The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Larraburu SFSD Revisited

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Larraburu SFSD Revisited

It has been a while since dough.doc posted the Larraburu process for making their famous San Francisco SD bread from the late 60’s and early 70’s.  It really was great bread made by the thousands of loaves.  There were a couple, three things that hit me as being strange after reading the process.

 

First off, the hydration was in the 64 - 66% range and secondly the final proofing was as over 90 F.  I suppose I can understand both by saying the hydration depends on the flour used and if baskets were used for proofing.

The holes of the Larraburu bread were not like the gaping ones of Forkish that depend on high hydration and higher gluten flour – the crumb was open but moderate so ow hydration would be possible.  Low hydration would make sense if the flour was lower protein than what we use today and low hydration would be required if baskets were not used and the dough proofed free form.  I have a hard time seeing the stacks of thousands of baskets required otherwise - but who knows.

It was the high proofing temperatures that set me back.  Over 90 F, until I realized that high temps for final proofing, or all bench work, results in LAB making acid like crazy and the Larraburu bread of old was sour, much more sour the SFSD breads of today.

Another version of Grilled Chicken and Veggie Matzoh Ball soup

The 3rd thing that I thought was odd was that the baking temperature was only 425 F.  If I had to bake multiple loads of bread to get thousands out the door every day ,I would want the baking time to be less and 475 F would make that happen pretty easily.

Those in the know know you can't have Matzoh Balls without Pineapple Upside Down Cake

As much as I like the old SFSD breads I can hardly remember, there are things I would do different today to make it even better and fit my tastes.  I would bake it to look and taste better by doing a bolder, darker bake and having plenty of blisters on the crust.  I would want to keep the sour but want more tang.

That would mean using a NMNF starter, making a whole multi-grain levain, retarding it and then retarding the dough overnight.  Finally, I would want a bit more of an open crumb with a higher but not crazy high hydration so the holes have a better mix of larger irregular holes but not huge ones wither.  Plus, no mixing machines allowed. 

This bread gets it done for me today.  It is the closest thing to a SFSD bread of old that I like but better in the ways I want.  It tastes fantastic – wonderful really!  Plus, it only costs a dollar to make including the electricity to bake it at 425 F.  I know I could sell it all day long for 4 times as much and never have enough to go around. 

It has a 6 grain 11% pre-fermented flour, 100% hydration, single stage levain and all the whole grains are in the levain.  10g of NMNF rye starter was the base and the levain was retarded for 24 hours after it doubled.  The 6 grains were rye, spelt, red and white wheat, Kamut and oat.  Just enough whole grains to get the levain  sour but not too much to be noticed in the crumb.

We only did a 40 minute autolyse with the Pink Himalayan sea salt since the dough flour was half LaFama AP and half Smart and Final High Gluten.  You could sub any bread flour or even KA AP if you wanted.  Overall hydration was 73%.  We did 3 sets of slap and folds of 40, 10 and 4 slaps and 1 set of stretch and folds from the compass points to shape the dough - all on 40 min.   It was 88 F in the kitchen for all counter work for the levain and dough – nice and high.

It went into a rice floured basket, put in a plastic shopping bag and retarded shaped for 8 hours.  The next morning, we let it sit on the counter 3 hours of final proof before firing up the oven to 450 F.  We unmolded it onto parchment on a peel and slashed it hopscotch style.  As soon as the DO went into the oven, we turned it down to 425 F for 25 minutes of steam.

Once the lid came off we baked it for 8 minutes lid off at 425 F convection before finish baking, off the iron entirely, for 8 minutes on the stone.  It read 210 F when we took it to the cooling rack.  It sprang, blistered, bloomed and browned very well and the crumb was nicely open.  Best of all, it tastes terrific, wonderfully sour, moist and soft with a still crispy crust.  It will make some grand bruschetta for dinner.

We could have sprouted the whole grains and made an even better bread perhaps but we know SF bakers didn’t sprout their grains back in the day.

 

Comments

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

That is one nice bread! I love everything about it... the bubbling of the crust, the nice crumb, the simplicity of it.

And you had to go and mention pineapple upside-down cake. Where is the picture of it upside down? That is actually one of my favourites and I haven't make one in years.

