Overnight San Francisco Sourdough –


This is definitely a lazy way of making a decent loaf of sourdough. There is little fooling around, just put it together and let it alone. My kind of recipe. This works best with a somewhat clangy San Francisco sourdough starter.

60 g sourdough starter (1/4 cup) just take it straight from your starter jar, well stirred
1000 g (1 kilo) bread flour (6-1/2 cups)
570 g water (2-1/2 cups)
14 g salt (2 tsp)

For a little different kick you can vary the flour with some whole wheat, just reduce the bread flour to 850 g (5-1/2 cups) and add in 150 g whole wheat (1 cup).

Mix on low speed 3 minutes. Mix on second speed 3 to 5 minutes, or until the mixer sounds labored. If you are a masochist, knead by hand for about 20 minutes. I let the mixer with a dough hook do the work. Let rest for about 30 minutes, then form into baguettes or rounds. Place on a floured couche, seam side up and cover with another floured linen, or lubed plastic.

Let rise 12 to 16 hours, or until doubled.

Ease it onto a pan or peel seam side down and slash as appropriate to the shape.

Bake at 375°F in a well-steamed oven for around 45 minutes, or until deep golden brown and around 207°F to 210°F at sea level, adjust for your altitude.

You can also do this in standard bread pans. After the long rise pat and fold, let rest for about 15 minutes, then shape into the pans. Let rise again until about doubled, probably 6 to 8 hours in most home kitchens.

Resist temptation: don’t cut it until it has cooled.

A comment: you will notice that no additional yeast has been added, that is why the rise is so long and slow. That is also why there is a good bit of complex flavor in this bread.

If you don’t have a San Francisco starter you can look on the Internet, there are several places that can supply you with one. You can also get all kinds of weird and wonderful starters to play with.

A word about starter storage, keep it somewhat warmer than many people keep their refrigerators. Starter works best if no colder than 38°F and Herself keeps our refrigerator about 33°F. Solution: get one of the 1.5 to 2.0 cu. ft. mini-refrigerators and set it about 40°F with a good thermometer. Works very nicely and keeps harmony in the kitchen. This is important.

By way of a historical note. This is pretty much the timetable that people had to use in the days before commercial yeast was available. You can see that, while fun for the home baker, this would be somewhat oppressive to a cook who had to get grub out every day to a bunch of hungry people.


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