The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My first Vermont Sourdough

CAphyl's picture

My first Vermont Sourdough

Before I joined this site,  I didn't realize how behind the curve I was as I had never made a Vermont Sourdough. I decided to get with it and make one today.  I have been schooled by the many wonderful bakers on this site and encouraged to try, so I did.  I used David's Hamelman's recipe, but altered it a bit by adding a bit more rye.  I was finishing a bag of bread flour and didn't have quite enough, and I thought the additional rye would add some nice flavor. Lately, I have been making lots of David's recipes, but the next one I would like to make is one of Khalid's....looking forward to trying that.

I was so impressed with this dough throughout the process. It proofed beautifully, the oven spring was really terrific, and the crumb was nice.

I am sure I will make some variations of this in the future. I followed the recipe pretty closely, but probably added a tad more water than called for in the recipe.

Here is the recipe I used (I made two changes to the original recipe, which I noted):

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

By dmsnyder




Bread flour

1 lb 11.2 oz.


Whole Rye

4.8 oz



1 lb 4.8oz



.6 oz



3 lbs 5.4 oz






Bread flour

6.4 oz



8 oz


Mature culture (liquid)

1.3 oz



15.7 oz.





Bread flour (I used 1.55)

1lb 8 oz

Whole Rye (I used 6.8)

4.8 oz


12.8 oz

Liquid levain

14.4 oz

(all less 3 T)


.6 oz


3 lbs 5.4 oz



  1. The night before mixing the final dough, feed the liquid levain as above. Ferment at room temperature overnight.
  2. Mix the final dough. Place all ingredients except the salt in the bowl and mix to a shaggy mass.
  3. Cover the bowl and autolyse for 20-60 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle the salt over the dough and mix using the paddle of a stand mixer for 2 minutes at Speed 1. Add small amounts of water or flour as needed to achieve a medium consistency dough.
  5. Switch to the dough hook and mix at Speed 2 for 6-8 minutes. There should be a coarse window pane.
  6. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and ferment for 2.5 hours with one stretch and fold at 1.25 hours.
  7. Divide the dough into two equal parts and form into rounds. Place seam side up on the board.
  8. Cover with plastic and allow the dough to rest for 20-30 minutes.
  9. Form into boules or bâtards and place in bannetons or en couch. Cover well with plasti-crap or place in food safe plastic bags.
  10. Refrigerate for 12-18 hours.
  11. The next day, remove the loaves from the refrigerator.
  12. Pre-heat the oven at 500ºF with a baking stone and steaming apparatus in place.
  13. After 45-60 minutes, pre-steam the oven. Transfer the loaves to a peel. Score them.
  14. Load the loaves onto the stone and pour ½ cup boiling water into the steaming apparatus. Turn the oven down to 460ºF.
  15. After 15 minutes, if you have a convection oven, turn it to convection bake at 435ºF. If you don't, leave the oven at 460ºF. Bake for another 25 minutes.
  16. Remove the loaves to a cooling rack.
  17. Cool completely before slicing.


emkay's picture

Very nice bake!  Happy to see that you had a chance to make the VT sourdough. The crumb looks wonderful.

CAphyl's picture

We really enjoyed it.  I am going to try and make it when we are in England for family and friends there.  Best,  Phyllis

dmsnyder's picture

If you like this bread, I recommend you try the Pain au Levain with whole wheat (or something like that) in Bread. It's very good too.


CAphyl's picture

David:  Thanks for all the wonderful recipes.  I will keep trying them.  Best, Phyllis

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Nicely done Phyllis.  This particular sourdough is one of my faves.  I haven't made it in some time, so this bake of yours reminds me how much I liked it.  Soon...

Happy baking.


CAphyl's picture

John:  I don't know why I didn't make it sooner.  Now, it is definitely on the list of "must" bakes.  Thanks for your kind comments.  Best, Phyllis

dabrownman's picture

beautiful bread there Phyllis.  Another 5% and you could call it a Norwich or Vermont Rye :-)  Bet that would be good too.  Looks  great and should make a fine sandwich bread and breakfast toast too.  Well done and happy baking Phyllis.

CAphyl's picture

I do want to make a Norwich, as it is on my list.  Thanks for your kind words.  It's hard to decide which one to try next, there are so many good ones.  It is so much fun!  Best,  Phyllis

isand66's picture

Great looking bake Phyllis.  Looks like you have this one down pat.  Look forward to seeing your next bake.


CAphyl's picture

Ian:  I have been wanting to make one of Khalid's recipes for some time, so I think that is my next one.  Well, I think I have to make a gluten-free in between, but those just aren't as good!  Thanks for the encouragement.  Best,  Phyllis