but I am back in Oregon at the moment.  

The good news is that our trip was tremendously successful.  I've been meaning to do an update for folks, but we've been so busy decluttering and preparing for the "garage sale to end all garage sales" that I've barely been online after work.  So, yes, while I'm putting this post up from Oregon, indeed I'll likely be taking it down from Vancouver. :)

-Floyd

sweetbird's picture
sweetbird

This is a beautiful looking loaf, Syd. Congratulations on a well-deserved starring role on the homepage!

Janie

Syd's picture
Syd

Thanks Janie! :)

Best,

Syd

Franko's picture
Franko

 Profile, colour, crust, crumb, it's all there Syd, a splendid loaf, no two ways about it, but I fully understand the 'need to tweak' being it's the most interesting and fun aspect of what we do as bakers. In terms of appearance I can't imagine your SF Sourdough looking better than this lovely example of yours. It's all personal preference of course, but "moderately sour" doesn't describe the SF Sourdoughs I've enjoyed in San Francisco over the years. They have always been the sharpest tasting white breads I've ever had. Maybe we need something like the Scoville Scale (for measuring heat in peppers) to measure sour in breads and give us a better reference point for levels of sour. Great looking bread and interesting post Syd!

All the best,

Franko 

Syd's picture
Syd

Thanks Franko. I always look forward to your comments.  :)  Yes, you are quite right. It needs to be more sour.  It seems really difficult, though, to make a very sour all-white sourdough, especially one with a high profile.  I am happy with the appearance. Now I just want a little more sour!

Best,

Syd

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Syd, 

I think the place to start is by building a stiff starter over the course of a week or so and letting the pH rise till it's very tangy, then build a lively stiff leaven from that over a 36 hour period, and use it for leavening, skipping the sponge, which I think may be the culprit for a diluted sour flavour and proceed as per.

Best to you as always Syd,

Franko  

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Very Nice profile on this SD, Syd! As Janet, i also like the blisters. Your scoring is very good too.

Nice work. Franko is right, the liquid starter should be really sour before switching to the stiff. As it is, your SD looks beautiful, inside out.

Syd's picture
Syd

Thanks Khalid.  I found out early that you don't want to score this loaf too deep. The structure gets quite delicate after the long proofing times and, perhaps, also from the high pH, so if you slash too deep, it will pancake out. 

Lovely to hear from you as always,

Syd

Salilah's picture
Salilah

Lovely lookiing loaf - love the colour!

S

Syd's picture
Syd

Thanks Salilah!

Best,

Syd

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

SFSD.  69% hydration and tiniest bit of rye in the leaven, bread flour and 8 hr retard sounds like a winner with a mild sour taste Syd.  very nice bread.

Syd's picture
Syd

Thanks dabrownman. I am pretty pleased with it so far.  It has a nice wheaty taste.  All-white loaves can be so boring but this one isn't. It is also pretty hassle free.  It doesn't require much work; just time. I have been able to fit this one into my schedule pretty easily (one of the most important criteria for me when it come to deciding what to bake)!

Best,

Syd

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Syd,
What a gorgeous boule!
Beautiful blistered crust, great scoring, perfect crumb.
:^) breadsong

Syd's picture
Syd

Thanks breadsong!  Always so nice to hear from you.  Thanks for your compliments.:)

All the best,

Syd

golgi70's picture
golgi70

Hi Syd, 

Great looking loaf of bread.  

This formula is very similar to that which I use.  We go for very sour and stage bread over three days starting with a levain(12 hours), mix and straight in the retader for overnight bulk fermentaion (12 hours), then shape, 3/4 proof(3-4 hours) and then another 12 hours in the retarder befoer baking.  I call it the super sour.  

Another method while developing our sour that I might have preferred and you might like to try is to retard the levain after 4 hours on the floor for 12 hours.  When I did this we got more tang allong with the rich buttery notes.  Wasn't sour enough fory my people though so I pushed on to find the previous protocol.  

I'd share photos but evertime I try I get lost.  

Happy baking

 

Josh

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I really like your process for its simplicity. It looks very well-suited for a home baking environment. For example: Activate starter Thurs. evening. Friday morning, Mix dough. Retard dough immediately. Divide and shape Friday evening. Proof 3-4 hours, then retard until Saturday morning when you bake the loaves. 

A few detail questions:

1. How often do you feed your starter?

2. Do you keep a liquid or firm starter?

3. Is your levain liquid or firm?

4. Do you retard at 50-54 dF or at 40 dF?

5. How big a difference do you think retardation temperature makes?

Thanks for sharing your procedure. I believe I am going to use it next time I make my SF-style SD.

David

Syd's picture
Syd

Thanks Josh and thanks for posting your method.  I will most certainly try it out.   So that is straight into the retarder without any floor time, then?  At what temperature do you retard?  I like the schedule David has outlined using your process.  It would fit into my day very well.  Would love to see your photos.  If you need help posting, check out this thread.  

