When I picked up baking again just about two weeks ago, I made a decision: I’ve got a lovely bread baking book, but in the past I’ve been very often tempted to not bake recipes out of Hamelman’s “bread” but to pick interesting formulas from blogs like this one. Now it’s time to finally bake a couple of Hamelman-breads! Not that I didn’t bake out of it at all before, that’s not true, but I’ve never baked that much to come to the point where you just feel “familiar” with the recipes.

My old sourdough died while I was travelling for half a year in India (I couldn’t get the dried sourdough starting again), so about two weeks ago I decided to start a new one from scratch. Because of that it is clear for me that I’ll mostly bake Sourdough-breads in the next couple weeks. I want my little baby to grow strong.

The first bread I baked was a Sourdough – No – Knead bread (you find the german recipe here) , and then I made the decision to open Hamelman’s book again and I started with the Vermont Sourdough, a simple but very tasty white sourdough bread.

Vermont Sourdough

It tasted great and I was somehow proud of my young starter. Neverthless, it wasn’t perfect. It had to much of an oven spring, so that the bread had some similarities with a Japanese garden house. And I had hoped for bigger holes in the crumb . . .

After this first Hamelman bread I decided to continue with another rather plain formula, and I found the Whole Wheat Levain very tempting. It is actually pretty much the same recipe, just with a higher hydration and 50 % whole wheat.

I let the sourdough ripe during daytime, then mixed the final dough in the evening and folded it twice during a first fermentation time of 2.5 hours. I shaped a boule, placed it in a floured bowl and let it proof over night in the fridge. When I got up, I let it rise somewhat more, slashed it, but then . . .

Whole Wheat Levain

. . . can you guess what happened? I wanted to put the loaf into an preheated iron pot, because I know that the crust turns out the best if I bake it “No Knead – style” (the Vermont Sourdough above is baked in the same way). Well, when I tried to move the dough into the pan, it fell and – kind of – landed upside down in the pot. That’s why the loaf is scored both on the bottom and on top, like you can see on the pictures . . .

It didn’t do any serious harm though. The loaf can’t exactly be called “high”, but it still didn’t loose all its air.

a decent summer dinner

As you can see, the crumb isn’t to bad this time (for my standard it’s actually honestly said very good), even though this bread experienced quite some adventure. It’s got a delicious, slightly sour taste and it was great for dinner. We had it with a tomato-mozzarella salad, a green salad, butter and olive oil.

I haven’t decided yet which bread I’ll bake next. To be honest, I’ve already got another quite tempting recipe, called Alpine baguettes, but unfortunately its not Hamelman’s but Daniel Leader’s recipe .  . . Maybe I’ll try this Hamelman Normandy Apple Bread soon.

I send this to Nick from imafoodblog.com for YeastSpotting (wildyeastblog.com).