The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Vermont Sourdough a'la Kasey

kaseylj's picture

Vermont Sourdough a'la Kasey

Hello all,

Here's my first attempt this year at sourdough.  For the most part this follows Jeff Hamelman's Bread book recipe for both the starter and the bread.  My starter is young, this bake being the first one using it.  It has just in the last day or two showed good signs if life and is at least doubling in volume after feeding it.

I followed the formula, but used all purpose flour instead of bread flour (I was out of bread flower but really wanted to bake with the starter).   I also didn't follow the process due to scheduling conflicts this weekend.  I had my levian built and ready in the evening and mixed the complete dough with some kneading and 1 stretch and fold before putting it in the fridge for the night.  Then took it out in the AM and did 2 more stretch and folds at about 90 minutes apart.  The dough wasn't rising as much as I hoped though did have some gas bubbles etc. so I knew the starter was doing it's work.. just maybe a little more slowly.  I ended up letting the dough sit all day until around 9pm when I divided it, gave it a 45 minute bench rest then shaped it, and let it rise about an hour before baking.   

For the bake, I preheated my oven  to 550 (convection) steamed the oven 10 minutes or so before putting the loaves in (2 at a time) on my tiny baking stone.  Once I loaded the loaves I turned the oven down to 475 and turned off the convection. (Davidg618 has a great blog about baguettes and K.I.S.S. that gave me some ideas here.. as well as others posting comments on his post... Thanks David).

Anyway 20 minutes later this is what they look like.   I've baked quite a few true (non-sourdough) baguettes in the last few weeks - trying to improve my technique, but I really wanted to see how much of a difference the sourdough would make.  Both breads taste great and my family and friends eat it so fast I barely get any myself.    This sourdough is softer and moister and has at least a little more flavor than the baguettes,  but it's not as sour as I thought it would be - especially after the long fermentation.  I ferment the baguettes for about the same length of time (though most of the time is in the fridge vs. the sourdough which spent 12 hours at room temp after coming out of the fridge.

This is the fist sourdough of the year, so looking to improve as  I go.  My plan is to keep feeding the starter and hopefully it matures a bit and gets more flavor,  I'll probably use a larger portion of starter next time too and see if I can get a little more sour flavor going.   I'm a novice here, but all you TFLer's are really helping me improve my technique.  I'm open to any observations / comments / ideas / critiques etc.


Happy Baking.





dabrownman's picture

didn't help the sour any.  Labs love cold and hot, 36 F and 88 F and yeast love 68F - 74F.  Your starter is still very young and will pick up more flavor in 3 weeks. 

For sour, I like txfarmers 36 hour baguette recipe you can find with the search function.  You will also get great holes even if not as big as Ying's who is the master at making them.

Happy SD baking - you first batch of SD baguettes look great and they will get more sour over time.


Floydm's picture

For a first sourdough, those are great!

I agree with dabrownman that doing the long fermentation at a cooler temperature (like in the fridge) will help bring out the sourness, if that is what you are looking.

Welcome to the site!

kaseylj's picture

Thanks folks for the comments...  I didn't even think that the warmer temp might have reduced the sour.   I appreciate the the insight.  While I'm sure you can go too sour, I'm really just looking to know how to control how sour it comes out.  But I would never have thought that the temp would matter... I thought time was the the main factor.  

Live and learn.

Thanks again!