The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

San Joaquin Breakthrough

Flour.ish.en's picture

San Joaquin Breakthrough

The credit goes to dmsnyder (, who bakes and writes extensively on the San Joaquin sourdough bread. When you think your bread baking can't progress much, you can always count on getting fresh ideas and inspirations from other Freshloafers. Among all the sourdough breads I've made, the San Joaquin takes it to the next level. The crumb is more open and the crust is more delicate and light. I can't be happier when these loaves hit the oven with remarkable oven springs. Thanks, dmsnyder for your recent detailed post in September.

They are the same hands doing the mixing, kneading and shaping; it's the methodology of the San Joaquin sourdough that has made it the real standout. The San Joaquin comes with an exceptional pedigree: it originates from the Anis Bouabsa's baguettes which won the prize for the best baguette in Paris in 2008.

Specifically, it's the long cold fermentation before dividing that makes all the difference.

The key is the long bulk fermentation after four series of stretch-and-fold in the initial 2-1/2 hours. The bucket of  dough went straight into the fridge for 18-24 hours, without dividing and shaping. The dough becomes pillowy and very stretchable. I took special care in shaping the dough in rounds. You have to because the dough feels so delicate. I use Dutch ovens as my steaming apparatus. They are mostly round in shape. Therefore, I shaped the loaves in rounds rather than in batards.

Now the crumb structure is more open, the next hurdle is to get it completely open throughout the loaf. I guess, I need more practice!

Welcome any suggestions how I can get the crumb structure to be open from one end to the other? Again I'm turning to fellow Freshloafers for their comments!




Danni3ll3's picture

I can see you dipping this in flavored olive oils. Yum!

dmsnyder's picture

I'm so glad you enjoy the San Joaquin Sourdough. Your crumb looks classic! (That means just like mine.)

Danni's suggestion is spot on, according to my wife. She prefers EVOO with a bit of balsamic vinegar.


P.S. Note the multiple typos in my user name, dmsnyder (not dmsynder).

Flour.ish.en's picture

how good this bread tastes. I have given one loaf away; the last image was the one I received together with a thank-you email message from the neighbor I gave the bread to. Whatever is left, I'd give EVOO a try. Loving the texture and the deep sourdough flavor of the bread. Amazing and many thanks, David! 

bread1965's picture

Looks fantastic - well done!!  I've yet to take the plunge.. one day.. your post is inspiring!! Hopefully soon..

dabrownman's picture

bread ever except I put a bit more whole grains in it :-)  This was the first loaf I tried to master but it has been many years and I haven't gotten to your point with it,  It is the definition of large and small irregular holes spread throughout the loaf. - but not everywhere otherwise it wouldn't be really irregular!  It also happens to taste great!

Just lovely baking all the way around.

Well done and happy baking Flourish

Flour.ish.en's picture

will be in works. Another plan is using the same formula to make baguettes. This is like a master recipe with many exciting possibilities.

IceDemeter's picture

I'm generally one who is a bit compulsive about NOT following a formula to the letter, but this oh-so-lovely result from dmsnyder's detailed directions --- well, it is seriously tempting me to maybe try following instructions for once...

Thanks so much for sharing this, and keep baking happy!