Changing flour percentages (San Francisco Method)

Changing flour percentages (San Francisco Method)

Submitted by SourdoughGeek1 on February 23, 2017 - 9:15am.

Hello everyone


I was wondering if i could get an insight to what I'm doing wrong. I attended a course hosted by Vanessa Kimbell who taught us the San Francisco method of sourdough. I followed it a couple times after and had lovely loaves but wanted to start experimenting with different flours. So instead of doing 900g of white and 100g of stoneground wholemeal, I started doing 700g white and 300g of spelt flour, still using 66% hydration. I did a refrigerated second proof overnight and in the morning it was huge! I decided to bake a couple hours before the suggested time as the dough was ballooning and when i tipped it out of the banneton, it collapsed and went flat. It rose okay in the oven, texture was fine, pretty good actually but it stuck to the dutch oven which it didn't do before and held a lot of air in the top layer, so it came out almost like a flaky pastry consistency. 


Please help!


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Dutch Oven Alternatives

Dutch Oven Alternatives

Submitted by ChrisBathory on February 23, 2017 - 8:39am.

I have been baking sourdough for a few months now with good results.

However I still am unable to get the proper crust and colour as I don't have a dutch/cast iron oven, they are quite expensive where I live so I am looking for a cheaper alternative for now

I have attached a photo of an oven safe, porcelain casserole dish. Would this be suitable to bake a loaf in or is cast iron the only thing that will achieve the desired crust & colour.

I have some stainless steel bowls also, but am not sure if those will work

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New to the forum

New to the forum

Submitted by amylearnstocook on February 23, 2017 - 6:44am.

Hi everyone! I am Amy. I am a long time reader of The Fresh Loaf but I haven't posted. I am sort of new to bread baking. I started years ago making bread using a bread machine and moved on to using a KA. I've mainly made basic sandwich bread, dinner rolls, as well as boule in a dutch oven. I don't really make bread by hand due to limitations in one of my hands as well as I just love stand mixers. 

I want to learn more and start making different kinds of bread. I am a kitchen equipment freak! I have 14 stand mixers. I have a room in my house that I call "The Pan Room" that is filled with everything imaginable for cooking. I also host a cooking show as a hobby in my free time. Below is a list of my mixers. Yes...I am insane! But...I do have a lot of fun with all these mixers! I included the colors just because I am weird!

My mixers:

Ankarsrum (New) - White

Bosch Universal Plus with the plastic and the stainless bowls

Bosch Universal (The previous model without the suction cups)

Viking 7 quart (I currently have two of these) - Silver

KitchenAid Classic Plus 4.5 quart - Silver Metallic

KitchenAid Artisan Design Series 5 quart - Raspberry Ice

Kitchenaid Professional 5 quart - White

KitchenAid Epicurean 6 quart - Seacrest Green

KitchenAid Pro 600 - Silver Metallic

KitchenAid Commercial 8 quart - Red

Breville Scraper Mixer Pro - Silver

Kenwood Chef Titanium - Silver

Cuisinart 5 1/2 quart - White Twitter Facebook StumbleUpon

Shaping sourdough batards

Shaping sourdough batards

Submitted by Grenage on February 23, 2017 - 4:15am.

I generally only make sourdough loaves at home, and I've never had problems with boules; they're very easy to shape and get tight.  I've switched to batards, because my partner finds it easier for toast.

Oh the pain.

I can't produce anything particularly well formed, as folding the dough back on itself leads to it sticking to my hands as much as itself.  I'm not even talking a particularly wet dough, just 71% 50% wholewheat.  Online demonstrations all seem to involve 65% yeasted pillows of delight, rather than a regular sourdough.

If anyone has any advice, it would be appreciated. Twitter Facebook StumbleUpon

Now what? A Newbie's problem.

Now what? A Newbie's problem.

Submitted by XRangerD on February 22, 2017 - 2:41pm.

Ok, I've finaly gotten a starter to be consistently rising. I've had my patience tested, to be sure, but my starter is doubling (and more) within 2-3 hours. I just discard half, add 2 oz bottled water and 3 oz unbleached flour. The 1 oz starter to 2 oz water and 2 oz flour just never worked.


So now the question becomes, "Now what?" How do I use this beast? When I measure a starter to add to a recipe do I use it while puffed up or stir it down first? I figure stirred down would include much more yeast.

Also, the I feed it first then let it double before using? Or do I wait a certain amount of time? And if I'm going to use a "discard" recipe, should I use a 12 hour after-fed discard, or use my regular 24 hour cycle?


I figure these are the conundrums to get over before I can actually get going. I know there's a lot of fine tuning in the future but I just need to get over the hump. Twitter Facebook StumbleUpon

Hi, I'm new here can I bake bread in a deck pizza oven?

