Lake Champlain sourdough (Medium Difficulty)

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Lake Champlain - in Vermont, on the borders of the United States and Canada is home to Trevor J. Wilson and the Lake Champlain Sourdough. 

It's a two-day sourdough process, starting both the mixing and the levain the day before you intend to bake, but separately. 


304 gms filtered water

389 gms strong white bread flour

38 gms spelt flour

19 gms rye flour

9 gms salt

50 gms active recently fed starter @ 100% hydration



1. Mix all the flours and the salt together with the water until all fully combined. Cover and place in a refrigerator until evening. Take out of the refrigerator before bed and leave on the worktop overnight to come to room temperature. 

2. Feed the starter before bed. 


1. Transfer the mixture to a clean bowl and add the 50 gms starter. 

2. Mix in thoroughly. Start with dimpling the starter into the dough and then folding in from the sides, ensure that the starter is layered throughout the dough. 

3. Continue to knead the dough, not being too firm with it, for 5 - 10 minutes. 

4. Rest the dough for 10 - 15 minutes and then knead gently for a further 5 minutes.

5. Perform 5 sets of Stretch and fold at 1 hr intervals. After the first stretch and fold, be gently so as not to tighten up the dough too much. Perform gentle stretch and fold repetitions

This is my set up at home. A plastic mixing bowl, a lid (made from a cake board covered in Fablon to make it last) five granite 'ice cubes' - one for each hour (I used to use tea spoons then I saw these in a charity shop) and a timer. 

5. After 5 hours of stretch and fold repetitions, give it one last fold to release it from the bowl and place it on a lightly floured worktop. 

6. Using your hand and a bench scraper, pre-shape the dough into a nice tight boule. 

7. Take the boule and tighten it up further by bringing the edges into the centre to tighten up the boule. 

8. Place in a floured banneton. 

9. Cover and prove between 2 and 4 hours until the dough looks ready to bake. 

Three and a half hours later...

10. Bake at 240⁰C in a covered Dutch Oven for 20 minutes and then for another 25 - 30 minutes at 230⁰C with the lid removed.  It's a very loose dough so it spreads very easily. The constraint of a Dutch Oven is essential to curb the horizontal spread in favour of the vertical spring. A simple slash is all you've got time to do.....

11. Cool on a rack

Happy baking....


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