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San Joaquin Sourdough Baguettes

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

San Joaquin Sourdough Baguettes

San Joaquin Sourdough Baguettes

April 1, 2013

My San Joaquin Sourdough originated in Anis Bouabsa's baguettes which had won the prize for the best baguette in Paris in 2008. Bouabsa's baguettes departed from convention in utilizing a 21 hour retardation after bulk fermentation and before dividing and shaping. Jane Stewart (Janedo on TFL) and I initially modified Bouabsa's formula by adding a bit of rye flour and some sourdough starter for flavor. I then omitted the commercial yeast altogether and began using the modified formula to shape as bâtards. Over time, I have tweaked the formula and method in various ways, but have settled on the current one as providing the best product.

Today's bake takes the San Joaquin Sourdough back to its roots, so to speak. I used my current formula and method to make San Joaquin Sourdough baguettes. I am very happy with the results.

 

Total ingredients

Wt (g)

Bakers %

AP Flour

479

89

WW Flour

33

6

Medium rye Flour

29

5

Water

392

72

Salt

10

1.8

Liquid starter

17

3

Total

960

176.8

9.2% of the flour is pre-fermented

Liquid Levain ingredients

Wt (g)

Bakers %

AP Flour

29

70

WW Flour

8

20

Medium rye Flour

4

10

Water

42

100

Liquid starter

17

40

Total

100

240

 

Final dough ingredients

Wt (g)

AP Flour

450

WW Flour

25

Medium rye Flour

25

Water

350

Salt

10

Liquid levain

100

Total

960

 

Method

  1. Mix the levain by dissolving the liquid starter in the water, then add the flours and mix well. Ferment at room temperature, covered tightly, until the surface is bubbly and wrinkled. (8-12 hours)

  2. Dissolve the levain in the water, add the flours and mix to a shaggy mass. Cover and autolyse for 30 minutes.

  3. Add the salt and mix to incorporate.

  4. Transfer to a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly.

  5. Bulk ferment for 3-4 hours with stretch and folds in the bowl every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours, then a stretch and fold on the board after 2.5 hours. The dough should have expanded by about 50% and be full of small bubbles.

  6. Refrigerate the dough for 18-24 hours.

  7. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and transfer it to a lightly floured board.

  8. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and pre-shape as logs or round.

  9. Cover the pieces and allow them to rest for 60 minutes.

  10. Shape as baguettes and proof for 45 minutes, covered.

  11. Pre-heat the oven to 500ºF with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.

  12. Transfer the baguettes to your peel. Turn down the oven to 480ºF. Score the loaves and load them onto your baking stone.

  13. Bake with steam for 10 minutes, then remove your steaming apparatus and continue to bake for another 10-12 minutes. (Note: After 10 minutes, I switched my oven to convection bake and turned the temperature down to 455ºF.)

  14. Remove the loaves to a cooling rack, and cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.

 

 

When tasted about 2 hours after baking, the crust was crunchy and the crumb was soft. The flavor was complex, with a caramelized nuttiness from the crust and a sweet, wheaty flavor from the crumb. There was some mild acidity but no discernible acetic acid tanginess. These are among the best-flavored sourdough baguettes I have ever tasted. Very yummy fresh baked and with great sandwich, crostini, toast and French toast potential.

David

Submitted to YeastSpotting

Comments

eLuke455's picture
eLuke455

Hi David,

I am making the Baguettes now - can you explain why you "stretch and fold on the board after 2.5 hours" - its not clear why you take the dough out of the bowl to do this final stretch and fold. I have a large wood pasta board which I will use for this, and shaping.

Thanks

Luke

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I think the stretch and fold on the board contributes more gluten strength than the s and f in the bowl. Actually, what I have done for years I see is now called "lamination." This is the approach I use with most of my sourdough breads these days - S&F in the bowl at 30 and 60 minutes after levain and salt have been added, then "lamination" 50-60 minutes later. 

