Sourdough Experiments San Francisco Style…

I’ve been experimenting with two new starters that were sent to me. Both San Francisco starters. The first starter has a stronger aroma and I tried baking with it first, but I had to leave when it needed to be baked, so I put it back into the fridge and waited until the next day and it was too far gone, no oomph left. It also did not raise too well, so I will feed the starter and wait a bit longer to see if it will come up to snuff. I did bake the bread anyway and even though the flatness and color were disappointing, the flavor was really wow! So since it was my fault that it flopped, I will give it another try.

The second starter I baked with today, this is also a new (to me) starter and I may have to let it ferment a bit longer to develop the flavor. Once sourdough starters are dried, they need a bit of time to recover the bacteria that is responsible for the flavor, the yeast recovers more quickly, which is why you can bake a nice looking loaf, and wonder where the “tang” is. That is what happened to today’s bake. I will show you the steps I went through to produce this San Francisco Bread. I started with a preferment early in the morning. After six hours it looked like this:

Preferment

I then added the rest of the ingredients, mixed, autolysed, and then processed the dough for three more minutes. I then poured the dough into an upside down cake saver tupperware:

dough

Then the dough bulk fermented for four more hours and looked like this:

after bulk fermentation

I shaped the loaves into boules, they were about 1 lb 13 oz each:

shaped boules

Then into the proofing baskets:

proofing baskets

After 2.5 hours, ready to bake:

ready

Turn out the dough and….slash:

slash

(That’s one of Bill’s handcrafted lames, beautiful isn’t it?).

Then first loaf:

first loaf

Second loaf:

second loaf

Third loaf:

third loaf

I glazed all of the loaves with melted butter. Here are all three:

three loaves

A finer crumb with lower hydration:

crumb

I am going to try these two starters again with the Two night Super Sour Recipe and see how they come out! Keep tuned….

Back to Basics – White Sourdough

After working on sourdough experiments for a while, I have decided to go back to basics and do up a batch of Basic White Sourdough. This is the sourdough recipe that is on the website at:  http://www.northwestsourdough.com/recipes.html     I made up a batch in the afternoon and let it preferment for about six hours. I then shaped the loaves and put the dough into the proofing bannetons:

bannetons            

I made two larger loaves at 2+ lbs and 1 smaller loaf at 1.5 lbs. I then let the bannetons sit out for one hour because the dough was slow proofing this time, maybe because it has been around 60 degrees here. Then they were put into the refrigerator for their sleep overnight. I took out the loaves staggered one at a time next morning. It took about 2.5 hours to warm up and proof. I have been having problems with my new stone being too hot so I moved up the stone a bit and turned down the oven a little. The bread came out really well and has a nice sour tang. The crumb is wonderfully soft yet springy.

 Basic white             

As you can see the color is wonderful!

White basic         

All three loaves

Here is the crumb:

Basic White crumb

As you can see by the pictures which I took outside, I still have an overclouded sky. The picures look a bit greyed out on an overcast day. However, the bread is terrific!

So when you get tired of experimenting and you just want to see some great sourdough…do up the basic…you can’t go wrong!

Pane Teresa !!!!

I’ve done up a batch of Pane Teresa. It is such a wonderful bread!! You look amazed in the oven when after five minutes, it starts blowing up like a balloon! It is just too awesome and exciting for words, you have to experience it. I made up the batch and did my metric measurements so I could update the recipe. This is the star recipe in the Special Recipes folder available at my website. It was named by the Northwest Sourdough forum by Bill who won that contest for naming the bread. I took a couple of pictures of it as I put it into the oven flat and it just started popping. I have more pictures, but they came out badly so can’t post them, too blurry etc. Here is the first one, my oven and stone had pies baked on them so overlook the mess.

Here is the bread right after being put into the oven:

flat dough

After five minutes:

five minutes

I made a little .exe file to show you the loaf popping in the oven. The slideshow will not loop and just hit “esc” to shut off the last frame. Like I said, the pics were taken through the oven window so they are fuzzy:

Click here to see Pane Teresa:>>> Pane Teresa Popping in the oven

Closeup Pics of the finished loaves:

closeups

closeup

You will not believe the crumb….it is awesome!!!

Here it is…

crumb!

And…

crumb 2

If you like large holes in your crumb, you can have them by baking this bread. It is only partly in the hydration, you get the holes by following the recipe, it’s different.

Wheat Nubbins Loaves

Here is the bread I started in the earlier post. It is a lower hydration dough with sifted Whole Wheat flour, some sifted Rye flour and some boiled cracked wheat nubbins. I expect the crumb to be finer and I also put in the salt earlier this time to slow down the fermentation because my Northwest Starter is just bulk fermenting too fast for what I want at only 3- 4 hours and I want it more like six hours for that great long fermentation flavor. I also added melted butter and malt syrup for flavor and moistness. I am hoping to wet the crust and roll the dough in the part of the wheat that was sifted out, (the branny part) before slashing and baking. The dough is proofing right now in its finished shape and I will be baking it in about two more hours more or less. Or I might glaze the bread this time for something new to do. I will get back with you.

