The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Vermont sourdough and other Hamelman bakes

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emkay's picture

Vermont sourdough and other Hamelman bakes

Glenn mentioned that the San Francisco country sourdough formula was a variation on a variation of Hamelman's Vermont sourdough. So of course I had to try it. Although, since I am in SF I guess this makes my VT Sourdough a SF sourdough. The husband and I both agreed with Hamleman's assessment that this is an excellent everyday bread.

I proof retarded for 18 hours. Instead of using a cast iron combo cooker like I have been doing, I baked on a pizza stone using a large stainless steel bowl as my "cover". I baked the boule seam side up with scoring. (Hmm, my scoring needs work. It's totally off centered.) I removed the SS bowl after 15 minutes.





I also used some of the VT sourdough to make a mini loaf in a pan. I didn't retard this one.



Some freshly milled rye flour from Josey Baker that went straight into Hamelman's sourdough rye with walnuts. I added 1.5% yeast per Hamelman's instructions, but I think I will leave it out next time.




And my weekly croissants. I used Hamelman's recipe as published in Fine Cooking.


Floydm's picture

Really nice.

emkay's picture

Thanks Floyd!

dabrownman's picture

rye with walnuts is one of my favorite combos.  That PiP's (Phil) puts fresh sage in his with a walnut oil paste too.  It sounds weird but the sage and past are killer additions.  Love the croissants - wish i could eat them more than once a year:-)  The overturned SS bowl makes for an easy bake !  Well done all the way around.

emkay's picture

Interesting tip about Phil's use of sage and walnut oil paste. I can imagine a Thanksgiving stuffing/dressing with rye bread, walnuts and sage so the combination makes sense to me.  I eat way more croissants than I should, but thankfully I have family and friends who are more than willing to take them off my hands.



golgi70's picture

Lovely Baking.  Fantastic Lamination.  

Good eats at your house



emkay's picture

Thanks Josh. I've been practicing my laminating techniques. I do wish I had a dough sheeter. Sigh. Until they make an affordable home model, it's just me and the rolling pin. 

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

You are baking for friends and family and not for mass production. Using the pin keeps you connected to the dough, let's you get your baking zen on and displays your craft skills all the better. 

The minute you let a machine do any of the work, people will think, boy it would be nice to have such a machine, but it is easier to buy the croissant in the store since I don't have space for a croissant machine. 

And your our art will be mistaken for machine work. So don't despair having to use a rolling pin!

emkay's picture

You make some very good points, David. I will take pride in my handmade works and enjoy the zen. :)

BTW, I read an article where the owner of a pastry factory said he programs his machines to make slight "mistakes" so that the pastries appear to be handmade!

bbegley's picture

Hmmm, I thought that loaf looked pretty good, scoring wise.  We can be our own harshest critics.  Beautiful crumb too.  Those croissants look delicious.

emkay's picture

Thanks bbegley. At this point in my newbie bread journey, I'm pretty happy when I can score the dough cleanly.

dmsnyder's picture


emkay's picture

David - Thanks so much!

Syd's picture

Love that crumb and blistering.  The croissants look great, too! :)


emkay's picture

Thanks Syd. I was thrilled when I saw the blistering. 

CAphyl's picture

emkay:  I will have to try this recipe.  I like the scoring!  Congratulations on all of these.  Yummy!  Phyllis

emkay's picture

Phyllis - Do try it some time. From what I can see, many TFLers have baked the VT sourdough at least once.