Oh one more thing... what's with baking on Thursday instead of Friday. Is Lucy having some senility issues? She made you bake Monday and now Thursday of the same week? You might need to bring her in to be evaluated.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

the pineapple on top, then it wouldn't be upside down anymore?   It is prettier that way though - even if the pineapple surprise is lost.  This one used fresh pineapple, brown sugar caramel and it was pineapple cake too instead of the usual yellow cake.  It is one of my favorites too but I make it a lot, when fresh pineapples are on sale for a buck a piece or less.  They are on sale now 3 pounds for a buck from Mexico.

The cantaloupes from Guatemala are really gargantuan, over 7 pounds, very sweet and juicy and are 4 pounds for a buck right now.  My wife about died when I bought the first monster one home but then I bought another one yesterday and one today too.  She will freak out when she finds out she has to eat cantaloupe morning, noon and night for a very, very, long time. 

My daughter wanted a seed bread for a change on Tuesday and my wife didn't like it much, even though it was very nice ....so I had to make her a SFSD yesterday to keep her happy too.  Between Lucy, my daughter and my wife, they don't make enough red wine and beer to keep me happy:-)  Especially when I've been doing my daughter's taxes and our taxes all week.  Jeeze.  My daughter about had a cow when she found out the government was confiscating children she hasn't even had yet for taxes. 

Luckily Safeway did have one of my my favorite beers on sale for $10 a case today - a crazy price for 24 bottles and my favorite everyday Gnarly Old Vine Zin was only $6.99 a bottle so at least the great and wonderful folks who make and sell hooch are trying to look out for me after a hard week:-)  And it will be beer thirty in 4 minutes so I need to wrap this up.

We have tried to get Lucy evaluated several times and they just say they don't think she is even a dog much less a baking apprentice 2nd class.  What do they know ....

Glad you like the bread Danni and

Happy baking too

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Very nice.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

It's a classic .

Happy baking

Elsie_iu's picture
Elsie_iu

Another great loaf from Lucy! Bruschetta looks scrumptious as well! I know people love making bruschetta in summer to celebrate the arrival of juicy tomatoes but I've never tried them before. Usually some kind of fresh and mild cheese is used and I have to confess I don't really appreciate the milky-flavour it is praised for. I much prefer some aged and strong cheese yet that seems to ruin the idea of a slice of refreshing toast...I'm addicted to balsamic glaze and really good aged balsamic though that I drizzle it over all kinds of veggies, proteins, carbs...basically everything.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

but also had Parmesan too.  I puts some balsamic in with the tomatoes, basil olive oil and cracked black pepper and cheeses but the balsamic glaze and more Parm on top really make it,  Lucy usually adds some salty manzanilla olives too the mix but the wife does not like olives so they are a no go.  The contrast with that crunchy sourdough and the soft stuff on top is worth the work.

We like the bread too.  It too is worth the effort.

Happy  Baking Elsie.

isand66's picture
isand66

That's a mighty fine looking crumb on this one and it must taste great too!  The bruschetta looks amazing of course!

Max and Lexi say tell Lucy to send some of that hot Arizona weather this way!  We had temps in the 70's Friday and Saturday and now its back to 37-40!

Happy Baking!

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Your bread and crumb look great, but I suspect the best thing about this bake is the flavor.

I’d like to run these thoughts of mine by you to see if I am thinking correctly. Lately I’ve been delving into the various flavors of “sour” sourdough. Here are the assumptions I am working from. Please correct any errors.

  1. There are 2 basic types of sour flavors. Acedic is sharp and tangy. Lactic is mild, smooth, and yogurt like. The best analogy I can think of is the difference in flavors between sharp cheddar cheese and mild cheddar. I find these flavors manifest in the back of the mouth and originate from the back of the tongue.
  2. Acedic flavors like cooler fermentation temperatures and lower hydrations.
  3. Lactic flavors are enhanced by warmer fermentation temperatures and higher hydration.
  4. The longer the dough is able to ferment (without degrading) using cool or warm temps the more intense the flavor, either Acedic or Lactic.
  5. I realize that all sourdough bread have both Acedic and Lactic bacteria. But I think that using some or all of the 4 steps listed above can cater to one bacteria (acid) over another.

