The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Grain, from Hamelman's "Bread"

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Grain, from Hamelman's "Bread"


Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Grain


I felt like baking something new this weekend, but I like the breads I make most often. That's why I bake them most often. So, I wanted something I would really like as much as those, but different. I settled on the Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Grain from Hamelman's “Bread.”


In the sidebar of this recipe, Hamelman talks about the “two small changes” in this formula compared to the “regular” Vermont Sourdough resulting in “surprisingly large” effects. The two changes are an increase in the whole grain flour from 10 to 15% and in the pre-fermented flour from 15 to 20%. These changes result in “a sharper tang and more or a whole-grain taste.” Well, that sounded terrific.


Then, I recalled the errata sheet for “Bread” that Paul (rainbowz) got from Jeff Hamelman and shared with us. I consulted it and found that the corrections decreased the pre-fermented flour which seemed in conflict with the description in the sidebar. Not having a clear sense of how to deal with this discrepancy, I ended up using the ingredient amounts as printed, resulting in a larger batch of dough than that printed in the book.


The Vermont Sourdough with Additional Whole Grain was made with KAF Bread Flour and 15% KAF Medium Rye Flour. It had 20% pre-fermented flour in the form of a 125% hydration starter fed with a mix of 70% AP, 20% WW and 10% whole rye flour. The total dough was 65% hydration. The loaves were scaled to 810 gms and shaped as boules.


The oven was pre-heated to 500ºF on convection bake for 60 minutes, with a baking stone on the middle shelf, pushed to the left, and a 7 inch cast iron skillet filled with lava rocks at the right front of the lower shelf. The oven was pre-steamed by pouring about 1/3 cup of boiling water over the lava rocks. The loaves were then transferred to a peel, scored and loaded onto the stone. Another ½ cup of water was poured over the lava rocks and the oven door quickly closed. The oven was immediately turned down to 460ºF, conventional bake. The skillet was removed after 15 minutes, and the oven was re-set to 435ºF, convection bake. The loaves were baked for an additional 25 minutes. Then, the oven was turned off, and the loaves were left on the stone with the oven door ajar for another 7 minutes before being transferred to a cooling rack.


I baked this bread as part of an experiment to see if I could reliably produce a crackly crust. My results were most satisfactory. (See Consistent Crackly Crust Conundrum Conquered?)



Crackly Crust


The crumb was fully aerated but without huge holes - good for a 65% hydration sourdough.




The crust was crunchy with a caramel-like nutty sweetness. The crumb was tender-chewy. The flavor had both a sweetness and a moderately assertive sourness. This is a bread that is quite sour, but there is a lot of complexity that also comes through. I'll have to make it again, but based on today's bake, I prefer it to the "regular" Vermont Sourdough.


 


David


Submitted to YeastSpotting


 

Comments

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Those look incredible.  I can't wait to see the crumb and hear how much the flavor differs from the standard Vermont Sourdough.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I can hardly wait either, but I'm trying to be strong. I better go for a walk and get away from the kitchen.


David

arlo's picture
arlo

I love this loaf, although I have never baked it as to what the errata specifies, only to the specifications of the book.


Your scoring by the way is so bold and catching. It certainly matches the striking crust color.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I did end up making without the changes on the errata sheet. I may try it some day with the "corrections," but, if the printed version is a mistake, I wish I made more of them like this. 


David

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

Thom Leonard are two of my favorites. David, the crust looks absolutely spectacular. Can't wait to hear about the flavor! I've been away from sourdough for a bit and playing with multigrains. This weekend though, I am back to sourdough and looking forward to tomorrow's bake.


 


Betty

wally's picture
wally

David, and I am certain the crumb will be no less!  I suspect Hamelman would smile broadly.


Larry

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I'm happy you think Hamelman would like it. Perhaps he could also help with my confusion regarding his errata sheet. 


David

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Gorgeous.


Terrific contrast between the two.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

What a beautifully done bold bake and crackles too :)  Im thinking if you scored with just a cross on top their would be even more crackles.  Gorgeous bake, David!


Sylvia

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Interesting suggestion. Do you think scoring just a cross would increase the crumb/crust pressure difference?


I didn't even think about the effect of scoring on crackles. I just hadn't used this pattern for a while, and it's the classic scoring for San Francisco Sourdough, in my mind. I really like it for boules of around 1 kg.


David

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

One thing for sure there would be more area for crackles with a cross '+' on top.  Did you notice any crackes in the squares of crust...maybe it depends on how large they are...just a thought...it's all gorgeous!


Sylvia

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I think I stared at the crumb shot for about 5 minutes (got lost in a time loop) just enjoying it. 


I've also written in the "Home" corrections noting some ingredients are cut in half others not.  The whole loaf then does not weigh too much different than the Vermont sourdough on page 153, the side comments do apply to the metric weights.


Did you use the "Home" recipe in ounces instead of using the "Metric" scaled down? 


Mini

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I used the Home ingredients as printed in the book - in ounces. I plan on checking the math, scaling the other columns to home quantities, just to see how they work out.


I'm curious about this, but, however the math works out, the way I ended up making it was so delicious, I might stick with it.


BTW, one thing I did differently from the way I've made the Vermont SD before was to feed my starter through 3 builds at 125% hydration before mixing the final dough. I think this enhanced the flavor as well as the speed of proofing. The loaves expanded more during the overnight cold retardation than usual.


David

jsk's picture
jsk

Gorgeous boules! I love that amber crust color.


Jonathan.

Sedlmaierin's picture
Sedlmaierin

Beautiful-I hope one day my bakes will look like that!

salma's picture
salma

Absolutely gorgeous loaves David, and you call that a crackle?  Looks like an earthquake to me!  Maybe next time if you make two loaves, you could score them different to see if that has any effect on the crackle.  You always inspire me David, but this one looks a little complicated and 3-step refreshing is even more time consuming.  But you got my juices going and hopefully I will try it one day.  Beautiful pictures too.


Salma