The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Vermont Sourdough (Bread, Hamelman)

benjamin's picture

Vermont Sourdough (Bread, Hamelman)

I've been taking it easy with the baking lately due to the excessive heat in center city Philadelphia, which has been hovering around 100 for the past few days now. I always feel guilty running the air conditioners and the oven at full tilt simultaneously, half expecting Al Gore to knock on my door and give me a lecture. Regardless, I had the itch to bake, and so I went back to one of my favorite recipes, the Vermont sourdough from 'Bread'.


Levain Build

  • Bread flour: 4.8oz
  • Water: 6oz
  • Mature culture (firm): 1oz

Final Dough

  • Bread flour: 1lb, 8oz
  • Whole-rye flour: 3.2oz
  • Water: 14.8oz
  • Salt: 0.6oz
  • levain: all of above

The levain should be made 12-16 hours prior to the final dough, however with the high temperatures of the day I only gave mine 10 hours.

Mix all of the ingredients for the final dough, less the salt and allow to autolyse for 20 min. Add the salt and mix for 2min.

Bulk ferment for 2.5hr with 2 stretch and folds.

I used all of the dough to make a single boule. Proofed for 1.5hrs... again this was shortened from the actual recipe due to excessive heat in my apartment.

Bake @ 460 for 40 min (first 10 covered).



Happy baking



LeeYong's picture

Hi Benjamin!

Awesome looking loaf!!! How did you get the shape on top of your loaf? I've just started baking artisan breads with my sourdough starter the past six months or so - I love every minute of it!

Thanks for sharing your recipe with us!

Happy baking!


benjamin's picture

I think sourdough is truly the pinnacle of bread baking... it feels so enriching to me, to make breads whose origins are thousands of years old.

For the pattern on top I simply scored with a lame. Making a series of cuts originating at the center of the loaf and then spiraling away.


lief's picture

Nice work!  I may have to give this one a shot at some point.

wally's picture

That's one beautiful looking boule, and I imagine the flavor matches your artistic scoring.  Nicely done!


SydneyGirl's picture

Thanks for posting pics of this lovely loaf. It looks perfect! Always great to see pictures of breads that you've read about but haven't seen. Now if they could just find a way of digitising smell and taste!