San Francisco-style Sourdough Bread 3-22-2019
Sourdough Bread: March 22, 2019
This bake is a kind of hybrid (high bread?). It utilizes elements of the formula and method shared by Mike Giraudo on Facebook, Peter Reinhart's James Beard Award-winning “San Francisco Sourdough,” as presented in his book, “Crust and Crumb” and various techniques I have adopted over the years, such as autolyse.
The fermentations in a warm environment should enhance yeast and lactobacillus growth and production of lactic acid. The cold retardations and low hydration of the starter and the final dough should enhance acetic acid production. I am hoping the final result will be a moderately sour bread with a pleasing balance of flavors.
Whole Wheat flour
Whole Rye flour
Whole Rye flour
Dissolve the starter in the water.
Add the flours and mix thoroughly.
Ferment at 76ºF for 8-10 hours.
Refrigerate for 12 hours or up to 3 days.
Note: Prior to mixing this starter, I fed a firm starter with high-protein flour at 50% hydration every other day for a week. These builds were fermented at room temperature until ripe, then refrigerated until the next feeding. Substituting 10-25% of the white flour with whole grain wheat, rye or a mix will speed fermentation and is generally felt to make the starter “healthier.”
Whole Rye flour
Place the flours and water in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix at low speed to a shaggy mass.
Cover the bowl and let it rest (autolyse) for 1-2 hours.
Sprinkle the salt over the surface of the dough. Add the starter in chunks. Mix at Speed 1 for 2 minutes to distribute ingredients then for about 9 minutes at Speed 2 to develop the dough.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board. Shape into a ball.
Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl and ferment at 80ºF for about 3 hours with stretch and folds at 50 and 100 minutes.
Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Cover and let rest for 10-30 minutes to relax the gluten.
Shape as boules or bâtards and place in floured bannetons. Cover or place in food-grade plastic bags.
Proof for 2-3 hours at 80ºF until the loaves have expanded by about 50%.
Refrigerate for 12-40 hours (The longer the cold retardation, the more sour the final loaf).
Remove from refrigerator. Check on degree of proofing. Proof further at 80ºF, as needed. (May need 1-3 hours.) If adequately proofed, proceed to scoring and baking.
Transfer to a peel. Score as desired.
Bake: If baking in Dutch oven, bake at 475ºF covered for 20 minutes, then uncovered at 450ºF for another 10 minutes or until done to satisfaction.
Bake: If baking on the hearth, pre-heat oven at 500ºF for 1 hour with baking stone and steaming apparatus in place. Turn down oven to 460. Load loaf and steam oven. After 15 minutes, remove steam and continue baking for 20-35 minutes, until loaf is baked. (Depends on size and shape of loaf.)
The bread is done when the crust is nicely colored and the loaf sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom. The internal temperature should be at least 205ºF.
Transfer the bread to a cooling rack and cool thoroughly before slicing.
I think I finally nailed it. The crust is super crunchy. The crumb is tender but chewy. The flavor has a decidedly sour flavor with lactic acid tones dominating. Except for the flavors attributable to the rye and whole wheat, I could convince myself this was a Parisian Bakery sourdough bread.