Is the above correct or is my thinking faulty?

One more question.

I think it is commonly accepted that whole grains, especially whole rye enhance the sour flavor of a bread. Is this so because it actually stimulates the LAB production, or is it that the grains themselves have a sour flavor that manifest in the taste of the bread?

I’m looking forward to your reply and also the replies of others. I’m very interested in learning the truth about this. I’ve been extremely interested in achieving a certain sour flavor. I am nuts about the flavors derived from the Lactic Acids as opposed to the Acedic. I have been exploring extended warm fermentation instead of the commonly accepted cold retardation in order to develop the sour flavor. I’d like to make sure I am on the right track.

Dan

”inquiring minds want to know”

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Dab when you say, “I would want to keep the sour but want more tang”, is the “sour” originating from Lactic Acid Bacteria and the “tang” from Acedic Acid Bacteria? I want to make sure I understand.

Thanks!

Dan

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

the vitamins and minerals and trace elements required for the cells of the body to do what they do.  The wee beasties are the same way.  They perform at their peak when they too have all the vitamins, minerals and trace elements they need...and these are found in the bran.  The other thing that bran dies is act as a buffer to allow the LAB to keep producing acid at a pH lower than they could if there was no bran around. So, as the the mix gets more acidic the LAB continue to make acid and reproduce rather than stopping.

Great SD bread has both tang (acetic) and sour (lactic).  LAB have no problem producing lactic acid, that is why they are called lactic acid bacteria but they are different than the ones in yogurt that also produce lactic acid.  The hard part of making great SD bread is getting the LAB in you culture to produce acetic acid.  They have to be forced to do so with low hydration and temperatures.  If you want a more sour bread all you have to do is increase the bench temperature to 90-92 F.  LAB out reproduce yeast at a rate to 13 to 1 making acid like crazy. at those temperatures  The yeast at that temperature are actually restricted in their reproduction rate.  They like 84 F the best.  They think it is 68 F, when it it is really 91 F, and making gas and ethanol at slower rates relating to the lower temperature.

So at 92 F the yeast is putzing around which slows the proofing time and lengthens it while the LAB are really cranking the lactic acid out the door like there is no tomorrow.  Eventually the LAB will stop making acid once the pH gets too low.  Yeast are not affected by low pH like LAB are so they keep producing CO2 like it was 68 F.  Eventually the gluten traps enough CO2 and the bread needs to be baked.  The bread is more sour but it lacks the acetic acid 'tang' that makes SFSD bread great.  SFSD bread without the tang is just above average no matter how sour it is or what it looks like inside or out.

Everything about making great SFSD bread is that the various processes required to make great bread are all relative - as is what you get out of them.  It is better to get a 'both and' bread than an either or one.  It has to taste great first, plus it has to also have a moderately open irregular crumb, be soft and moist, have a blistered, crispy crust that is boldly baked and takes a long time to spoil.  

This bread has all of those things.  It took a long time to figure out how to get it just right and devise a process that makes it happen every time.  But it isn't the only one that will do it either.  I'm sure you can think of several more once you know what you do - actually does every step of the way.

There are nit 2 LAB one making lactic and one making acetic acid.  There is one LAB that has to be forced to stop making the lactic acid prefers and make acetic acid instead.

Happy Baking Dan

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Thanks for taking the time to elaborate. I’ve read this 3 times and will read it more.

It never ceases to amaze me, how it is possible to produce so many various flavors using only flour, water, and salt. It truly is a beautiful thing.

Dan

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I searched the forum looking for the formula and instructions for the Larraburu SFSD bake. Would you point me to the most current link or post the information? I am intrigued by quality sour flavor.

I am excited about your method of super warm proofing. I want to give it a serious try or 12.  :D

Thanks in Advanced,

Dan

BreadBabies's picture
BreadBabies

I believe, if I'm reading this correctly, Dabrownman isn't suggesting that fermenting at the higher temperature will produce a better bread, just a more sour one due to increased lactic acid. I think he is saying that LAB will product more lactic acid but that for the sharp tang, you need acedic acid, which requires lower temperatures.

