The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Italian San Joaquin Sourdough: The most forgiving bread?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Italian San Joaquin Sourdough: The most forgiving bread?

I had a hard time choosing a title for this blog entry. I thought about "SMSJSD," which you would eventually discover stands for "Senior Moment San Joaquin Sourdough." I thought about "Invulnerable Bread." I mostly thought about not posting anything about this bake. There is nothing new ... except that these loaves turned out so well in spite of my forgetting to ... Okay. Here's what happened.

On Tuesday, I mixed the dough for my "Italian" version of San Joaquin Sourdough following the formula and procedures I described in Sourdough Italian Baguettes. But I also had a few other projects in process at the same time. As I usually do, I set an alarm to go off when I needed to do something with the dough, but I must have ignored the last one. Instead of retarding the dough when it was ready, I kept working on other stuff. By time I left home for my 6:30pm Italian class, I had forgotten completely that there was dough fermenting. I didn't remember it until I got back home at 8:15pm and went to the kitchen to make a late dinner for me and my wife, and there was the dough, expanded to 4 times its original volume and ready to overflow the bowl! Yikes!

I thought about tossing it and starting over the next day but decided to refrigerate the dough and decide what to do the next morning. Well, the next morning I dumped the dough on my board, and, you know, it felt okay. So, I pre-shaped it and continued with my normal procedure. I considered the possibility I should shorten the proofing because of the prolonged bulk fermentation, but the dough didn't act over-proofed. And you know what, it turned out no differently than usual, except the crumb was less yellow than usual. 

I thought that the really long fermentation would result in a more sour flavor, but the flavor was no different than usual for this bread. It was really good!  I can't account for why my drastic over-fermentation didn't ruin the bread, but I'm certainly not complaining.

We had a nice sunset, too.

Happy baking!

David

Comments

Edo Bread's picture
Edo Bread

Sometimes it is just a mystery I suppose. Really looks nice - glad you ended up with good results!

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Looks Like Lovely Loaves.

Glenn

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Made for (our sister) Norma and Mark Levine, who will be in Fresno next week. Of course, there will be at least two other kinds of bread also, but it's a start. 

Mark is giving a lecture/performance for the Fresno Jazz Society on Tuesday.

David

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

would change.  Amazing really.  Those are some nice looking Italian Baguettes and with that durum they have to be sweet..  Love that sunset!  We had a beautiful one tonight too but we were out for dinner and didn't have the camera:-)

Well done and happy baking 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The flavor is rather sweet and sour. I like. 

And I just needed to show you that AZ has no monopoly on beautiful sunsets. Nice planet we've got here. Takes a lot of abuse. I hope it's as resilient as SJSD. 

David

KathyF's picture
KathyF

Wow! Looked liked it worked out great regardless.

And what a beautiful shot of the sunset!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

PalwithnoovenP's picture
PalwithnoovenP

We really can't explain some things but we are thankful that they are that way.

SCruz's picture
SCruz

The more bread I bake, the more I've come to think that flour, water, salt, and yeast want to become bread so much that they are willing to endure our attempts at fussing over equipment, grams, degrees, and minutes.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I love it! May I quote you?

David

SCruz's picture
SCruz

You may quote me only if your lame comes from France and your oven has been preheated to 453˚F.    ;-)

Jerry

 

 

 

Maverick's picture
Maverick

I have been playing with  bulk ferment time with my sourdough and found that it is amazing how long it can actually sit without a problem. I can't tell huge differences but I think a longer bulk ferment is a good idea and difficult to over do with sourdough. It does bring out a little extra flavor. Over proofing on the other hand is a disaster.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I have had two experiences of extreme over-fermentation with two different breads. I have to say, both turned out better than I feared. My biggest concern was that there would be excessive gluten degradation due to protease activity. I can't say I saw that.  And I really cannot say the flavor suffered either. On the other hand, I don't think it improved because of the longer fermentation.

You know, there are still mysteries in this bread baking thing.

David

Jrweatherly65's picture
Jrweatherly65

Hello Mr Snyder,

I am a pastry chef recently turned baker,.I am a 27 yr veteran of hotel kitchens and pastry shops( i am 53yrs old). I have been looking to TFL for the past 5-7 year for inspiration for bread ideas. I have scanned the tfl website as it seems  to have the best group dedicated to learning about bread. I am now in a position where i have to produce artisan breads and breakfast pastries for a large multi concept restaurant. I have a good understanding of breads and need to expand  my knowledge so as to create artisan breads for this restaurant. I recently saw your post on the SFBI classes you attended . I would love to go to those classes as they would probably answer all my questions as how to formulate all the recipes i need. Alas this is not possible. I must learn thru books and the TFL website. So i am reaching out to the people i find most qualified for answers to questions i have regarding all aspects of baking.

i guess i am a visual person. I am great at understanding thru seeing. I am not a mathametican, but can understand once i have been explained to in the right way.I understand  autolyse and poolish. I am lost when it comes to levain. Is it starter that has been taken out and mixed with flour and water and used to create a new starter? I understand from your class at SFBI that you have poolish,pate fermentee,and levain as starters. You can maniplulate all of these by percentage to create the dough you want.

I am looking for books and info to learn how to do this. Being in a class is the best way to do this,but again i have to go it alone until i can afford to go to a class.I am facinated in the process of bread,as it is a living breathing being and grows ,and eventually gives us great pleasure.

I would love to be able to ask you questions about your sucesses and failures and why they happened and what you would change.

When i worked at he Four Seasons Houston i happened to work with Chad Robertson before he even went to Culinary School and began his journey to becoming the the best baker in America

 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

If you are an experienced baker/chef but wish to learn more about the science and techniques of bread baking, taking a professional course is the best way.  I do believe there is no real substitute for hands-on instruction, especially for dough handling. But I also believe there is no substitute for learning bread science to understand the "why" as well as the "what" and the "how" of the choices a baker makes. I would recommend two books. These have clear and in-depth explanations and many reliable formulas. 

1. "Bread" by Jeffrey Hamilman (Head 0f baking instruction for King Arthur Flour)

2.  "Advanced Bread and Pastry" by Michel Suas (Founder and director of the SFBI)

I know there are other good books, but these are the ones I find best of the ones I know. Also, for dough handling techniques, there are some excellent videos on you tube (Look for those by Cyril Hitz, especially) and on the KAF web site. The best ones are in the section for professional bakers, not the videos for home bakers. They may also be on you tube now.

Terminology of sourdough baking is famously confusing, inconsistent and multi-lingual. Sourdough starters, poolish and Pâte fermentée are all "pre-ferments." Levain is just French for sourdough starter. When you get to different terms for different builds of your levain/starter, it really gets confusing. Especially when you have to deal with the English, French, Italian and German terms for the same (or almost the same) stages.

I would be happy to answer questions when I can do so, but I am not in a position nor do I feel qualified to substitute for a professional baker/mentor. 

Happy baking and best of luck.

Addendum: I would also look into joining the Bread Baker's Guild of America. They have a wealth of information and support for members. They give shorter courses on specific subjects all around the country. 

David