The Fresh Loaf

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Hamelman Vermont Sourdough

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Mebake's picture
Mebake

This is baked from Hamelman's "BREAD", in levain section. It is naturally leavened, with 10% wholewheat or so. I increased the hydration from 68% to 78%, as i like a softer dough. everything went as scheduled, but i ended up in bed at 1:00 am! a chronic symptom of my late sourdough baking...!

Therefore, i thought of an idea, which is reducing the prefermented flour to 10% to allow 21 hours retarded bulk fermentation, and consequently allows me to continue baking next day without having to sleep late.

I have not turned the oven down from 500F once i loaded the loaf in, and this is the crust i got:

The cavern at the loaf's top is a result of ignoring the significance of patting the dough even during preshaping.

The flavor is not bad, considering that it recieved no retardation. As dull as it may seem, the flavor will awaken once a slice is toasted!

 Khalid

Ryan Sandler's picture
Ryan Sandler

Inspired by dmsnyder's post about Hamelman's Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Grain, and is recommendation of it to those seeking "a more sour sourdough" (sign me up!), I decided to make that my Sunday bake.  Friday morning I refreshed my firm starter, and changed some of it to a 125% liquid starter, then made the preferment levain friday night, and was all ready to mix the dough Saturday morning.


What I did not realize, at first anyway, is that the amounts of ingredients in my printing of Bread are horribly, horribly wrong. The dangers of not consulting Hamelman's errata before making a new formula, I guess.  The percentages, as given in the book, are supposed to be 85% bread flour, 15% whole rye, 65% water, 1.9% salt, with 20% of the total flour prefermented in the liquid levain, and is supposed to be based on 2lbs of flour.  If you follow the home-baker amounts, however, you'd end up with 70% bread flour, 30% rye, 3.8% salt and a ridiculous 30% water, based on 1 lb of flour.  If figured this out in stages.


It was pretty easy to figure out something was wrong when I did the initial mix and had a 4.8 oz. of water in 16 oz. of flour.  Doesn't make much of a dough, funnily enough :P.  So I add some more water to bring it up to 65% hydration.  But something seemed off.  The dough seemed kinda pasty.  At this point it occurred to me to check the math on the rye percentage.  I wasn't really wanting to deal with a 30% rye bread so I improvised, threw in more bread flour and water to make the bread to make 2lbs of flour with 65% hydration.


But then I only had 10% of the flour prefermented, and only half as much levain as the formula needed.  Improvisation again! I still had about 4oz of firm starter in the fridge from the day before, so I threw about 3 oz in when I added the salt (the formula is made with an autolyze.


I ended up bulk fermenting for much longer than the 2.5 hours Hamelman calls for, more like 4 hours, and even then it seemed pretty sluggish.  But I eventually went ahead and shaped two big loaves, placed them in brotforms and retarded overnight.  I baked them this morning and...drumroll...


 


It actually worked!  Great crumb, pleasant flavor.  Not overly sour, but I imagine that will change when I have some for breakfast tomorrow.  I got so much oven spring on the boule that I was sure there was just a single giant hole at the top and nothing else.  I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least!

Rodger's picture

All ye who pass, see if there is any sorrow like unto my sorrow

September 8, 2010 - 6:19am -- Rodger

I thought it would be entertaining to take the plunge into wild yeast, and perhaps it is, to some of you.  This loaf has an atomic weight somewhere in the 130s.  I think I'll start over from the beginning.



The caverns are probably from the few grains of commercial yeast I tossed in late in the game, thinking they might wake up the wild culture.  Oh well...

smasty's picture
smasty

Before I say anything, let me say thanks for the generous advice I've received!


I did it!  This was my 3rd attempt, and it's pretty close to perfect.  My culture was 16 days old, yesterday.  I began my pre-ferment at 7:00 pm yesterday, then at 7:00 am this morning I built the dough.  I could never figure out why Hamelman continually suggests "tasting for salt to be sure it wasn't forgotten."  I always wondered why someone could forget the salt.  Well, twice now I've almost forgotten it, since it is added after the autolyse.  My dough still took 6.5 hours to less-than-double, I gave it two folds during that time.  I proofed the loaves for about 1 1/4 hours, crossed my fingers and popped them in the oven.  I bought a probe thermometer yesterday....wowza...what a difference that makes, too.  I started the loaves at 460 degrees, after 10 minutes I lowered the temp to 435 (due to browning).  I now know that I've been pulling my loaves at about 160-170 degrees (internal temp)...way too low!  I had to lower the temp to 400 to keep the crust from overbrowning, and finally pulled them out when internal temp hit 200.  So, I started at 7:00 am and have bread at 4:30 pm (great bread!).  The crumb color is hard to discern in the pic since I didn't use a flash, but it's a great color.  I've learned so much by failing multiple times and asking for help.  Though I know I have much more to learn.  Thanks again for the great advice, encouragement and support! Now...just gotta hunt down a good bottle of wine!


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