The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


benjamin's picture

I've been taking it easy with the baking lately due to the excessive heat in center city Philadelphia, which has been hovering around 100 for the past few days now. I always feel guilty running the air conditioners and the oven at full tilt simultaneously, half expecting Al Gore to knock on my door and give me a lecture. Regardless, I had the itch to bake, and so I went back to one of my favorite recipes, the Vermont sourdough from 'Bread'.


Levain Build

  • Bread flour: 4.8oz
  • Water: 6oz
  • Mature culture (firm): 1oz

Final Dough

  • Bread flour: 1lb, 8oz
  • Whole-rye flour: 3.2oz
  • Water: 14.8oz
  • Salt: 0.6oz
  • levain: all of above

The levain should be made 12-16 hours prior to the final dough, however with the high temperatures of the day I only gave mine 10 hours.

Mix all of the ingredients for the final dough, less the salt and allow to autolyse for 20 min. Add the salt and mix for 2min.

Bulk ferment for 2.5hr with 2 stretch and folds.

I used all of the dough to make a single boule. Proofed for 1.5hrs... again this was shortened from the actual recipe due to excessive heat in my apartment.

Bake @ 460 for 40 min (first 10 covered).



Happy baking


Steve H's picture

Question Regarding Vermont Rye Sourdough Retardation

June 3, 2009 - 2:28pm -- Steve H

I made Hamelman's Vermont Rye again the other day and it didn't really come out right.  After letting the levain sit for 15 hours, I made the final dough and threw it in the fridge for bulk fermentation overnight.  The next morning it had grown in size somewhat but was so soupy (somewhere between batter and dough) I couldn't handle it.  Furthermore, I had to add a ton of flour just to get it to the point where I could feel comfortable transferring it to a banneton.  I then retarded it for another 12 hours and baked it..  It came out alright, if a bit spongy.


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