Mellow Bakers: Hamelman Bread

Hamelman BREAD Second Round: March 2012 - Sept 2012 => Round II: March 2012 Bread => Topic started by: jefklak on March 19, 2012, 01:36:51 AM

Title: Testing my new sourdough starter with the vermont recipe
Post by: jefklak on March 19, 2012, 01:36:51 AM
I know this month we shouldn't bake sourdough yet but as Paul suggested creating a new sourdough starter to help it mature for april or may is a good idea. I did that and the starter grew and grew and I've been feeding it twice a day since the 4th of march.

But I didn't know if the natural yeast cells would to their work. And I was too impatient. So I took the BREAD book and tried the first vermont sourdough recipe with 10% rye. And it turned out a-ma-zing-ly good. It is the best bread I've ever baked, without any commercial yeast or fat. Wow!


Full story (dutch, use Google translate) (

I retareded it for 8 hours in the fridge.
Only things which could be better:
- baking on a stone (the bottom of the bread didn't rise that good)
- scoring which I forgot but I don't have an appropriate sharp tool to correctly do that yet.

I'm very happy, this is amazing.  :clap:
Title: Re: Testing my new sourdough starter with the vermont recipe
Post by: Paul on March 19, 2012, 08:43:48 AM
That looks like a really great loaf you pulled off there. Congratulations!!  pompom pompom pompom

And good to see your starter is behaving very well at this early stage. Again, congrats on being a new Starter parent. Have you named it yet?

Very nicely done. What type of flour are you using here? It's incredibly holey if you are using that 9% protein one you mentioned in the other post. Superb structure for that. Did you add any Vital Wheat Gluten or anything?

And the Vermont Sourdough is probably my fave bread in the whole book, I've baked it numerous times. Glad yours came out so well too.
Title: Re: Testing my new sourdough starter with the vermont recipe
Post by: jefklak on March 19, 2012, 02:44:26 PM
Well that's something I still don't really understand. Here in Belgium, almost every flour you buy does not contain any information on protein content. As I understood from the Bread book and other websites, the different flour types in America and Europe are different - even the category numbers between France and Italy.

So I actually have no clue. I think it's something like "All Purpose Flour" but with less protein content. It's called "patentbloem" in Dutch but I don't have any more information. It's high quality milled wheat, very fine white, I think it could fall into the same category as the Italian 00 flour.
I'm actually looking to buy "strong wheat flour" ("bakkersbloem" in dutch?) with a lot of protein for rye sourdoughs and others but I can't find anything more than 10%...

From what I can find here (, "patentbloem" equals the french type 45 with ash content of <0.5%.

So let's see:

Interesting. So what I used wasn't even all purpose flour? Hmm...
Title: Re: Testing my new sourdough starter with the vermont recipe
Post by: paulo on March 22, 2012, 02:01:56 AM
Generally the Txx has to do with mineral content and little to do with protein. The best you can try is to find "Bread Flour" or, alternatively, you can go to a bakery and ask if they know what's the name and where can you buy it. Maybe you can buy directly from them?
Title: Re: Testing my new sourdough starter with the vermont recipe
Post by: jefklak on March 25, 2012, 01:04:13 PM
Great idea paulo, I'll do that, added in my todo list.
I did manage to grab some wheat flour with 11,7% protein content yesterday (For other Belgium people: Aveve, a special bag which reads "for extra holey bread"), I still have to see how it works.

I made another batch of vermont sourdough with 11% wheat flour ("Bio carrefour type 65"), and it turned out just as good as with the "unknown content" flour. In fact, I also found 2 proofing baskets (no real bannetons but hey, these are €1.95 so...).


I managed to convince my dad to bake some sourdough with my starter  :thumbup:
I really enjoyed his reaction, everyone likes the bread a lot!

So when I made some pizza today, I created a sourdough pizza dough (with a biga) using my starter (he's called "Andy"). Turned out great, subtle taste, I think I'll be using that a LOT instead of regular yeast! What an amazing experience.

You see the holes in the crust? (Sorry, ate the whole pizza and forgot to take pics)


It's made with italian 00 flour (except the biga) -> 10% protein, but my sourdough starter seems to always create a nice holey structure, whether it's high gluten flour or not. I guess that's normal?

In any case, I promoted the starter to the fridge for the first time. I've fed him twice a day since 4/03.