Tangy San Fransico Sourdough


That Wonderful San Fransisco Sourdrough Taste!!!

I've been trying for a year...of daily starter feedings, ineffectually... and came across SECRET_INGREDIENT's post that included research from Karel Kulp and Klaus Lorenz research on Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis (LBsf) entitled "70 Pounds of Sponge Later".  I think it implies that LBsf thrives at 32-33C (89.6-91.4F), and all other Lactcobacillus forms (probably) don't.

So I've kept my starter culture at 90F for the last coupe of weeks, and noticed a remarkable difference, very similar to the SF tangy taste.  I assume that other strains of Lactobacillus don't thrive at this high temp, and LBsf does, and is responsible for this unique taste.  My proofing includes 4 hrs at 70F, 10 hrs at 60F, then 3 hrs at 90F, then into the oven for 30 min at 450F (or 190F internal temp).

I've been keeping my starter culture in an ice chest regulated by a Zilla Reptile temperature contoller plugged into a 60 watt incandescent bulb.  I use a completely independent temp probe to moniter temp externally.  The last 3 hrs of proofing are done in the proofing box. 

So far I've had tastes very much like San Fransisco Sourdough.  It would make sense, considering that "Sourdoughs" (early US western settlers, or SF 49'ers NFL mascot), kept their bread levin cultures under their shirts on necklaces, or waistbands, between baking projects at slightly lower than body temperatures.

I hope this helps anyone trying to duplicate SF Sourdough-like-tastes, since the industry has had little regard for my inquiries into the subject...sorry frigg'in bastards...



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LeadDog's picture
LeadDog 2011 March 30

 Spyder I have been thinking that it was something along the lines what you just said.  Have you tried a liquid starter of high hydration?  I will get around to trying warmer temps and a liquid starter later this year.  I have a friend at work that was going to open a bakery here about the time SLO sourdough started.  He was working with ACME bakery from the bay area on how to go about doing it.  I'm going to ask him how they keep their starter.

GreenSpyder 2011 April 1


 ...  Have you tried a liquid starter of high hydration?...


Yes.  I asked SECRET_INGREDIENT about how thick he kept his starter.  I compared mine to plaster, he said he uses more of a slurrey.  So in addition to keeping it much warmer, I've been using more hydration, about 120 parts water to 100 flour. 

I gotta say, I think this is the long sought after answer, LDog.  Every week it gets more tart.  My wife has commented on it several times, and is really liking this change.  Additionally, it seems to get more tangy after sitting on the counter for a day.  The newer flavor isn't immediately noticable, but is more of an aftertaste that hits the tough maybe 5 or 10 seconds after being chewed.  Like a good wine!

So I'm drying out my old starter on wax paper, and retiring it into the freezer, with other old efforts.  My energy, time and resources will be spent persuing this lead....Dog!

LeadDog's picture
LeadDog 2011 March 31

 I also remember reading about how people in Alaska kept their sourdough starter in the winter time.  They put the pt the starter in next to the fireplace to keep it warm.  The weather is getting warmer and it will be time to give this a try.

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