The Fresh Loaf

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Susan from San Diego's Sourdough - I join the fan club

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dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Susan from San Diego's Sourdough - I join the fan club

Susan from San Diego Sourdough


Susan from San Diego Sourdough


Susan's Sourdough Crumb


Susan's Sourdough Crumb

It was time to get back to basics. My wife and I love sourdough bread. I have been having lots of fun exploring other breads, especially rye breads and baguettes of late, but I was missing "plain old" sourdough bread.

 The formula that Susan from San Diego developed has been made by many on TFL, and, if there is anyone who has not loved it, they have kept it to themselves. So, Susan's sourdough has been on my "to bake" list for quite some time. Here is how I made it:

450 gms Giusto's Ultimate Performer (High Gluten Flour)

50 gms Giusto's (Whole) Rye Flour

340 gms Water

50 gms Active Starter

10 gms Sea Salt

 

Mix the water and flour in a large bowl until they form a shaggy mass. Cover tightly and allow to rest (autolyse) for 15-60 minutes.

Add the starter to the autolyse and mix it in. Then add the salt and mix it in.

On a lightly floured bench, do 4 or 5 French folds. Cover the dough for 30 minutes. Repeat the folds and resting for 30 minutes. Then, do the folds a third time. (At this point, I had moderate gluten development.)

Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly. Allow to rise until doubled. (I used my favorite Anchor Glass 8 cup/2 liter glass pitcher with a tight-fitting plastic cover. My dough doubled in 6 hours.)

Divide the dough into two equal pieces and pre-shape as rounds. Cover and allow to rest for 10-20 minutes.

Shape as boules and place in floured bannetons. (I used French linen-lined wicker ones.) Spray lightly with oil and place in food-grade plastic bags or cover with plastic wrap.

Proof for 1 hour, then place in the refrigerator over night (8-12 hours).

Take the loaves out of the refrigerator at least 4 hours before you plan to bake them. Allow them to warm up and rise to 1-1/2 times their original size.

45-60 minutes before baking, pre-heat the oven to 450F with a baking stone on the middle shelf and a cast iron skillet and metal loaf pan on the bottom shelf.

When the loaves are ready to bake, bring a cup of water to a boil and place a handful (4-6) ice cubes in the loaf pan. Shut the oven door.

Sprinkle semolina on a wooden peel. Transfer a loaf to the peel. Score it, and load it on the baking stone. Do the same with the second loaf. Then pour the boiling water into the skillet, being careful not to scald youself, and shut the oven door.

After 10 minutes, remove the two water recepticles from the oven. Bake another 10-15 minutes, until the loaves are nicely colored, the bottoms have a hollow sound when thumped and the internal temperature of the loaves is at least 205F. When they are done, turn off the oven but leave the loaves on the baking stone with the oven door held open 1-2 inches for another 5-10 minutes to dry the crust.

Remove the loaves from the oven and cool them thoroughly on a rack before slicing. (2 hours, if you can stand it.) You are allowed to smell the loaves and listen to them sing while they are cooling.

Notes
1. My sourdough starter is "1:3:4" (starter:water:flour). If your starter is more liquid or more firm, you should adjust the amount of water you use in the dough accordingly.
2. The 2-pan oven humidification and steaming method is from Hamelman's "Bread." Susan bakes her loaves under a stainless steel bowl for the first 1/2 to 2/3 of the time. I would have done this, if I had made a single large boule. But Hamelman's method gives me the second best oven spring and bloom.
3. With overnight cold retardation, this bread was moderately sour when first cool. The crust was thin but crunchy. The bread had a firm chewiness but was in no way "tough." It was, in short, what I regard as a "classic San Francisco-style Sourdough." Since this is precisely what I wanted, I am delighted with this bread. I am moving it from my "to bake" list to my "bake often" list.

David

Comments

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

Your breads are perfect as usual. I baked Susan's SD about a week ago and again today. I'm showing a photo of last weeks boules and a photo of todays batch that I made into batards (?). I took a photo of the batards to show the difference between a loaf baked on the stone with steam but no cover. It's the dull colored loaf. The loaf next to it was from the same dough but baked under a foil roasting pan for 20 min. and then uncovered another 10 min. or so. It was such a huge difference. I didn't cut the batards open, they went into the freezer.