Am I misunderstanding?

Of course, taste is a matter of preference, so...three cheers for experimentation. I guess more lactic acid might float your boat, but I think he is saying it won't necessarily make a more classic SF style loaf.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Title: Lactic and volatile (C2-C5) organic acids of San Francisco sourdough French bread

Cereal Chemistry 55(4): 461-468; Copyright 1978 The American Association of Cereal Chemists

Authors: A. M. Galal, J. A. Johnson, and E. Varriano-Marston

The Larraburu Company produces San Francisco sourdough French bread by the sponge and dough process.  Each day a piece of straight dough or starter sponge known as the "Mother" is saved and refrigerated to be used as a starter sponge the following day.  This starter sponge is used to make more starter sponge as well as sponges for bread production.  The starter sponge consists of 100 parts of clear flour (14% protein), approximately 50 parts of water, and 50 parts of the starter sponge.  The ingredients are mixed and fermented for 9-10 hr at 80°F.  The bread dough is made by mixing 100 parts flour 12% protein, 60 parts of water, 15 parts of sponge, and 1.5-2% salt.  The dough rests 1 hr and then is divided, molded, and deposited on canvas dusted with corn meal or rice flour.  The dough is proofed for 4 hr at 105°F (41°C) and 96% relative humidity and baked at 420°F (216°C) for 40-50 min in a Perkins oven with direct injection of low pressure steam (5 psi).  Oven shelves were covered with Carborundum.

isand66's picture
isand66

Wow!  100 degree proof is crazy.  I will have to try this in the future to see what happens.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Vietnam!

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I think I've got everything correct. Except I'm not sure about the levain percentage. I went with 15% of Total Flour fermented. Is this correct?

Thanks in Advance.

UPDATE: I mixed the dough yesterday and baked it today. I used the formula above. It was really nice working with a dough that is not slack. I followed the directions as closely as possible, but @ 105F I was only able to proof for 3 hours instead of the instructed 4 hr. The resulting depression from the finger push test didn’t come back out. I feared over proofing.  I baked it @ 420F for about 35 minutes and the internal temp was 208F. All in all, the bread was nice. The crumb was very uniform, and the bread was not dense. The flavor was good, but not as good as my other SD bread. Maybe if I keep the Mother Dough (I saved a piece) in the frig for a couple of days the next bread will be even more tasty. ——-Images below———-

Thanks Dab for sharing. Please let me know if my formula is incorrect. I appreciate your help.

Dan

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

The thing about this formula is that we do not know if it is the real one or not.  It claims to be the one but no baker that worked at Larraburu and made this bread every day vouches for it.  So it is what it is.  What I do know is the the bread I posted here is better than Larraburu bread any day and why your bread is better too.  There are many things about this formula that I find .....disturbing..... I don;t think it to be the correct formula to produce the bread I remember- but it will produce the one you made.

Happy baking 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

This time I used the Mother Dough for Levain that was taken from the original test. The MD was refrigerated for 3 or 4 days. I got 10hr BF @ 80F and only 2.5 hr proof @ 105F. I didn’t want to chance over proofing this time. The bread was tasted after a 6hr rest and had a good flavor, although mild. I expect more flavor tomorrow after the bread ages. Like cheese, it seems that SD taste better after a day or two.

I think the bread will need more BF time to intensify the flavor. Both test bakes showed no signs of dough degrading, so more fermentation time should be an option.

Dan

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

time in bulk should help the flavor but, you should know to get a really great tasting SFSD bread you have to do something like David Snyder or I have done.  10-15% whole grains, higher hydration and retarding and in my case also using a bran levain and a long retarded NMNF starter.  You will never get any real SFSD sour tang using the Larraburu method and neither did we.  We could never get it to taste right and you won't either but either or ours gets right there pretty easy enough.

Happy experimentimg 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Old Dough to make the next days sponge, bulked at 80 F, proofed at 105 F, baked at 420 F.  No mixing instructions but it had to be a large, powerful, commercial mixer.  It was proofed free form

See below

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Thanks, I plan to try some or all of these techniques in future test. I’m intrigued with the high temp Lactic boost.

Danny