This week's baking - July 18, 2016
A relatively new TFL member recently asked how to make a sourdough bread. His description of the desired characteristics brought to mind a bread we made in the San Francisco Baking Institute Artisan II Workshop on sourdough baking. It was a decidedly French-style pain au levain with minimal acidic acid tanginess but a creamy, sweet complex flavor. It was the preferred bread of the SFBI faculty. The special features of this white bread were a liquid levain fed every 12 hours that made up about 30% of the total flour in the final dough.
My bake differed slightly from the original, but I give the SFBI formula as it was given to us.
Total Dough Formula
Instant yeast (optional)
Note: for the starter feedings, including the levain mix, I actually used my usual starter feeding mix of 70% AP, 20% WW and 10% Rye. So, in the levain, rather than the AP and Rye specified in the SFBI formula, I used 107 g of the above mix.
Mix ingredients thoroughly.
Ferment 12 hours at room temperature. (Note: Because of my own scheduling needs, I refrigerated the levain overnight before mixing the final dough. This was not the procedure at the SFBI, and it would be expected to make the bread somewhat more sour. If you can, omit this levain retardation.)
Instant yeast (optional)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, pour in the water, add the liquid starter and mix to dissolve the starter.
Add the flour and mix to a shaggy mass.
Let rest, covered, for 20-60 minutes.
Add the salt (and yeast, if you are using it) and mix with the dough hook at Speed 2 for 5-6 minutes. Adjust flour or water to achieve a medium consistency. (Note: I did not use added instant yeast.)
Ferment for 2-3 hours at 76ºF with 1 or 2 folds, as needed to strengthen the dough. (Note: The fermentation time depends on whether you use the instant yeast and on your fermentation temperature. As usual, “Watch the dough, not the clock.” The dough should end up expanded by 25-50% and should be light and gassy. If you ferment in a transparent container, your should see the dough to be well-populated with tiny bubbles.)
Divide the dough into two equal pieces and pre-shape as boules or cylinders.
Let the pieces rest, covered, for 25-30 minutes.
Shape as boules or bâtards.
Proof for 90-120 minutes at 80ºF. (I had a class to teach, so I refrigerated the loaves for 3 hours, then proofed for 2 hours at 80dF)
Bake at 460ºF with steam for 25 minutes. ( I baked at 460dF with steam for 12 minutes, then another 16 minutes at 435dF convection bake in a dry oven.)
Leave in the turned-off oven with the door ajar for another 10 minutes. (Optional)
Cool thoroughly on a rack before slicing.
I also baked a couple loaves of a Pain de Campagne. It is based on the one in FWSY, except I leave out the instant yeast and boost the whole grain flours a bunch. For today's bake, I halved the recipe in the book to make 1100g of dough and divided that into two. We are traveling next week, and I wanted to take a small loaf along for breakfasts and picnics.