 

Susan's SD is a favorite favorite. I'm glad you liked it too. You bake so much I can't keep up. I just today found your post for the latest light rye. Yum! What's next? I'd like to make one of the multi grain or whole wheat loafs that have been on the site. Too many choices but what fun we're having.

SUSAN'S SOURDOUGH

SUSAN'S SOURDOUGH LOAF ON LEFT BAKED UNCOVERED. LOAF ON RIGHT BAKED COVERED FOR 20 MIN. UNDER FOIL ROASTING PAN.

You can see in the backround one of the two boules I also made today.

 

SUESUSAN'S SD WITH SPELT

For some reason I can't upload the photo of the uncut loaves. I'll try to add them tomorrow.

 

weavershouse

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, weavershouse.

Your breads look great!

What flours did you use?

Did you bake longer or at a higher temperature to get the darker crust on the boule?

I have been baking at a higher temperature than 450F of late, but trying Susan's recipe for the first time, I went with her instructions. I'm very happy with how mine turned out, but you know me. I enjoy trying variations. I like the flavor my flour combination gives to lots of breads, but next time I make this one I think I'll make one large boule and bake it under a bowl.


David

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

I used 450g King Arthur All Purpose with 50g spelt and 1/4 cup oatmeal, 340g water, 50g starter, 10g salt as per Susan's recipe. I make two medium size boules or like yesterdays bake, two boules and two batards because I doubled the recipe. I start my oven at 500F and turn it down to 450F when I close the oven door.

 

A lot of Susan's boules blow up like balloons the same as yours did and I love that. Sometimes mine do, sometimes not. This recipe always works great even when I have to change the proof time in the fridge. I've refridgerated it before shaping and after and it doesn't seem to suffer. I like to get it good and dark like our Nury rye! I even made it with rye instead of whole wheat or spelt with very good results. The under cover baking makes a difference, I think. I owe it all to Susan.

 

I have to tell the truth about yesterdays baking but I'll do it when I answer Eric's post below. Again, your breads are super.                                                                       weavershouse

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

So, AP flour and spelt and oatmeal. I don't know if this would be more or less thirsty than the high-gluten and rye flours I used. I'd guess less. So, your dough would act like a higher hydration dough than mine. Again, just a guess.

As I said, next time I bake this under cover! I'm betting on much more spring and bloom.

I like it that you started out at 500F and then lowered to 450F. This should increase your oven spring too.


David

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Your breads are wonderful weavershouse, as usual. This image should be required viewing for anyone who has been holding out on covering the dough instead of steaming. So many times I have settled for second best results when I wanted to bake 2 loaves and couldn't  because of the size restriction of my cover.

You have pushed me over the edge WH. I've decided to take my stone to a sheet metal shop and have a cover made that will allow me to cover the entire stone.

Thanks has to be given to Susan from San Diego for her work and encouragement in covering. When she first posted the "Magic Bowl" method, I was skeptical. She showed os the steam generated by the dough is all you need. The image above is all the proof you should need.

Thanks wh for a very nice presentation.

Eric

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

Yesterday I did bake both Susan's Sourdough and your Italian with biga. Someone must have put a spell on me because I got the two bowls of dough mixed up. (I'll put the blame on anyone but me!) I thought I had the bowl with the sourdough and was surprised the shaped loaves (2 boules, 2 batards) were so small because I had doubled Susan's recipe. While the Italian (that I thought was the sourdough) was in the oven I went to shape what I thought was your dough and I'm thinking...Eric never said this was such a huge amount of dough for two loaves. THEN I saw the oatmeal that is in the sourdough! How could I make such a mistake. Don't ask.

 

Let me tell you Eric your Italian Bread recipe is a new favorite even though they were 2 baguettes and 2 small boules. The smell, taste and texture brought back memories of my Gambino family with my father sitting with visitors and a loaf of braided Italian bread, olives, caciocavollo or provolone cheese and lots of wine from the cellar. They would just rip off a hunk of bread and go at it. I don't remember any olive oil dipping but we love to have a little oil, salt and pepper for dipping. 

