The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello from oakland

baybakin's picture

Hello from oakland

Hello from the Oakland hills!


Long time follower, first time poster.  Though it's about time that I made an introduction post on here before I start making blog entries.

 I started this bread hobby (obsession?) after being fed-up with paying $4 for a good loaf of crusty bread at the market.  I'm a bit of a fermentation enthusiast, making beer, wine, mead, sauerkraut, pickles, sodas, along with syrups, bitters and general "make everyone from scratch" mentality. Bread baking was a logical step. 

 Nearly everything I make is naturally levaned, using a sourdough starter I got years ago from a one-legged Scottish homebrewer friend of the family, Bill (Makes for a great story).

 Here's a few breads that I have made for an intro.

Altamura-style 100% Durum Loaf (edit from Local Breads)

Baguettes made from High extraction flour (Central Milling type 70)

dmsnyder's SF style sourdough (edit)

And of course dessert: Orange Sticky Buns (edit from Saveur mag)

breadsong's picture

Hello baybakin,
The breads you've shared here look just wonderful.
A fermentation enthusiast, you say? It sure shows, in these pictures!
Interesting you make bitters, too.
Looking forward to your blog!
:^) breadsong

baybakin's picture

Thanks!  I certainly try.

I may be a bit of a photobug, a little focus on composition will make almost any bread look good, as I'm sure is the case for mine.

I'll see if I can get a few photos of my next bake before it is devoured, I made the most lovely croissants using txfarmer's Julia Child overhaul recipe, but they were all gone before I could even find the camera.

ssorllih's picture

I think perhaps we should sit and listen while you speak. You do very nice work.

dmsnyder's picture

Hi, baybakin.

Welcome to TFL!

Your breads are beautiful!

Being in the Bay Area, I'm curious about the flavor you achieved with my San Francisco-style Sourdough. I wonder if it's any different from what I get, baking in the Central Valley. How does it compare in flavor to those $4 loaves you cite? (It's at least their equal in appearance!)

Looking forward to your blogging here.


baybakin's picture

I used the following method for your sourdough:

-Feed leftover 130% WW/AP starter (with your white/rye/whole wheat mix, ended up at 100%) left to ferment overnight in basement (55F or so)
-Feed in the morning (Same flour mix, ending up at 50% hydration) and let ferment for 1 hour at room temp, placed in basement for 12 hours, then the fridge overnight/
-Mix final dough (again, same flour mix) with cold water in the morning. (40 min autolysis, added salt and slap+folded, did a S+F before work, placed dough in basement)
-After Work (afternoon) Preshaped dough, bench rest (15 mins), shaped then placed into cold DO to proof.
-Final rise complete after 2 hours, baked in DO covered for 20 mins (500F) and uncovered for 15 mins (450F). No convection

The taste I'd compare to Acme's Sourdough round (This may be also due to using the same flour), but not as pronounced of a sour as boudin gets (I swear they use magic).

joyfulbaker's picture

Glad you're here.  Also in the Bay Area, I'm up in Sonoma County.  So how do you get that ear to open up so beautifully on the durum loaf?  I've made Leader's "altamura," but never had such a gorgeous show.  We lived in Oakland over 40 years ago, and maybe it's the micro-climate.  I remember how fuscias used to fluorish there; no such luck in Santa Rosa.

Keep posting; we've got a lot to learn from you. 


baybakin's picture

Santa Rosa is lovely and I love visiting. Thanks for the compliment on the bread!

When I baked the durum loaf it was a very hot day (In San Diego no less, I just moved up here recently), and the kitchen temp was pretty high (78F or so) making my sourdough starter very active.  I underproofed the dough a bit and the oven was very hot with loads of steam, all of this contributed to the crazy oven spring I had on this bake.  I'm sure the flour had quite a bit to do with it as well, I've been unable to get durum wheat flour quite like what I was able to buy in So-cal (I bought it from a pasta shop in little italy), it seems the durum wheat up here is lower in protein, as I had to up the water content quite a bit to make the dough seem "right" when I made it.

golfermd's picture

Welcome to the forums. Great looking baked goods. I buy my green coffee from Sweet Maria's, in Oakland.