Hi, I'm new here can I bake bread in a deck pizza oven?

Submitted by Karl Stephens on February 22, 2017 - 12:40pm.

So I'm looking at setting up a micro sourdough bakery in my garage on a budget and can buy a twin deck electric pizza oven head height is 150mm. My question is can I make this work for sourdough I would have to self steam I know, but I could bake 12+ large loaves at a time!! I can pick it up for £500, has anyone had any experience baking in one or is the head height going to be an issue, many thanks in advance for any help :) Twitter Facebook StumbleUpon

Sourdough taste test - 25% flour variation

Sourdough taste test - 25% flour variation

Submitted by Lazy Loafer on February 22, 2017 - 11:58am.

Last Sunday I held my third annual Bread Tasting Open House. This year I focused on a couple of areas - 100% rye flour breads, and a series of sourdoughs using different flours. For the latter the formula / recipe / technique was the same for all six of the breads; the only variation was that 25% of the flour was different. The six were:

  1. Amaranth flour
  2. Corn flour (whole corn flour, not the UK version or North American corn starch)
  3. Durum flour (re-milled from semolina)
  4. Kamut flour (stone ground whole Kamut)
  5. Rye flour (whole, stone ground)
  6. Teff flour

The general formula was:

  • Bread flour - 75%
  • Other flour - 25%
  • Water - 72%
  • Starter (100 hydration) - 19%
  • Salt - 2%

With the starter, the overall hydration was 74%. Technique was to mix flours, water and starter and let sit for an hour, then mix in the salt (by hand and with very little mixing). All doughs fermented at room temperature for around 5 hours with 3 or 4 stretch and folds over the first couple of hours. The windowpanes on all of them were excellent - very strong and stretchy. Of all of them, the teff dough was the softest and the corn dough the silkiest. All doughs were then put in the fridge overnight and shaped / proofed in the morning.

The test batch I made first was proofed in floured oval bannetons, then transferred to peels and into the oven on the hot stones (pre-heated to 475F). The teff loaf was almost impossible - it was so soft and sticky that as soon as it was turned out onto the peel it spread into a puddle and stuck. Transferring it to the stones was very difficult and resulted in a bizarre shape!

All had good oven spring, but the corn flour loaf was the winner in this category - it nearly exploded in the oven! The rye loaf had much less spring than the others and the scores didn't open much (although when I made a second batch it had much better spring and burst).

Crumb on all of them was soft and moist, and quite open. The corn flour loaf had large holes and very moist crumb. The rye had a much closer crumb. The amaranth and teff had the most interesting aroma, with a sort of chocolatey sweetness from the teff and a lovely 'fresh hay' scent from the amaranth.

The results of the tasting were a bit surprising, actually. The corn flour loaf was the clear winner with the teff in second place and Kamut in third. The loaf made with 25% durum flour came in last! I asked people to vote for their favourite and their second favourite. Conversations indicated that people felt most strongly about both the amaranth and teff (they either really liked one or the other, or really didn't like it).

It was an interesting experiment! Here are some of the pictures:

25% Amaranth flour:

25% Corn Flour:

25% Durum flour:

25% Kamut flour:

Somehow I missed getting pictures of the Kamut loaf!

25% Rye flour:

25% Teff flour:

The Teff flour loaf was the mis-shapen one, so no picture of the whole loaf. :) When I made these breads for the actual bread tasting I baked the softest ones in the perforated Italian bread pans which made life a lot easier. These loaves not only looked lovely (crust and slashing was nice on all of them) but were easier to make more uniform slices. This photo shows (from top left to bottom right) two each of the Durum, Kamut, Rye and Teff loaves.

I just made a batch of the 25% Corn Sourdough for customers who ordered it after the bread tasting, and it turned out quite lovely! Twitter Facebook StumbleUpon

vital wheat protein

vital wheat protein

Submitted by thoordog on February 22, 2017 - 5:43am.

A question about vital wheat protein. I have some that was given to me to experiment with. I haven't really done any research on it but don't want it to go to waste. When a recipe calls for bread flour I normally add about 2 tablespoons of it to all purpose flour; does this somewhat simulate bread flour? What would be the proper use of the vital wheat protein? Twitter Facebook StumbleUpon

Baking Formulas

Baking Formulas

Submitted by oo7wazzy on February 22, 2017 - 5:17am.

HI All Fresh Loaf fans


I want some help on working out my formula for baking sourdough or any bread for that matter. I have the original Tartine recipe for the rustic country loaf that uses 1000g flour and makes 2 loaves. these loaves are quite big so I thought about using the recipe and dividing by 4 to get loaves that are roughly 500g each.

But what I want to know is, if I start with the finished loaf weight eg: 700g, how do I work the formula to get the individual ingredients knowing the percentages of all the ingredients ?


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