Best,

Syd

golgi70's picture
golgi70

These times are a bit off and I've updated this process correctly down below.  Appologies

varda's picture
varda

Syd,   Looking this over, I think you mean add the final ingredients to the sponge and autolyse.   But just want to make sure.   -Varda

Syd's picture
Syd

Thanks for pointing that out Varda.  That is exactly what I meant.  I changed it in the original post. 

Best,

Syd

golgi70's picture
golgi70

My process was an evolution as I took over the bread program of a bakery.  Since all we were going to use our mother for was batches of sour I opted to try making a starter that lived in the retarder thus needing less feeding (once a day) creating less waste and work to keep up with a floor starter needing three feedings a day.  This turned out with wonderful results.  I feed once a day at the same time every day, let sit at room temp for 2-4 hours (pending temperature of kitchen) and then retarder for 20 hours until next feeding.  I use extra starter after feeding to build the levain (so when I say extra I mean starter that was fed 20+ hours ago.  

The levain is made 60% starter, 100% HP Flour (95% HP 5% Rye), 100% water (let ripen at room temp for 12 hours (best results come when starter has yet to fall and is still fair strong so I wouldn't suggest going much past this time unless you are in a very cool enviroment)
My starter is fed in the same ratio so essentially its just a build on the starter.  (This starter was built for this particular bread)

I retard at 40deg F.  

I actually believe that lower retarding is better if you are using for bulk fermentation and higher for retarded proofing but I have just one and use it for both.  In any case  my reasoning is that I like to get the mixed dough cold as fast as possible if I'm bulk fermenting for a long time in the retarder so the dough doesn't overferment.  I like higher temp for proofing as the colder temps seem to put a skin on the dough requriing careful cover of exposed loaves to avoid this (i cover the board of shapes with plastic bags that I reuse but would love to skip this step).  All in all bringing your dough out of the bowl on the cooler side is advantageuous.  

Believe it or not I prefered the other bread using the retarded levain in place of the bulk fermented dough.  Can't win em all and they are both great.  amazing the same recipe can turn out so many different ways via different protocol.  

The process is wonderful and very flowing for a bakery (as you mix the dough, you pull the dough to be shaped out and replace with fresh mixed).  You bake the loaves shaped the night previous and follow with shaping and proofing the following day's bake.  And with a retarder starter I only need to feed once daily.  Its also wonderful starter for my Wholegrain Sour that is in the works.  It is also a huge flavor boost to hybrid doughs.  

I'll look into the photo thread and If I figure it out I'll post some pics.

 

Nice talking bread with you

 

Josh

 

 

 

 

Syd's picture
Syd

Sounds like you have evolved a process that fits your needs perfectly Josh.  I must admit, I always try and find a way to get my breadmaking  fit into my schedule rather than the other way round.  The only problem with that is my schedule is always  changing so I rarely repeat the same process twice.  

My starter is similar to yours.  I keep it at 100% hydration.  I feed it at a 1:2:2 ratio.  In other words 50% starter, 100% flour and 100% water.  My flour is an 85% all purpose, 15% light rye mix.  I feed it at least once, but sometimes twice a week.  After a feeding I keep it out of the fridge for about 2 hours.  In that time it has just about doubled. If I left it out for 5 hours it would quadruple and peak. 

I will definitely try your method of retarding the leaven. I like the sound of the 'buttery notes' as you put it.  I have already mixed up another batch and am using your 'super sour' process.  Should be in the oven early Sunday morning.  Am filled with anticipation.

Many thanks for sharing,

Syd

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Hi Syd,

G, Great looking loaf, Syd!!    I enjoy reading your post and other TFL members comments, too.  There are a lot of good information here.   I also had the experiment of the sticky dough by using malt powder.

I have a couple of questions..  How do you keep your 100% starter?    What kind of flour do you use for your starter?

  I am not a super sour seeker (although I am liking sourer bread) so it will be fit into my taste. :)

Thank you for sharing, Syd!

Akiko

 

Syd's picture
Syd

Thanks Akiko!  Great to hear from you.  I haven't seen you around here for a while.  Thanks for your comments.

I keep my starter in the fridge.  I feed it once or twice every week at a ratio of 1:5:5 (50% starter,100% flour, 100% water). I leave it out of the fridge for 2 hours in which time it has just about doubled.  The flour that I feed it with is made up of 85% all purpose and 15% very light rye - all the bran removed. What percentage of starter I use to spike my leaven with will depend on what I am making, how long I want the leaven to ripen for and what the outside temperature is. Our temperatures are on the hot side here: most often somewhere between 27C and 32C (80F to 89F) most of the year round.  It does get a little cooler in winter but our house is south facing and is always warm.  Usually I spike my leaven with about 20% starter but, as I say, it will depend on how long I want the leaven to ripen for and the ambient temp.  If it is cooler I might use 25%, 33.3% or even 50% if it was really cold.  (Really cold would be 18C when we have one of the five cold fronts we have each year)!

