Hamelmans VT SD with additional Whole Grains
VT-SD Xtra grains
I’ve been making Vermont Sourdough from Hamelmans “Bread” for a while and enjoy the mild sour and full flavor. It’s a great tasting and reliable recipe. Every now and then I get the urge for some Wharf Bread to satisfy my "so sour" memory and thus have retarded the shaped dough overnight. David Snyder and I have gone back and forth trying to find the best way to develop a more sour, sourdough.
A couple days ago while I was waiting for some Golden Raisin with Whole Wheat to proof, I was paging through Bread, and stopped to read the side bar on the title bread above. It’s on Page 156 for those with the book. I almost didn’t bother reading the text because, after all I already know about the VSD formula. I happened to notice that Hamelman was claiming that 2 small changes to the formula would have a large impact on the tang and flavor of the original bread. The changes are only 5% more preferment and 5% more whole grain rye. I must admit I usually use a 100% hydration starter while the author suggests a 125% liquid starter but I decided to follow the suggested advice word for word and try this out.
I found the mix easy to combine in my DLX and I did do the autolyse for 60 minutes before adding the salt. After a short mixing and a 2.5 hour ferment (having folded one time in the middle) I was surprised to find a very sour and tangy aroma coming off the dough. I knew this was going to be interesting and more sour than usual. I shaped and formed into 2 plastic bannetons and let them proof 2.5 hours at room temperature.
The 4 Lbs of dough was larger than I can cover unless it’s a single round so I passed on the cover and steam this time and used a conventional, hot water in the pan method for 10 minutes. The oven spring was impressive for a Levain loaf and Hamelman had suggested that it wouldn’t produce as large a loaf due to the acid strengthening the gluten. I was careful to not over mix and only folded one time. The results speak for them selves. Nice spring, good color, singing crust, life is good.
The bread is cooling now. I’ll come back with a crumb shot and a report on the sour.
Edit: The crumb is delicious and my teenage daughter and I are loving the flavor. It isn't as sour as I thought it was going to be but then It's only been 40 minutes out of the oven.