My favorite loaf is the very sour San Francisco Sourdough style bread. It’s why I started baking sourdough almost 14 years ago. It’s why I started a blog, wrote books and also built a company around sourdough. I was able in many ways to get a nice crust, chewy crumb and tangy loaf over the years but could not find a method that was actually controllable and gave that real elusive tangy flavor on a consistent basis.Continue reading
There has been an ongoing controversy over whether a starter culture that you obtain elsewhere, is taken over by, or reverts to, the local microorganisms after you have had it for a while.
I asked Debra Wink that question and she said a stable starter would keep the original organisms intact if it was healthy. I have heard many different opinions on the subject. However, there is one thing that keeps me from making up my mind about the subject and that is the tests I have done. Many years ago, I did time tests for different starters to see how long they took to proof. See Starter Experiments.Continue reading
This is Summer Sourdough cooling off quickly in my freezer. I am sending it to a friend and want to cool it down and get it into the mail on the same day. Hopefully this experiment with sending bread in the mail will be successful. Since I am sending it to an understanding friend, he can always toss it in the compost heap if it arrives in sad shape!
In my upcoming book, the feature recipe is the Salt Fermented Sourdough. I love working with this sourdough. I decided to experiment using the Power Flour from Pendleton Mills that I have been posting about. Power Flour is the flour of choice for this San Francisco style bread. I started out by…
After my last post about poor quality flour, I decided to see what other kinds of flour I could find locally. I found a 5lb bag of King Arthur Unbleached Bread flour at the local KTA market and also a Gold Medal Bread flour, which was five pounds as well. The King Arthur Flour cost me 6.99 for 5 lbs! The Gold Medal was 3.49. I also found a 5lb bag of Bob’s Red Mill Unbleached Bread flour at the local Cost U Less, and it was 3.99. Don’t forget, prices are high in Hawaii. Continue reading
I am at it again. I wanted to go after the crust and the sour of the San Francisco Sourdough. I have come up with a new technique that I have been experimenting with for a while.
However, I want to take a moment to thank Peter Reinhart for giving me assistance with the publishing aspect, just like he promised. A real pro and gentleman he is. Thankyou Peter!
I also want to thank Randy Longacre who has so tirelessly read my manuscript as a newbie baker and professional writer. He has provided invaluable insight into problems and questions a newbie baker might have and has given me great advice.Thankyou Randy!
I have two other proof readers who are non- bakers, they also taste test my bread, their names are Ann Davidson and Carol Stibbie. For their encouragement and efforts, I want to offer thanks. Thank you Ann and Carol!
When testing is done on the recipes, I will list the testers and give them public thanks as well.
Now onto SOURdough. Why do we consider San Francisco Sourdough the Holy Grail of Sourdough Baking?
Well, I can finally say, “I did it!” after several years of varied experimentation with sourdough, I have finally achieved what I was aiming for. I really can’t believe it.
I experimented with high hydration doughs, low hydration doughs, all kinds of different formulations of doughs, timing, temperatures, autolyse, no autolyse, flour blends, different starters, motherdoughs,etc. If you look back in this blog you will find so many different experiments including some that were not too successful. It is a kind of history of my love affair and addiction to sourdough baking.Continue reading
I have been working with my San Francisco Starter and came up with a 65% hydration Sourdough with a small amount of cracked wheat thrown it for texture and eye appeal. I used a larger amount of starter than usual in the mix, to have the dough raise a little quicker. The dough was great to work with, sticky, yes, but bubbly and airy too. I started with: