Pane Cafone (Country Man's Bread)

Pane Cafone (Country Man's Bread)

Monday, August 24, 2009

San Francisco Sourdough Batch 02

Let's go really sour this time.
For this batch I'm only going to start with 1 tablespoon of starter and slowly  build it up to 1 cup over a series of days.  The object is an extra sour cup of starter.
The 1st feeding was 1 Tbsp of starter & 1 1/2 tsp each of flour and water.
In the 1st picture I have just given the starter it's 2nd feeding at 8am.  1 Tbsp each of flour and water.  The little sourdough yeasties are pleased with the offering. I plan to feed it every 12 hours, doubling quantities, until I've reached one cup of starter.
                              3 hours after the last feeding  

For the purposes of this of this experiment I am going to be using weight instead of volume to measure once the starter is ready.  I've seen varying measures of what a cup of flour should weigh but 130g/cup is what I'm going to go with.  The beauty of experimenting with sourdough is getting to eat all the results.

Here is the recipe/formula I will be using:

San Francisco Sourdough French Bread 2
1 1/2 cups warm water - 354 g - (changed to 2 cups)***
1 cup Sourdough starter - I started with 1T of starter and built it up to one cup over a few days.  Approx. 240 g
4 cups of unsifted all purpose flour - 520 g
1 1/2 tsp sea salt - 9 g - (should be 1 Tablespoon)***
1/2 to 1 Tsp baking Soda - 2.5 to 5 g
Combine water, starter, 4 cups of flour and salt in a glass bowl.  Mix well, cover lightly with a towel folded into several thicknesses and let stand at room temperature for approximately 18 to 24 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.

Mixed and ready to rise and shine.

To make the loaf:
2 to 2 1/2 more cups flour - 260-325 g
Mix 1 cup of the remaining flour with 1/2 tsp of the baking soda and stir this into the risen dough until it is very stiff.  Turn the dough out into a floured board and knead approximately 1 more cup of flour into it.  knead it for 5 to 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth.
Shape into 2 long loaves or 1 large round loaf, place on a lightly greased baking sheet, cover with a damp cloth and let stand in a warm place for 3 to 4 hours or until almost doubled in size.

Although these loaves may look very "wet" that is actually just the Pam I sprayed them with so they wouldn't stick to the plastic covers. 
You may wish to sprinkle cornmeal on the greased baking sheet or line it with kitchen parchment before placing the bread on it.
Preheat oven to 425F
Brush a little water on top of the loaves and make a few diagonal slits across the top with a sharp knife.

 The tops were very soft and difficult to slash with out deflating the loaves
Place a shallow pan of water in the bottom of the oven and spritz the oven walls every 10 minutes with a spray bottle.
Bake for approximately 40 to 45 minutes at 400-425F or until the crust is a medium dark brown.
 The finished product

Very nice texture and the star of the show, the new scale.

  • This dough rose very fast (8 hours).
  • ***When I got into the math of this recipe, after spending a couple of hours learning all the math involved, I noticed that the hydration was only 41% so I added an extra 1/2 cup of water to bring it up to 55%.  I also noticed that the salt was only 1% but it was too late to do anything about that by the time I noticed. 
  • The tutorial I used for bakers percentage: Wild Yeast blog - Baker's Percentage Tutorials
  • My flour usage was very close to what's called for in the recipe/formula.  I only had to use a little extra to keep the dough from sticking to my hands and the board while I was kneading, maybe an extra 25 g.
  • There was little to no oven spring on these loaves.
  • I was pleasantly surprised at how nice and airy these loaves turned out.
  • After tweaking, this recipe is a keeper for the flavor and tangyness it produces.  Very light and tangy. 
  • Cost per loaf - $0.37  Where can you buy a loaf of SF sourdough bread for that???


  1. I am going to have to go back and see how you started the sourdough at 1 T. and built up to one cup. Scales are definitely the way to go and I use the same. I love how you are keeping track of your results through the blog. I have been unsuccessful in starting a good sour dough starter lately and I would like to follow your methods, Shandy

  2. Good to have you along Shandy. Blogging about my results gives me a good way to keep track of everything and gives others a chance to learn through my trials and tribulations. The tutorial I listed from Wild Yeast blog was a wealth of information for me.