Trusting your gut when formula's don't seem right -- my experience with Hamelman's Vermont SD with Increased Whole Grain
I decided that my first by-the-book recipe I'd make from Hamelman's Bread would be Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Grain. I had my starter bubbling, my scale ready, started adding ingredients to the bowl and--wait a minute--this can't be right. The formula was clearly incorrect (It turns out that I just happened to choose the Bread recipe most fraught with errors). So I improvised the best I could.
I then looked up, on the Mellow Bakers site, the errata sheet and also found Hamelman's email correcting the formula. Yesterday, I closely followed his formula, so I could compare the two breads while they were still fresh in my mind.
Here's the crust/crumb from Hamelman's corrected formula:
And here's the crumb of my improvised version:
The winner? We thought the improvised loaf had a much better flavor and texture. The Hamelman version was, by comparison, rather doughy and bland. Although I loved the bloom and ears. I think the answer is in the balance somewhere between the two. Next time, I keep track of my own formula and post results.