This Week in Baking..April 17, 2015: Hamelman's Vermont Sourdough

This Week in Baking..April 17, 2015: Hamelman's Vermont Sourdough

Finally I have a new place to lose my extra loaves besides the freezer and birds so I am again trying to perfect my technique.

Today’s bread is Vermont Sourdough from Jeff Hamelman’s book Bread.  In his book, all the recipes are written in bakery sized formulas along with a home version which is written in pounds and ounces so I needed to convert them to grams.  I also upped the rye a slight bit and added a little whole wheat but kept the formula in the same balance.

My Levain
75 gr mature starter
125 gr. warm water
125 gr. whole wheat flour

Allowed to ferment in my warm microwave with a boiled glass of water for about 10 hours until bubbled and risen.

Final Dough..I think I calculated it correctly this time.  I’m still trying to learn the technique behind those spreadsheets so its calculator and paper!

600 gr bread flour
80 gr whole wheat flour
100 gr rye flour
419 gr water
17 gr salt
325 gr levain

Mixed all of the ingredients together except the salt and allowed to autolyse for 30 minutes.  You can leave it for up to an hour according to his book.

Mixed in the salt well and allowed to bulk ferment for 1.5 to 2.5 hours.  Again in the microwave with boiled water.  After 30 minutes I stretched and folded the dough, reheated the boiled water and put it back in the microwave.  It now being 11:00 at night….why do I get these urges so late? …I decided to perform one more stretch and fold and put it in the refrigerator for a cold overnight bulk ferment.  At 3 a.m. or so during my nightly bio break I pulled it out of the fridge and left it on the counter.  By 7 a.m. it was looking great!  Spilled it out and preshaped it.

This dough is slightly dryer than some of the breads I’ve been making recently which contributed to making it easier to split and prepare for the bannetons. Or maybe I’m just getting it.

Another recommendation I decided to try today is taking a small bit of the dough and placing in in a shot glass to monitor its rising.   It is just about an inch deep in the glass coming to the top of the word Berlin so by my calculations it should be ready for the oven when it reached the yellow part of the coat of arms design.  This took about three hours.  I plan to use this technique going forward.

I’m still working on my slashing technique and am thinking my homemade lame is not upto par or I need to put the loaves in the fridge for 30 minutes before baking….I’ll try that next.  In to the hot dutch ovens….

I took the little proofing ball of dough and threw that on foil and tossed it in the oven.  It was ready after 30 minutes and was a nice little preview of what  hopefully was contained in side those full sized loaves.

Forty minutes later out come these beauties! 


And the crumb shot…. I think we have a winner.

Hubby has been bragging to the owner of his favorite service station and he had previously brought over a piece of baked goods for him to sample.  He was headed out so I gave him a loaf to drop off.  This was a good opportunity to lose one loaf and build relationships!! LOL! Maybe he’ll get a good customer discount next time.


Source: Fresh Loaf