Hope you are well Akiko,

Syd

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Thank you for your generous response, Syd! I really thank your kindness as always.  I really like your method of your levain ratio depends on the temperature you get. I usually use 50% levain as to the final flour for sourdough because here is cooler.. or chilly.  I will decrease the levain amount when here is in the summer. Thank you for your experiment, that is very helpful.

I also keep my sourdough starters ( I started them with white flour /rye  and water ) that were in the ziplock in the refrigerator, but the hydration is 60%, and feeding once a week. Then I adjust the 60% hydration to 70-80% ( I like the hydration for levain) when they are at the room temperature until they are more than doubled about 3-4 hours when I bake sourdough.   So, I made yours but different hydration for the levain ( 80%) and sponge ( 80%) and final dough (56%). It came out very good sourdough to my taste, chewy but not too much and moderate sour/ I also taste sweet even I didn't use any sugar. I will use your method very often. Thank you Syd!

P.S I am kind of busy for my dog who is one year old White Shepherd who is still super crazy. And, I am recently into table tennis.   So I am very fine. :)

I hope that you will get the taste that you are trying for your SFSD! Cheers!

 Happy baking,

Akiko

Syd's picture
Syd

You're welcome Akiko and your bread is beautiful!  Lovely scoring, profile and crumb.  Moderately sour and chewy.  What more could you ask for?  It looks like you got it all on your first bake.  I, on the other hand, am on my ( I forget the actual number, but it is high) 12th or 13th attempt! And I am still not satisfied!  

It is interesting that you got a sweet taste.  Perhaps that has something to do with the flour you are using or maybe it is the hydration level of your starter and levain.  Oh my, Akiko, now you have given me something else to try!!

Big dogs can be a handful.  We have recently got a poodle (not the miniature kind but not the very big kind, either) and he is only three months old and chewing up everything in the house. Glad to hear you are having fun playing table tennis. :)

All the best,

Syd

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Hi Syd,

Thank you for your compliment on my bread, Syd! My bread came out kind of flat actually..  Well, The dough was stickier than I expected.  But the crumb and taste are very good to me.    

I am also interested in the sweetness that I got. I agree with you about the hydration level of my starter and levain. I am going to make it again to see if I can get the same taste.   I am looking forward to seeing your another result! 

Oh my... You got a poodle!!   We have 2 more dogs  who are brother and sister( Half chihuahua/poodle mix) besides the White Shepherd.   I could imagine that your puppy chews up everything...   The brother poodle mix used to ripped up wall papers and made a hole nicely when he was a puppy.  

He is the brother ( 4 years old)... more like poodle.  Does your poodle look like him?  He weigh 11 lbs.  

Happy baking!! :)

Akiko

Syd's picture
Syd

Very cute Akiko!  I will send you a pic as soon as I have uploaded one. :)

Best,

Syd

teketeke's picture
teketeke

Thank you, Syd! :)  I am waiting!!  :)

:P

Akiko

golgi70's picture
golgi70

Hopefully you'll like this new technique and be able to adjust simply by picking a good time to start your project.  I await your results and don't forget to bake it dark.  Deep red and a hint of black.  Yum.  

Happy baking

Josh 

golgi70's picture
golgi70

Hopefully you'll like this new technique and be able to adjust simply by picking a good time to start your project.  I await your results and don't forget to bake it dark.  Deep red and a hint of black.  Yum.  

Happy baking

Josh 

PS:  Pic of Sour at link below in a group pic.  Will take some up close single shots next week with crumb shots as well.  

http://i1223.photobucket.com/albums/dd507/golgi70/ciabattaT9SDB-Rye.jpg

Syd's picture
Syd

Thanks for posting Josh.  Your breads look fantastic.  I love that spiral scoring pattern.  I will have to try that out soon.  That rye looks outstanding, too.    

I tried your technique and the results were pretty similar to mine.  I ran out of the higher protein 12.4% flour so I used 11.4 % protein instead.  This resulted in a slightly lower profile and a slightly less chewy crumb but the flavour was similar.  I followed your instructions to the letter but only managed an 8 hour final retard in the fridge. I let it prove too much before I retarded and round about the 8 hour mark I realised that if I let it go on for any longer, it would overprove. I am wondering if I had let it retard for the full 12 hours, if it wouldn't have been more sour.  Having said that, I know that tomorrow it is going to be more sour than it was today.

Here is a pic of the finished loaf.  No crumb shot as it is already night time here and it is going to be very difficult to get a decent shot with poor lighting.  I will definitely be trying your technique again and be more careful about the proofing times. 

Many thanks,

Syd

chefscook's picture
chefscook

Thank you so much for the break down of grams to lbs and I truely appreciate it
Thanks
Chefscook

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