The Fresh Loaf

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Vermont Sourdough 2 with Increased Grain (Another experiment)

CAphyl's picture

Vermont Sourdough 2 with Increased Grain (Another experiment)

I did another experiment.  A few weeks ago, I made my first Vermont sourdough.  I froze half the dough to bake later.  The photo at top is the loaf I made today with the frozen dough. (The dough was frozen after bulk fermentation).  I defrosted it in the refrigerator and took it out last night.  It was still pretty cold (with a small frozen center), so I let it warm up and did three stretch and folds and sprayed a little water on the dough as it was stiff. Then, before I went to bed, I put the shaped boule into the banneton, which was coated with brown rice flour.  It stayed on the counter for eight hours. I was concerned when I looked at it in the morning as it didn't pop up much overnight.

Then, I baked it at 500 degrees in my LaCloche baker for 30 minutes, and then took the lid off for another 25 minutes at 435 convection. It had some oven spring and did pop up nicely. I wanted a darker crust for the second loaf.

The photo on the left is the loaf from the frozen dough; the one on the right is the first one I made. Both were excellent, but quite different. I did not use the LaCloche on the the one on the right, using the recipe below, which called for steaming. It is not necessary to steam with the LaCloche covered baker.

This is the crumb from the frozen loaf baked in the covered LaCloche today. I think the water I sprayed on the dough last night helped the crumb.

This is the crumb from the first loaf, which was baked on a stone with steaming.

My husband enjoyed his sandwich with the loaf I baked today!

Here is the Hamelman recipe, thanks to David.

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 plastic-wrap 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.



dabrownman's picture

on the frozen loaf and the bold bake is much better.   So how is the taste comparison between the two?  Nice to know you can freeze bread like this and - no harm, no foul!   Well done and

Happy baking.  Have a nice weekend Phyllis.

CAphyl's picture

dabrownman:  My husband really liked the crusty crust on the bake today, so, while I think they were both good, and it is very hard to judge, perhaps the second loaf has the edge.  I think the freezing doesn't work at times, but it seemed to work well on this.  I need to bake longer than my instincts tell me because I really like a bold, dark crust.  This bake was closer to that.  Hope you have a great weekend as well.  Best,  Phyllis

golgi70's picture

Pretty darn good to freeze your dough and get improved results.  i think this has little to do with the freezing and more to do with slow cold bulk fermentation (part of which spent idle frozen).  Maybe you should see what happens if you make the dough and do a cold bulk fermentation without any freezing.  

Lovely Bake


CAphyl's picture

You are probably right about the slow cold bulk fermentation. Your idea  is a good one to consider.  Thanks for your comments and encouragement. Best,  Phyllis

dmsnyder's picture

I am surprised the frozen dough gave you such nice results. Wild yeast are more fragile than commercial yeast and less tolerant of freezing. I have had disappointing results with frozen pizza dough. You must have some pretty tough beasties in your starter. :-)

Great-looking bread in any case. I endorse your preference for bold bakes.


CAphyl's picture

My experience with freezing dough is mixed, but this was a result that exceeded my expectations.  I will continue to go for the bold, dark crust. Thanks for the great recipes, encouragement and support.  Best,  Phyllis

bakingbadly's picture

Nice bake!

How long was the dough frozen and defrosted? And how did it compare to the non-frozen dough bread in terms of flavour and texture? If all other parameters were equal, I assume the frozen dough bread was dryer and more tangy?


CAphyl's picture

Zita: I think the frozen loaf was better in flavor and texture.  It did not seem dryer, as I sprayed water on it after it defrosted, which I think contributed to the better crumb.  My husband seemed to prefer the taste of the frozen loaf and the crust.  I will continue to go for the darker crust in future on all bakes.  Thanks for your kind words.  Best,  Phyllis

isand66's picture

Thanks for sharing this experiment.  I have not tried freezing dough for bread yet and it looks like yours came out great.  I love your boldly baked version...that crust looks great.


CAphyl's picture

Freezing doesn't always work, but I have had decent results.  I had some failures, too, but it was mostly with dough that I was disappointed with before freezing.  I agree about the bold bake; I will strive for this crusty finish in future. Thanks!  Phyllis