David

Benito's picture
Benito

David, I wanted to share with you my first time baking your San Joaquin baguettes.  I generally followed your formula except that I ended bulk fermentation when the dough in my aliquot jar was at 20% rise.  The dough went into cold retard for 24 hours and I baked today. Divid and pre-shape, bench rest in loose cylinders for 20 minutes then shape.  The dough was much more extensible than I was expecting.  I then did a room temperature bench rest en couche for 30 mins and then back in the fridge to chill and firm to make scoring easier.

This was a bit of a disaster, ok maybe that is a bit dramatic, but because of a really boneheaded mistake of mine, it didn’t turn out as well as it might have. What would be a critical thing to miss doing related to the start of baking your baguettes? Steaming, no I remembered that and it was all set up, boiling water poured into the cast iron skillet. Let’s see I loaded the baguettes and they’re in there on the hot baking steel steam doing its thing. Maybe 1.5 minutes into steaming, OMG I didn’t score the baguettes!!! Have you ever wondered what baguettes would look like it you forgot to score them, then took them out, scored them as they were just starting to rise? Now the dough is warm instead of cold after having had them in the fridge for 60 minutes to firm up to score. Opening the oven of course lets the built up steam out. 

Anyhow, taking them out to score them compromised the oven spring and thus the ears and grigne.  You will be surprised, maybe not as surprised as I was at the crumb though.  Surprisingly open.

David thank you for sharing your formula with us here on TFL.  I will have another go at this and hopefully not make a big mistake, maybe just my usual small less consequential ones.  ; )

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

In the continuum of errors, you could have done worse. The oven spring looks pretty normal, and the crumb is really nice. How did you like the flavor?

Thanks for sharing!

David

Benito's picture
Benito

Thanks David, I quite liked the flavour, enough that I ate a whole one myself for dinner last night!  I hate these silly errors, fortunately only visual issues resulted, I’m still quite surprised that the crumb turned out so well despite the error.  Thanks again for sharing your formula.

Benny

bernterryvt's picture
bernterryvt

14 weeks after my first home made sourdough loaf, I decided to attempt your San Joaquin baguettes and wow.  I was happier at step 3 mixed by hand than any previous loaf.  Helps that I have been studying your posts and watched many videos about each step in this process.  Wish I could send you a personal note of thanks.  lived in France util age 14 where there were still some great old fashioned bakeries in my St Germain des Prés neighborhood.  (Including Poilâne...) and as a 6-7 year old I got to try them all and knew my favs.  Thank you for giving me the courage to try/make/bake/ follow your generous lead.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Wonderful to hear of your success! Thanks for sharing.

Happy baking!

David

jds's picture
jds

SJSD baguettes are my favorites, thank you for this recipe!

rmzander's picture
rmzander

Sometimes I read old posts just to feel good and give me hope in my breadbaking ...especially on days when forget something. Today, I let an 100% rye SD bread over proof.

That said, thank you for your excellent photos and detailed instructions.  They bring me joy.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

We all need a bit of joy, and it's been harder to find for the past year. So, it makes me happy to have given you some.

David

JettBakes's picture
JettBakes

Wow! I am in love with the baguettes I was able to make with this recipe. Many thanks for perfecting this and sharing your recipe and process. The beautiful crumb and thin, crispy crust are heavenly. I had retarded at the bulk stage. The feel of pre-shaping the cold dough was strange and I was skeptical (I thought at various points that I had done something wrong). I persevered and was so happy that I did. Thanks again! 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I appreciate your sharing your enjoyment of the SJSD Baguettes, and I am so happy you do enjoy them.

Happy Baking!

David

 

Huwster's picture
Huwster

Hello David,

Firstly, I'd like to thank you for this recipe. I first discovered it some years back just when I was getting back into baking after a 20-year absence. I even submitted a question regarding flour as I was rather confused by the differences between US and UK terminology, as I recall. Anyway, I have revisited your recipe this past week with two attempts. The first was extraordinarily ordinary, with slightly underwhelming oven spring and very amateur shaping skills coming to the fore.