 

Your bread tasted just like that twisted loaf. I don't know where my father got his bread from but I know my Irish mother didn't make it. I'm going to make this bread a lot and next time I'm going to make a braided loaf and see how it works. I did bake it under cover because I thought it was Susan's sourdough. I didn't take any pictures but let me tell you it was so good. In the end it all worked out but maybe I should think twice next time I want to make two different breads at once. I've done it many times before and you posted that bread and it was so tempting what could I do. Thanks for a great addition to my favorites.       

 

Oh, all through my baking yesterday I was thinking why doesn't someone make us a nice cover to fit over our baking stones. A foil roasting pan that isn't too bent up works good but I want something strong and be a perfect fit. Show us a photo if you have one made. Maybe you can sell them on this site :o)                                                                       weavershouse

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I'm laughing mostly because I've done that same thing myself. We are just humble beings are we not? I love it that you can tell that story with such color. You are a prize!

 Your story about the old days and your memories of Italian breads is nice to hear. It's always good to know there is some authenticity to the things we do. I look forward to your future braiding and other experimenting in the kitchen.

Maybe a good thing to do would be to paint a little Italian flag on the bowl and always use that one for the Italian loaf. Lol

Eric 

apprentice's picture
apprentice

also an excellent write-up. Very helpful! It will be a while before I can get back to sourdough, and meanwhile you've got me yearning even more. Nothing "plain old" about those babies!

Carol 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Well, when you get back to sourdough, this is a winner.My recommendation is DO IT!

Maybe it's not "plain old," but this kind of sourdough and Jewish sour rye are my "roots" breads. I love variety and learning new ingredients and techniques, but it's good to get back home every so often.


David

blockkevin's picture
blockkevin

David

 

I am always impressed by your breads! It seems like every time by browser finds its way to TFL I see another one of your impressive breads, and thorough write-ups. Thanks so much for sharing!

 

Kevin

P.S. I am too a sucker for a "basic" sourdough. There is something very comforting about getting back to basics.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder


David

Marni's picture
Marni

Another set of beautiful loaves!  Since I got my starter going about 6-7 months ago, I find that other breads just don't compare, I must have a loaf of sourdough on hand.  I've been making a recipe also attributed to Susan from San Diego.  It is wonderful and adapts to changes well.  I find that covering the loaves gets me the best, most reliable oven spring and the sort of thin-ish, crisp crust I like.  Also I love the surprise of uncovering the loaf after twenty minutes and seeing the rise.  I bake them sequencially when I make more than one. I have two ovens, but only one pot for covering. Thanks for sharing your talents for baking and describing with us here.

Marni

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I obviously am with you regarding sourdough.

I just looked at your latest post listing your baking for the week. I feel so unproductive!

The stainless steel bowl I use is too large for two to fit on my baking stone, but they are not expensive ($7?), so I would buy another in a minute, if I had two ovens.

I think I may try weavershouse's aluminum foil roasting pan method on today's baking.


David

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Great looking loaves David. I especially like the crumb. Were they as sour as you like them? The overnight in the retarder really bumps the sour for me.

I have been wanting to ask you if you have any trouble with starter becoming so active that it eats itself flat so soon using the 70%/20%/10% feed mix? When I first started using that mix it was great but it goes flat so quickly with my flours I stopped doing that.

I think I read where you feed your starter and refrigerate it immediately. That could be a deciding factor also.

We don't get the Guisto's out here in the flat lands unless you are willing to pay the freight. I haven't found any suppliers that stock it but I am looking.

It's nice to have a "go to" SD bread that produces a great loaf every time. Looks like you have this dialed in nicely! 

Eric 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

My starter beasties do like their feed. I've never had it go flat, but here is my routine: I activate my starter the night before I mix the dough. I take the starter out of the refrigerated stock and mix it with water and the feed blend. I leave this on the counter overnight. In the morning, I remove the amount of starter I need for my dough from the activated batch and refrigerate the rest until the evening before my next baking.

