The Fresh Loaf

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Hammelman's Vermont Sourdough

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occidental's picture
occidental

Hammelman's Vermont Sourdough

Over the past weekend I thought I'd get into one of my books that I haven't baked from yet, "Bread" by Jeffrey Hammelman.  Being a sourdough fanatic I decided to start with a sourdough and selected the Vermont sourdough, which appears to be one of Hammelman's standbys.  I had great results with the formula and this bread may become one of my favorites if I can repeat the results.  I followed the formula fairly close, however following the mix the dough felt a bit on the dry side and I added about a tablespoon of water.  Once the dough had a chance to autolyse and I did two folds I decided I probably didn't need to add the water as the dough was really on the sticky side.  I let the formed loaves rise in a cool place to try and develop the flavor a bit and baked until I had a pretty dark crust.  I scored the loaves but they were pretty wet so it was almost a rustic looking loaf.  The oven spring was impressive and the crumb is very open.  It tastes great too!  I'll be making ths loaf again soon!


 


From bread

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From bread

Comments

LindyD's picture
LindyD

The Hamelman Vt. sourdough is my "daily" bread and never fails.  I especially like this formula because I can mix the dough midweek and bake it the next day, as he calls for an overnight retardation.


Am sure you'll be able to repeat the nice results you posted.


 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Looks good!

blackhorse16a's picture
blackhorse16a

do you use for overnight retardation? I find that a couche allows a crust to form and a lightly oiled bowl is a bit oily for me. Any other suggestions?


BH

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Hi BH,


The last time I made this formula (this past weekend), I formed two boules, placed them in floured bannetons, then popped the baskets in plastic bags before moving them into the fridge.  


When I form batards, I cut a narrow strip of parchment then place each batard on the parachment and move them to a couche on a baking sheet.  The whole thing then goes into a big plastic bag.  The parchment allows me to transfer them to the peel without disturbing the dough and the plastic bag contains the moisture inside so there's no chance of the dough drying out.


I keep a stash of the lightweight plastic bags used to hold produce at most supermarkets. Our markets have rolls of them placed above the produce.  The long ones will fit over a baking (half) sheet and as long as you don't tear them, they're reusable.


@Sue....if you follow Hamelman's directions and determine (and achieve) the desired dough temperature (which is 76F), the 2.5 bulk fermentation and recommended folds, followed by the up to 18 hour final fermentation will result in a lovely open crumb.  At least, that's been my experience.

occidental's picture
occidental

Hi BH, Lindy has some good suggestions.  In a couche I usually dust with flour and then spray some plastic wrap and lightly drape it over the loaves, tucking in the ends. 

smasty's picture
smasty

I've made this 2-3 times and I'm still developing the feel for timing on the bulk ferment and proofing.  Your crumb is gorgeous...I haven't had that level of success yet.  I think I've let my bulk ferment go about 6 hours, then 2 hours on proofing.  I'm planning on making this for Christmas Eve dinner, this time I'm thinking of working in an overnight retard.  Anyway, can you share more about your ferment times?  Thanks!


Sue

occidental's picture
occidental

Hi Sue,


I think the crumb is as much due to the folds I did during the bulk ferment as it was the total time which is more dependent on your particular starter, room temperature, and other variables.  I'd suggest a series of folds until you feel like the dough strength is pretty high (maybe consider another fold).  Anyway, as far as my ferment times for this particular loaf, I mixed, let autolyse about 30 minutes, kneaded, let ferment about one hour, folded, let ferment another hour, folded and then let bulk ferment another 2 or 2.5 hours (all at about 68-70 degrees).  I then divided, shaped and let rise at about 55 degrees for about three hours.  I didn't want to wait until the next day but wanted to let some of the flavors develop so that is why I rose at this cooler temperature.  To determine final rise time I tested the formed loaves by lightly pressing on the loaf until there was little to no spring back once I removed my finger.  As described in the book the loaf seemed pretty weak and limp but had great oven spring that produced a nice crumb.  Good luck with Christmas Eve dinner.

smasty's picture
smasty

Hey...I made 4 big loaves of the Vermont SD w/ whole wheat...this is the 4th time I've baked either the SD, or SD w/ WW, this time I have PERFECTION!  Perfect crust, crumb, scores, size.  I did a 4 hour bulk w/ 2 folds, and only a 1 hour proof after shaping.  I baked 2 right away and retarded two.  I think next time I'll reduce the bulk a little and put it on the proof side. 

occidental's picture
occidental

Great! It's always good to get the results you wanted, especially when it's for Christmas eve dinner!