The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hamelman's Pain au Levain

SallyBR's picture

Hamelman's Pain au Levain

Today I made Hamelman's Pain au Levain - recipe on page 158 of his book BREAD 


For months now I've been baking his Vermont Sourdough series every weekend, allowing the shaped boule to retard overnight.

This recipe is slightly different - a little rye flour is used in the starter, and also in the dough. He does not recommend retarding the bread, instead it should be baked after 2 - 2.5 hs final rise at room temperature.

IN a way, it is a pretty "quick" method for a sourdough, and I did not know how it would turn out.

Well, this was yet another excellent recipe! It seems that every one in the book is a winner.....

The crumb (sorry, no photos) - is a little more tight than the other sourdoughs I've made, but the flavor is spectacular.

if you want to see all the photos

they are here


I baked the boule in my clay pot as usual, the final photos show the bread when you first remove the lid after 30 min baking and then the final boule, after 20 more minutes baking without the lid.


I include here just a photo of the bread cooling

blackbird's picture

Looks excellent, made a note, will check on it.

DrPr's picture

I like that cute boule!  Very attractive.  I hope you enjoyed it.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

With a crispy crust!  Yum!


xaipete's picture

That's a real nice looking boule, Sally. I bet it will be great eating for Memorial Day.


LindyD's picture

That's gorgeous, Sally.  Am so glad to see you don't turn out wimpy looking pale crusts!

I love the consistent results I get with Hamelman's recipes.  This weekend, in addition to four loaves of his "Vermont" sourdough and a batch of bagels, I decided to try his light rye.  It was marvelous - if you haven't baked it and have high gluten and medium rye flours on hand, do give it a try.


SallyBR's picture

Thanks, LindyD (and everyone else)


I think the best advice I ever got (well, one of the best) regarding bread baking is to bake the bread longer than you think you should. Once I think it's ready, I still leave it 5 minutes more in the oven. As someone said, it is almost impossible to overbake bread   :-)

Thanks for the tip on his light rye - I've been so addicted to his Vermont series, that I stopped searching for other kinds to try. I will have to put that on in my list

dmsnyder's picture