Cracked Wheat San Francisco Sour

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:

  • SF starter, vigorous and at 166% hydration – 32 oz
  • tepid water- 20 oz
  • Sea salt – 1.2 oz
  • Oil- .8 oz
  • Cracked wheat – 1.5 – 3 oz (put in more or less to suit your taste, I used 1.5 oz)
  • Bread flour – 48 oz

Do the usual mix, autolyse and bulk ferment. I bulk fermented for seven hours, folding the dough several times while it fermented in a covered,flat retangular container. You can see in the pictures how the dough strengthened with the folding.

After bulk fermentation, shape loaves and then refrigerate overnight for 12 – 14 hours. Take out and warm up and proof your dough. Then bake when ready, using the roasting lid method of baking. This is how the dough looked as it was nearing baking time, with one loaf already in the oven:

 The resulting bread is terrific with a wonderful crisp crust and holey crumb, just what you expect and hope for in a San Francisco loaf.


12 Responses

  1. How do you get those beautiful ears? I have recently started baking my sourdough in a woodfired oven that my husband built and so I’m working on learning how to regulate the temperature. I’m getting a decent oven spring, but I don’t get the nice “ears” in my slashes. Maybe I’m not slashing deep enough?

    Beautiful loaves!

  2. Hi Jacqueline,slash at an angle so you get more of a “flap”, make sure the dough is proofed correctly, and use a lower hydration dough, 64% or lower. Teresa

  3. Just made this recipe using Guisto’s High Performer and Ultragrain at 50/50. The hydration level turned out a bit high to hold a boule shape. The right flour for different recipes seems to be a trend that I am running across far to often and it’s always hydration levels that seem to be problematic. Any flour recommendations for higher hydration recipes would be helpful. BTW…I scale everything in grams.

  4. What temperature and for how long do you bake this bread?


    • Hi Sarah, the temperature would be 450 degrees for the first 20 minutes with the roasting lid coverin a well preheated oven witha baking stone, then take off the cover and turn the oven down to 425 degrees for 10-15 more minutes. Teresa

      • Thank you so much Teresa! After I had posed the question via comment I perused some other, similar recipes of yours and found the youtube link to your roasting pan technique – fascinating! Unfortunately I don’t have a roasting pan with a lid (yet!) so I did my normal technique of a cookie sheet under the baking stone and pouring hot water in it for steam. I think my MIL has an old roasting pan in her basement though, so your technique is on my list to try!

        We baked this bread this afternoon and I enjoyed slicing into my first baked loaf for a light supper with homemade pesto on top. My (almost three year old) son dipped it in olive oil and balsamic and just adored it as his afternoon snack. Plus, it was my first time getting great blistering on the crust and the crumb was lovely.

        Thank you so much for the inspiration! I so enjoy your blog!


      • Thankyou Sarah, getting feedback like yours is what spurs me on. Try using an upside down metal bowl or pan that has oven safe handles, or use an aluminum turkey pan or even get some heavy aluminum foil and make up your own temporary lid.


  5. I have another question Teresa.

    The measures you use, are they dry or wet ?

    And is the starter wet measure or by weight ?

    And is the flour by weight ?



  6. Hi,
    Finally fantastic bread , came out perfect brown crisp crust, holey creamy crumb, and best of all a great rise and spring !!! I used Your SFO starter, 1/2 GM bread flour 1/2 KA Sir Lancelot (half recipe) . Made one 1 1/2 pound batard and a fist sized round, saving 1# 4 oz to try Power Flour bread using KA .
    I just got a Fibrament stone so I think it has alot to do with oven spring , my Pizza took a night and day turn for the better with it .
    Been struggleing for years with sourdough ,this recipe has boosted my confidence. Hope it wasn’t a lucky accident and I can repeat it !
    Thanks Teresa

  7. Now this bread looks awesome…makes me wish the internet had smell capability…lol! I have to do this!

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