If I have time and think of it, I let the refrigerated starter warm up for an hour before feeding it, but this doesn't always happen.

I can't remember the last time I had hooch, and my starter may go up to 2-3 weeks without feeding (rarely).

I called Giusto's last Friday. They only sell their best sellers by phone or over their web site. They have many, many other products they only sell to retailers or distributors. However, they gave me the name of a local health food store that orders their high extraction flour.

I called the health food store. They order this flour for 2 local bakeries. They offered to ask the bakeries if they would be willing to order an extra 25 lb bag (the smallest amount sold) and split it with me. I thought this was really nice of them. We'll see. My backup plan is to see if one of the bakeries will sell 5-10 lbs to me directly.

You might call Giusto's and see if they sell to anyone within striking distance of you.


David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

This bread remained what I would regard as "medium" sour on day two (today). This is right where I like it. It should be great toasted, too.

Without the overnight retardation, it might be mild enough for Jane, even. ;-)


David

Janedo's picture
Janedo

David,

I must have felt you calling! I'm late, but spent a nice weekend doing family things (and laundry and cleaning and cooking, etc, etc). We went to a Upick apple orchard and the kids had loads of fun. The trees are low down so even Margot got to pick some (well, she'd get one then immediately plop her butt down and eat!) 

I can't keep up with things around here at TFL these days!

Very nice loaves. I have made Susan's bread. I didn't do the overnight retarding because in the recipe I had seen, it wasn't called for. I liked it MUCH better than the Reinhart's San Fran. I remembered that his starter is made, brought to maturity and then refrigerated, which makes it sour.

Yes, it's nice to get back to basics, n'est-ce pas? 

Jane 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Jane.

Susan's sourdough is very good. I can't say I like it any less than Reinhart's, and it skips the overnight fermentation of the intermediate starter.

Do you have any baking plans for the apples?


David

Janedo's picture
Janedo

David,

Plans for my 26 kilos of apples...well... I want to make apple sauce and jar it like I did last year because with kids it always comes in handy. I made apple butter last year, too, but still have ten jars of it. I tagged and counted my jam yesterday, 110 jars. Yikes! Around 12 varieties. So, I don't really want to make jelly and I don't know if royal gala is any good for that. I'll do crumble, tarts, baked, etc and make sure everyone has one a day to keep the doctor away. Then in early November are the Reinettes and I have to go pick those, too. Those are great for apple sauce and I'll have the quinces going, so I'll do a blend. I LOVE quince!

The thing is that I'm a bit short on time. And a friend of mine came by to tell me that someone wants to see me about making cookies for his shop. Oh my! I need tentacles and 100 hr days.

I did the Local Breads Nury mini rye with blue cheese. They are gorgeous little breads. When I do them again, I won't do them with so much rye because I found them too soft.

Jane 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Jane you are an inspiration. You must be busy every minute of every day I swear.

 

So did you stuff blue cheese in the mini Nury's? Is it just a petite batard? I'm looking for a small sandwich bun I can make a batch of for my daughter so she can freeze them and take to work for lunch. I wouldn't do the blue cheese for that but maybe a ham and cheese. Every try that?

Eric 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

And I was assuming you did have tentacles and 100 hr days already.


David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

 Hi, Jane. Your description of Margot reminded me ....

 

 

 

  Naomi eating apple she picked from Uncle Jonathan's tree in Portland Naomi eating apple she picked from Uncle Jonathan's tree in Portland David
Janedo's picture
Janedo

Oh, that that picture is so cute!!!! I took some, so as soon as I can, I'll put one on.

Eric, the breads are over 40% rye and baked in mini loaf pans. I can show you a picture, too, later on. I have made stuffed baguettes and you can just do the dough with some milk in it to soften it up and the make pain au lait shaped breads with minched ham and cheese inside. It works beautifully.

Back with more later. It's get ready for school time!

Jane 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Here's Susan's latest loaf. I just thought it was pretty.

Susan's Magic Bowl Bread

Susan's Magic Bowl Bread

Mini O

josordoni's picture
josordoni

Your bread is wearing a thong!

 

Lynne

x

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

My boules are "pretty." That one is outrageously gorgeous!


David