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Author Topic: Vermont Sourdough craziness  (Read 3767 times)

Offline tls

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Vermont Sourdough craziness
« on: May 14, 2010, 02:13:14 PM »
The errata already have a correction to "Vermont Sourdough with Increased Grain".  Unfortunately though they may correct some math mistakes there seems to be something else seriously wrong with the three related recipes.

The basic recipe -- at least by my math -- uses 20% prefermented flour (10.2 ounces of levain for the "home" version). 

The "with whole wheat" recipe, which is supposed to be the same recipe but with whole wheat substituted for the rye, might be expected to tinker with the hydration a little bit due to different water absorbtion of the flours but instead, it decreases the preferment to 7 ounces, leaving the whole recipe 3oz short of the claimed identical weight to the first recipe.

The "with increased whole grain" version has a sidebar note which claims it *increases* the preferment from 15% to 20% and discusses the natural consequences of this -- *if* the recipe actually increased the preferment.  It doesn't.  Even with the correction from the errata, it actually leaves the preferment exactly the same as the "with whole wheat" version -- 7oz rather than the base recipe's 10oz.

I can't offer a correction because I don't know what Hamelman's intent was.  The recipes and the discussion are just inconsistent with each other as far as I can tell, even with the correction to the miscalculations from baker's % in the errata sheet.

Thor


Offline Paul

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Re: Vermont Sourdough craziness
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2010, 02:49:34 PM »
Welcome to Mellow Bakers, Thor!

Here's what I think needs to be done regarding the points you bring up:

I'll forward these thoughts to Mr Hamelman and see what he says. May as well ask the source, no?  ;)

I'll post any response we get.
Paul
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Offline Jeffrey Hamelman

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Re: Vermont Sourdough craziness
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2010, 08:18:35 AM »
Hello Thor and Paul, and everyone else too,

My apologies for the delay in responding to Thor's justified aggravations regarding errata in the Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Grains. I'm going to post the fully corrected formula below. That said, one issue I hope to work on with Wiley is the posting of a complete and accurate errata sheet. I know that depending upon which printing people own, they have a copy that has different corrections from other printings. Needless to say, this can be confusing, particularly among a group such as Mellow Bakers, where some people are planning to bake each recipe in the book. As the author, I take ownership of any and all issues with the book, so those who have castigated Wiley can refocus their attention! After all, if there is anything good in the book, I get the credit, so appropriately the other stuff should be directed to me as well. Most of all, I want to apologize to everyone who has wasted time and ingredients due to inconsistencies. What links us is bread. ~Jeffrey

Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Grain

OVERALL FORMULA
Bread flour   1# 11.2 oz     85%
Whole rye     4.8 oz           15%
Water          1# 4.8 oz       65%
Salt              .6 oz             1.9%
TOTAL YIELD 3# 5.4 oz      166.9%

LIQUID-LEVAIN BUILD
Bread flour   6.4 oz            100%
Water          8 oz               125%
Culture        1.3 oz             20%
TOTAL         15.7 oz

FINAL DOUGH
Bread flour   1# 4.8 oz
Whole rye     4.8 oz
Water           12.8 oz
Liquid levain   14.4 oz (all less 3T)
Salt               .6 oz
TOTAL           3# 5.4 oz


Offline Paul

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Re: Vermont Sourdough craziness
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2010, 01:09:50 PM »
Thank you, Jeffrey! This will surely be helpful to many bakers.

I've updated the full Errata document to include this update. Anyone who doesn't have this downloaded yet should hop over and grab themselves a copy.
Paul
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Offline Steve

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Re: Vermont Sourdough craziness
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2010, 07:20:35 AM »
Dear Mr. Hamelman;

I am a fairly new hobbyist baker, having started with my first sourdough last November.
 
With regards to the 'errata' I have to confess a few things.  I do check this website, and then the errata sheet.  I am delighted with what I have learned from the other bakers here.  If a recipe feels 'wrong', I will still follow the instructions the first time, then tinker the second time, and then make it again a third time, once I have located my reading glasses! 

Several bakes in different ways will only mean that I feed more neighbors.  I seldom have had a recipe go so wrong that it was not tasty enough to share.

One of our first bakes was the Light Rye.  This has become a family favorite already.  The recipe is now memorized, and was worth the price of the book by itself.  Great bread! 

Thanks for checking in, and thanks for writing a book with both substance and variety.  I am really enjoying this!