The bread turned out great! We have overcast skies today, so I had a hard time taking a picture to show you how wheaty and colorful the loaves look. In the pictures they look washed out. Maybe tomorrow we will see the sun and I can take a couple more pics. Anyway, I was also baking a roast in the oven, (yes, it isn’t hot here on the coast 🙂 ) I tried to put the first loaf in with the roast turned sideways, I didn’t have a skinny peel so the cookie sheet I was using wouldn’t fit into the oven enough for me to plop my dough onto the stone. I tried jerking it fast anyway, and it fell partway off the stone and I had to try to pull it up onto the stone, it gasped a little and I made it but….gee…not fair.

I did decide to cover the top in the sifted bran particles of the flour I used to make the bread. I spritzed the loaves and coated on the branny stuff. Then I slashed and baked. Here is the boule loaf:

Wheat Nubbins

Here are all three loaves:

Three loaves

Here is how the crumb looks on the boule:

Wheat crumb

The sifted Whole Wheat flour makes a great crumb. The loaves were just slightly over 2 lbs each. I made the recipe using the motherdough and a one night style technique so there was a preferment mixed together in the late evening, and a buildup of the dough in the morning, bulk ferment, and then baking. It is easier to tell when the loaves are proofed when they are not warming up from being in the refrigerator overnight. This recipe turned out great and I will probably write it up and put it into the Special Recipes folder when I get a chance. I am behind because I have not written up the Nickle Rye Recipe yet.

My daugters bake sourdough…

I was kicked out of the kitchen last week! My two eldest daughters wanted their turn at baking up some sourdough. First Rochelle baked up some of the Coastal loaf, she likes that recipe and made it before. She is still a little nervous around wet dough, so she added more flour and made a lower hydration version. It turned out delcious, but she was a little disappointed that it didn’t have a larger holey crumb. I told her not to worry if her fingers got a little sticky, but she didn’t like working with wet dough. Here are her loaves:

Rochelle's bread

She did not take a picture of the crumb, which is disappointing, because even though the crumb was not very holey, it was a very nice looking crumb.

Next my daughter Natalie made up some of her favorite One Night Sourdough. She also added the 1/2 cup of Rye and got a really nice sour flavor with her bread. She made three two pound loaves that came out very well. She also kneaded in more flour as she shaped the bread but was more comfortable with sticky dough and handled it pretty well. Here are her loaves:

Natalie's sourdough bread

She was proud of the crumb and took a picture:

Crumb

The bread is almost all eaten up by now, so I have a batch of a new recipe coming along today. It is a lower hydration dough with sifted Whole Wheat flour, some sifted Rye flour and some boiled cracked wheat nubbins.

Basic White with my own Dutch Crunch

I made up some Basic White Sourdough and decided to make my own Dutch Crunch topping because all of the ones available have commercial yeast and I wanted to use my starter. So I made up just over 6 lbs of dough and substituted 1/2 cup rye flour for the added enzymatic activity (I’ve been having good results with adding the small amount of rye). I did the bulk fermentation and shaping yesterday and put the loaves into the refrigerator overnight. I also made some Dutch Crunch topping using sourdough starter.

Here is what is looked like after I mixed it up:

Dutch Crunch

Here is the recipe for the Ductch Crunch Sourdough Style:

2 Tablespoons active starter

1 Cup rice flour (I ground my own brown rice)

1 Tablespoon light Malt syrup

2 Tablespoon Oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup water

Stir all together in a bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature until next day’s baking. It should be frothy with bubbles when ready to use. Then wash the top of the loaf with some water using a pastry brush, and spread on the Dutch Crunch as thick as you would like it.

topping

With my first two one pound small loaves, I tried slashing the bread, but I had made it is a higher hydration dough and with the crunch topping, it did not get a good oven spring it just spread with the extra weight of the topping.

These are the pound loaves that spread too much from slashing:

first pound loaf

second pound loaf

Notice how nice the topping looks. I needed to brown it more so I left in the next loaves longer than I would have otherwise.

With my two large loaves, weighing about 2 lbs each, I did not slash at all and they cracked wherever they felt like it and it looks a lot nicer. My recommendation after doing this topping is to use a lower hydration dough when trying out this Dutch Crunch.

Here is how the larger loaves came out:

2 pound loaf

See how much nicer it looks browned? The crunch topping is really delicious especially with the hint of malt in there.