This second attempt shows signs of improvement in all areas. While the shaping still leaves a lot to be desired, the baguettes are decidedly more round in shape and less 'flatish'. I think this comes from my researching preshaping and tightening up the dough a little more at that stage. This made the final shaping stage a lot easier. I also read through some of the old comments and tried the 300 slap and folds suggested by one commentator, in addition to the bowl folds (which I also mixed in with some Rabaud kneading). One other key difference this time was born out of the curiosity piqued by the description in your recipe of using a combination of yeast and Levain. I had a packet of yeast in the cupboard left over from a recent cake bake by my wife and as I had not used yeast in a few years, I decided to give it a go. I therefore put together a Poolish the night before. To do this, I added together all the weights from your levain and main recipe and calculated a 100% hydration Poolish based on 40% of the flour weights. I used half a packet of yeast (approximately 3 g) and for fun, I experimented with putting in 4 g of salt too. In a separate container, I also put a tsp of my rye-based sourdough starter and a mix of mainly French T55 flour and some Wholegrain (Wholewheat in US money) - approximately 30 g between the two, plus 30 g of tepid water. Both of these I left to mature overnight. The Poolish ended up being very lively indeed and I even lost some over the side (larger bowl needed next time). The levain was rather slower in development. I then dissolved the Poolish in the remaining volume of water from the recipe, added the T55 flour, WW flour and the Dark Rye (that's all I had open at the time). At this point, I also added in most of the 60 g of levain (which more than made up for the Poolish that had made a successful bid for freedom overnight). I then proceeded to follow your recipe to the latter, adding the remainder of the salt after the 30-minute autolyse, at which stage I also did the 300 slap and folds (honestly, quite arduous work and I'm not entirely convinced it improved the quality of the dough to warrant me doing that again).  After that I did the folds in the bowl with a quick Rubaud kneading every half hour and then a stretch and fold on the bench after 2.5 hours. I actually streatched the dough out very thin into a very large rectangle at that point and folded both sides to meet in the middle and then the right on top of the left (so a double side fold, in effect) and then rolled down from the top to the bottom to form a sort of roularde. This was popped into a lightly oiled container for final bulk proofing before retardation of 21 hours.

Anyway, here is the end result. I am rather embarrassed by my shaping skills, but the taste of the Poolish/Levain combo is truly magnificent: 

Huwster's picture
Huwster

...the first photo above is after the preshaping stage as a reminder to myself to tighten the dough a bit at this stage. I also experimented with preshaping into a ball on one of the demi-baguettes.

I also forgot to mention that another tweak I made between the first and second attempt was to bake the demi-baguettes lengthwise in the oven. The reason for this is in the past, when I transfer the baguettes off the peel into the oven sideways, I always seem to get a curve in the baguette. By putting them lengthwise into the oven, you are withdrawing the peel along the length of the baguette and this actually helps to keep it straighter, if anything. It does mean I have to cut the length down to 30 cm, but that is absolutely fine for my needs and works well for 4 x 240 g demi-baguettes with your recipe.

The third, slightly odd-looking baguette is me trying to be fancy and cut ears into the baguette with scissors and moving each ear to alternate sides. My cutting technique really needs work though!

Anyway, thank you again, David. I am now confident enough now to bake Baguettes free-form and do away with the steal baguette trays I have used in the past, which, I feel, are cheating really.

Huwster's picture
Huwster

...the crumb

cswihart's picture
cswihart

I made this recipe today.  I have been baking bread for several years but consider myself novice.  First of all, the baguettes are delicious!    My problem is that the dough was very stretchy and sticky. When I do the final shape it elongates to a full length on its own. I also think the oven spring is not as good as it could be.    

I made some modifications to the recipe.  I used excess 100 g of Levain from the Tartine Country Loaf recipe.  Its 100% hydration with AP flour but less % starter.  Starter was very active. I think the Levain was good, my other loaves turned out very nice.  For Flour I used KA Sir Galahad (AP) and whole grain WW & Rye from a local mill.  I did 4 S&F for first 2 hours 30 minutes apart but did not do the bench as I didn't understand what that is, but think I do now.  Bulk ferment went 4 hours -had in proofer box at 80deg.  It expanded just a little under 50% and had lots of bubbles.  Overnight in fridge 19 hours.  Divided into 3 pieces instead of 4.  I have never posted here before -such good bakers on this site.  

 

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