Steve

Offline Zeb

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Re: Vermont Sourdough craziness
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2010, 09:24:27 AM »
Dear Mr Hamelman

Thanks from me and all the friends who get to eat and enjoy the breads I have baked from your book too. The knowledge you share is a precious gift and it is lovely to know that we all have this connection  ;D
Joanna @ Zeb Bakes

Offline tls

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Re: Vermont Sourdough craziness
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2010, 08:28:30 PM »
Hello Thor and Paul, and everyone else too,

My apologies for the delay in responding to Thor's justified aggravations regarding errata in the Vermont Sourdough with Increased Whole Grains. I'm going to post the fully corrected formula below.

Well, I wasn't so much annoyed as mystified.  I thought, given the discussion of the difference between the three recipes in the book, I could probably figure out what was intended -- it was a nice opportunity for an experiment! -- but, particularly with the errata correction, I just couldn't figure out which way the three recipes were meant to be.

Certainly I seldom regard any baking experiment as a waste of ingredients.  I'm just baking for my family and friends and I buy my flour in 50lb bags so the cost of a mistake is minimal, to say the least.   As for my time, when I bake something that doesn't come out how I expected, I try to back up, understand what I changed, what effect it had, and what effect I had expected it would have, and that's really when I learn the most about baking.  I have a lot to learn, so there's little potential for wasted time!

Thank you very much for posting the complete formula!  To your knowledge, are the two related recipes (Vermont Sourdough and Vermont Sourdough with Whole Wheat) correct?

Thanks!

Thor

Offline Kenneth

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Re: Vermont Sourdough craziness
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2011, 06:32:06 PM »
I've only just joined up with the Mellow Bakers. I've got my copy of the book and have been going through it correcting the errata.

Regarding the Vermont Sourdough with increased whole grain there seems to me to still be a discrepancy between Mr Hamelman's email and the updated errata sheet posted here. Bread flour figures in lb & oz don't seem to match. Shouldn't the final dough bread flour figure in the full errata be 1lb 4.8oz?

I'm a metric person in real life so I may be misunderstanding what is going on. Perhaps somebody is able to throw light on my problem?

Thanks,

Kenneth

Offline Zeb

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Re: Vermont Sourdough craziness
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2011, 04:39:22 AM »
Morning Kenneth!
I'm going to attach a screen grab of that section and we can all puzzle it out. Now I've done that, maybe Paul will have another look at it when he is 'in'.  As he is the one who has been chatting to Mr Hamelman about this......


I am metric too -  what I usually do, learnt here from other bakers !,  is use the middle column and divide by 10 and you get pretty much the same quantities as the Home column, sometimes a bit more, sometimes a bit less.  Seem to be fewer errors in that column too  :)
« Last Edit: February 13, 2011, 05:18:00 AM by Zeb »
Joanna @ Zeb Bakes

Offline Kenneth

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Re: Vermont Sourdough craziness
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2011, 05:25:10 AM »
Yes, looking at the lb oz figures took me back a long time! Although I don't use that system now I just like things to be right and they need to be for bakers still using ounces. It will be interesting to know what Paul thinks. I suspect it is some misunderstanding on my part as I'm reading the first part of the book, not baking from it at the moment so perhaps don't understand the finer points that become so obvious upon doing.

Thank you for your help.


Offline Paul

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Re: Vermont Sourdough craziness
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2011, 02:47:41 PM »
I have pumped the numbers into my Excel spreadsheet and did some crunching. Seems that the HOME column is basically the US column divided by 10 which is handy to know when you think there's a glitch in the HOME column - just watch for switching of fresh yeast to IDY. When converted to ounces, it reverts back to what I have in my own book for that Final Dough: 1 lb, 4.8 oz. which is different from what Jeffrey's original Errata sheet contained. This now conforms to Jeffrey's latest numbers above. I must have not saved the revisions correctly when I reformatted the sheets.

I'm uploading a newly corrected set of sheets with this single fix.

http://mellowbakers.com/ErrataSheetFeb2011.doc
http://mellowbakers.com/ErrataSheetFeb2011.pdf
Paul
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Offline Kenneth

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Re: Vermont Sourdough craziness
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2011, 04:29:07 PM »
Thanks for the clarification Paul.  :)

Offline tls

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Re: Vermont Sourdough craziness
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2011, 03:24:31 PM »
When converted to ounces, it reverts back to what I have in my own book for that Final Dough: 1 lb, 4.8 oz. which is different from what Jeffrey's original Errata sheet contained. This now conforms to Jeffrey's latest numbers above. I must have not saved the revisions correctly when I reformatted the sheets.

So, this seems to definitively repair the "Increased whole grain" recipe but leaves the other two -- "vermont sourdough" and "vs with whole wheat" seemingly inconsistent.  These doughs supposedly have the same hydration, and use a preferment of the same hydration, but the flour and water weights don't match even for the bulk US formulae.  A puzzle to me.

Either way the bread bakes up OK but I'd love to know what the intent was.