The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Trevor Wilson's Champlain sourdough

leslieruf's picture

Trevor Wilson's Champlain sourdough

Following on from reading Trevor's Crumb Mastery I continue my quest to improve the crumb on my bread and up my skill level with wet dough and shaping.  We had eaten the Hamelman 5 grain levain so the freezer was nearly empty of bread.   Trevor had mentioned his "Premix" method so decided to have a go at Champlain sourdough, a 70% hydration.  should be a piece of cake!  yeah right! 

I made enough dough for 2 x 800 g loaves & 1 x 600 g loaf

 So 7:30  pm I weighed the flours 

Bread four 1055 g, wholegrain spelt flour 102 g, freshly milled rye flour 51 g, added 25 g salt.  added  827 g water and mixed to a shaggy dough, covered and refrigerated. 10:15 pm removed from fridge and left on bench overnight.

Levain also mixed at 7:30 pm 64 g bread flour, 64 g water and13 g refreshed starter. covered and left overnight on bench.

the final dough has only 5% fermented flour! 8:30 am add levain to premixed dough, dimple it in and fold dough gently until levain incorporated .  After 10 minutes, rested dough for 10 mins then did another round of gentle folds, then rested 10 minutes then the last set of folds.  the dough did tear at the end of first mixing so was extra careful after that.  I did hourly gentle folds over next 6 hours. Dough quite sticky but not slack.  Gently tipped dough onto floured bench to scale and preshape and this is when I had problems.  It was really sticky, even sticking to bench knife and I stuggled to get good preshape.  rested 30 minutes only!  final shaping was difficult, the dough was quite slack and my initial tuck and fold did not give enough strength so I did an extra roll and some more cloaking.  The 2nd loaf went a little better, and the 3rd (600 g loaf) a little better again.  Room temperature was 24°c.  After an hour, i turned on oven and put DOs in to preheat.  Just as well, an hour later dough was ready.  I popped the 600 gm loaf into fridge. The first loaf unmoulded spread a bit and 2 scores were not good. loaded it lopsidedly into DO and into oven.  2nd loaf I thought do it easy, so 1 single score, into DO and oven with the other at 250°c for 20 minutes lid on, 25 mins lid off at 240.  bold bake!  reheat oven, unmould last loaf, score into oven and bake only 15 mins lid on, 16 minutes lid off at 230.  a better bake!

I was really disappointed with the shaping, proof and scoring. Quite down in fact.  Before bedtime I gathered my courage and sliced 2 of the loaves. Wow, way better than expected (top slice) and even the double scored, lopsided loaf (lower slice) is not too bad.   Went to breadwerx website to look at Trevor's crumb.  mine is not at open as his, but for a first shot at this method, not too bad. I am encouraged.

 Visitors for lunch tomorrow so we will defrost and cut the 3rd loaf and see how it is.




Bread1965's picture


Well done! I found my attempt very sticky as well when I went to shape. I struggled with the pre-shape and ended up dusting to make it work well. The final shape was easier as a result.

I wonder if the pre-mix idea he's introduced creates this effect of tacky/stickiness of the dough?  I also wonder if you went 4 hours instead of 6 and had a longer proof? Maybe that would give the dough a chance to develop more 'gas bubbles/pockets' as Trevor talks about that aren't interrupted by your folding, shaping, etc.?

You clearly look to be very much on the right path.. well done! They look great!

leslieruf's picture

stop bulk ferment is something I haven't quite got my head around.  In the past, I have always waited until dough had doubled, so now I worry that I am under fermenting. Extending the final proof, to balance that.. mmm maybe have to try doing that way and see what happens.  

thank you for the comments, there is such a lot to think about... a different way to approach things for sure.


dabrownman's picture

for sure.  Has to taste as good as it looks.  Well done and happy baking 

leslieruf's picture

it does taste good and the crumb is more open than I have been getting recently.  still so much more to understand.


alfanso's picture

these are lovely batards.  And you are already achieving a beautiful open crumb.  From where I sit the shaping and scoring, especially on the second batard, is really good.  Combine that with the crumb and it looks like a winner to me!  Just be careful with slathering on the jam or it'll wind up slipping through the holes and in your lap ;-) . 

leslieruf's picture

of a short stop in the refrigerator,  so much much easier to score.  I haven't done many single scores lately so was happy with the way they opened.  the shaping was a challenge that is for sure, I was trying to handle as little as possible to minimise the sticking so I was winging it a bit, lol and the jam has already dripped on my plate! - I caught it before it hit my lap. :) 

thank you alfanso .. your batards are always so good.  now I must read your latest post!


isand66's picture

looks like you achieved an excellent open crumb for your first attempt.  Doesn't look like yiu need to improve it much.  How did it it taste?  The scoring and shaping will improve with practice and if it tastes good that's the most important.