Here is the second 2 pound loaf:

Second 2 lb loaf

Here is a picture of the crumb:

Dutch Crunch Crumb

My Fibrament Baking Stone

I got a new baking stone. My old stone was from an unused kiln and it was crescent shaped, so I had a difficult time putting the longer loaves on it. I looked up different stone and decided to get a Fibrament stone.

They make a size that fits my oven great and optimizes the space I have. I bought a 15″ x 20″ x 3/4″ stone for 66.00 which includes shipping. I have used it several times, and I can tell you one thing for sure…it bakes great bread!

The only thing that I needed to learn about it, is that the thermal conductivity is greater than with firebrick, so I had to turn down my oven. I was doing the first five minutes of the bake at 500F degrees, but I now have to do the first five minutes of a bake at 450F degrees. The 500F degrees was just too hot and I was getting black spots on the bottoms of the loaves. I think the heat transfer is really good for these stones. Moving it higher up in my oven solved the problem of the stone getting too hot and it works perfect now, I couldn’t be happier.

I have baked several batches of bread now and I can say that I have really liked the Fibrament stone so far. Another fact about the Fibrament stone is the fact that you can never put it into the sink and scrub it because you are never supposed to wipe it with water.

Here is a picture of the stone:

baking stone

Find your stone here:

http://www.bakingstone.com/index.php

One Night Sourdough

I love One Night Sourdough, especially when you forgot to start some sourdough earlier in the day and you just want to bake the next day anyway! You start a sponge later in the evening and let it sit overnight, mix up the rest next morning, bulk ferment, shape, proof and bake.So anyway that happened to me yesterday, I need some fresh sourdough by today and I missed getting it started earlier in the day yesterday, so I started the sponge last night and will be baking today. Here is what the sponge looks like in the morning:

sponge

 This is what the gluten looked like after the bulk ferment:

gluten

I mixed the rest of the ingredients into the sponge at 7:30 am this morning. By 10:45 it had doubled.I poured out the dough on the floured table and shaped up three loaves of varying weights.

 dough

I made about 5.5 pounds of dough altogether. The loaves proofed about 2.5 -3 hours.

Here is what I got:

first loaf

second loaf

third loaf

All three:

all three loaves

They are still cooling so will show the crumb later. I like the convenience of the one night sourdough especially if you don’t have room in the refrigerator for the separate loaves. I got a new baking stone too….I will have to tell you about it.
Well I’ve been busy but here is the pic of the crumb I promised:

crumb

This turned out to be a finer, moister crumb, I put in about 2/3 cup more flour so I could make a sandwich style bread. I also melted shortning and added that instead of oil.

Basic Sourdough with a Rye punch

Yesterday I started a Basic White sourdough and decided to put in some Rye flour because I was doing sourdough reading and I read that in some bakeries in Europe, the bakers add a small amount of Rye flour to the dough to stimulate the fermentation and get a higher oven spring. So I thought I would try it. I used the basic recipe available for printout on my site: http://www.northwestsourdough.com/basicwhite.html

I added 1/2 cup of whole Rye flour instead of the same amount of white flour. The dough was tight and stretchy when I was mixing the dough. But after bulk fermentation, it felt soft and somewhat slack. So I was wondering what would happen.

Well next day I baked up the three loaves and I got a great oven spring. The bread is really very good. It came out sour, crusty, light with an open crust. What more could you ask?
Here is a couple of pictures:

three loaves

Basic with Rye

I will try and post the crumb later.

Here is the crumb:

crumb

Nickel Rye

Yesterday I started a Pumpernickel Rye. Today I baked. I flavored the Pumpernickel with Strong coffee and molasses and gave it some texture with cracked rye berries.

I started early so I could have a nice bulk ferment and still get it into the refrigerator for a long cool ferment. This bread tastes SUPER! Of course it doesn’t have the loft you come to expect with a white sourdough, but that’s what’s nice, the difference!

Here is the dough being shaped into loaves:

Rye dough

This recipe made almost 7.5 lbs of dough!

I made up three small one pound banneton loaves and two larger 1.75 lb loaves.

The first loaf went into the oven and I wasn’t happy with the outcome, the loaf cracked down the side and seemed underproofed. It may have been slightly underproofed but when the second loaf came out the same way, I decided the inner dough wasn’t able to get through the slashes. Here are the first two loaves:

first two loaves

So I remembered Aussie Bill had a little experiment with slashing and I took his advice to slash lengthwise. I was really happy with the results. Here is one of the one pound loaves slashed lengthwise:

lengthwise slash

Look how nice it turned out! So I also slashed the other loaves that way:

larger loaves

Don’t they look terrific? Well they taste terrific too. My kidlets gobbled up two of the loaves already with cream cheese and we are going to finish off more for dinner with eggsalad sandwiches with Pumpernickel Rye. Already today I started a basic with some added rye for an experiment, I will let you know what happens! I will be posting this recipe in the Special Recipe folder as soon as I can.