The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Vermont SD and DiMuzio Pain au levain twained

davidg618's picture

Vermont SD and DiMuzio Pain au levain twained

I recently made Hamelman's Vermont sourdough, and especially liked the flavor layer contributed by the ten-percent whole rye flour. However, my favorite bread in this genre remains Dan DiMuzio's Pain au levain formula. I think the stiff levain and the ten-percent whole wheat flour create a more complex flavor profile. So I took what I like from both, and baked a couple of loaves yesterday.

The formula:

480g ripe starter (67% Hydration)

Final dough weight: 1700g

Hydration: 67%

KA Bread Flour: 90% (we like a chewy crumb and crust)

Hodgson Mill Whole Rye Flour 10%

H2O: 67%

Salt: 2%

I ripened the starter, using my usual 3-build method, over the 24 hours before making the dough: 4 minutes, speed 1; 30 minute autolyse; added salt; 3 minutes speed 2 (Kitchenaid stand mixer)

Bulk proof: 2 hours and 15 minutes with S&F at 45 and 90 minutes.

Pre-shaped two boules, 750g and 925g--I have two different size brotforms--rested 15 minutes, final shaped.

Final proof: large boule, 1 hour 45 minutes, small boule 2 hours 15 minutes--I baked them serially; I need a bigger baking stone:-(

Initial temperatute. 500°F; 10 minutes with steam, lowered temperature at 5 minutes to 450*F; at 10 minutes vented oven, baked 18 minutes and 15 minutes more respectively.

I also used dmsynder's before and after steaming procedure see Sourdough bread: Good results with a new tweak of my steaming method

The results: We like it! The difference between this and a pain au levain true to DiMuzio's formula is subtle, a slightly more accented note from the rye flour than whole wheat flour, and the stiffer levain lends its more complex flavor profile.

and the crumb...

David G


dghdctr's picture

Looks great, David.  It's encouraging for me to see a baker expand their own repertoir by trying modifications that aren't spelled out anywhere.  That's the big step -- now you'll look at other people's formulas and see what's essential there and what is malleable.

I suspect that pretty soon you won't need anyone's formulas aside from your own.

--Dan DiMuzio

davidg618's picture

Dan, for the encouraging words. Yes, I'm feeling more confidence as each loaf emerges from the oven. The bad news? I'm seriously thinking of buying a bigger oven ;-)

David G

dmsnyder's picture

After spending several months playing with white whole wheat added to my sourdoughs, I've also decided I prefer the effect of rye on the flavor profile. Now, that's just adding 10% non-white flour.