Wednesday, May 28, 2008

San Francisco Sourdough

My second attempt at Daniel Leader's San Francisco Sourdough, from Bread Alone. In the 'family of traditional sourdoughs' chapter, the main identifier of the recipe is the long starter ferment (24 hours compared to the usual twelve).

I substituted white whole wheat flour for some of the bread flour, and did most of the first fermentation of the whole dough in the refrigerator while I was at work. I also used my liquid levain instead of Bread Alone's regular sourdough chef, and didn't add all the flour, so my dough was a little wetter than on my first try. Wetter, everyone agrees, is better.

My trusty home team pulled the dough out for me and when I came home a few hours later it was overflowing its bowl and ready to go. It had probably risen a bit too much, so I did the first and second rests quickly and shaped it loosely, as it was pretty sticky.

Being a very hot day, the dough proofed quickly and stuck to the parchment couche, but I eventually got it into a 500 degree oven, turned it down to 450, and got to baking. I was a little worried about oven spring because it had proofed so quickly, but it seemed to do all right. The crumb wasn't quite as open as my ideal, but it was light and not dense.
The crust colored beautifully, a nice rich brown, and I experimented with a new scoring design (more to come soon). The taste is full and lightly sour, more like a sour levain than true San Francisco style, but I'm ok with that as I often find 'real' San Francisco breads to have an unpleasant sock-like smell.

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