Really Sour San Francisco Sourdough

I mixed up a batch of basic white sourdough with my San Francisco Starter yesterday. I allowed it to bulk ferment for eight hours. I shaped the loaves and put them into the refrigerator overnight for about 12 hours. This morning I took them out and let the dough raise for about 3 more hours. The bread came out great and after several hours of cooling the taste developed into a really sharp sour! I am very happy with this batch. Here are some pictures:

I baked up four loaves, two two pounders and two 1.5 pounders.

San Francisco Sourdough

San Francisco Loaf

San Francisco loaf

San Francisco Loaf

closeup

Here is the crumb of the first loaf:

San Francisco crumb

The San Francisco Starter is at it’s best when you do the long slow proofing and retarding overnight. It is slow, but that is the only way you can get a really good sour. Any proofing too short and you will lose out on flavor.

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Morphing Sourdough Starters

Leave it to me to do the unthinkable, morph sourdough starters ! I know it is unconventional, but I can’t help experimenting in any new way I think up. I have for some time morphed together Desem starter and Northwest starter. The results have been very good. The already fermented wheat kept cool in the Desem starter adds a new dimension of flavor to a basic white recipe. The Northwest starter is such a vigorous all around starter that you can do just about anything to it and it keeps on going with gusto. Anyway, with the family wedding bearing down on me in two more weekends, I have been trying to bake more and freeze enough so I don’t have to bake while guests are here. Yesterday I had a marathon bake that lasted from 1:00pm to 7:00pm ! What was incredible is that I had all seven loaves plus a small baguette, that actually held up great all that time waiting their turn in the oven. I started with an overnight ferment using both Desem and Northwest starters. I made up a huge batch of sponge and let it set overnight at outside porch temps in the 50’s. Next morning I brought in the sponge and split it into two batches, mixing up each batch the same in the dough mixer and then putting the two batches together in a large bowl. I ended up with 14 lbs 12.5 ounces of dough! I made up seven loaves of bread at two lbs each and a small baguette at 12.5 oz. Here are some pictures of the dough just docked and weighed (the 12.5 oz dough was on the scale and not in the picture)  :

Wheat white dough docked

Here they are after their first shaping and bench resting , waiting for their second shaping:

wheat white shaped

Here they are proofing, you can see all seven loaves and one baguette:

wheat white proofing

I baked the baguette first, as I was waiting for the full heat of the oven to come up:

wheat white baguette

Here are various pictures of the seven two pound loaves:

wheat white bread

wheat white bread

wheat white bread loaves

Wheat white loaf

Here is a closeup of the first loave’s crumb, as it was one of the first, it was slightly underproofed, a compromise so the last loaf doesn’t fall from overproofing:

wheat white crumb

I was pretty worried about staggering the loaves for baking. I had three loaves in the kitchen proofing, two proofing on the outside porch in the 60’s degrees and two proofing in the refrigerator in the 40’s degrees. I moved the loaves out of the refrigerator and to the porch as the baking proceeded and then into the nicely warm kitchen as the day went on. I had great luck as the last loaf came out terrific and did not overproof at all! The morphing of the two starters turned out some great loaves of bread. I called them Wheatwhite loaves.

Danish Pumpernickel

I’ve been baking using the Danish Starter again and it is really working out great! I made up some Pumpernickel bread using whole ground Rye. The dough felt kind of silky and soft. The raising power of the starter is really good. Here are the loaves:

Pumpernickel

pumpernickel

pumpernickel

The Pumpernickel came out chewy, moist, wonderfully flavored and not only makes great sandwiches but terrific toast in the morning covered with butter and cream cheese along with a dark cup of coffee.

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