In a recent post David Snyder mentioned that his Hamelman pain au levain would qualify for a final four if he had only one bread he could make/eat. I suggested a few other qualifiers, including his marvelous Gosselin baguettes with an SD twist added for good measure, not to mention good flavor!
As I hadn't made these for quite some time, I figured that it was high time to get my act in gear. My issue is that a few months ago, I put aside my baguette
obsession interest for my batard obsession interest. What to do, what to do, what to do.
I've now been deviating for quite a while by putting my own twist on most things baked around these parts. Most recently by turning the Hamelman pain au levain from a batard into a baguette, an especially enticing thought in that I couldn't find any prior reference on TFL of it having been done before. So this time I decided to turn the SD Gosselin baguette into a batard, also no reference to this switcheroo existing on TFL either. However, being somewhat indecisive about this scheme, I just hedged my bets and did both in the same bake.
I rescaled the whole operation for ~1500g , figuring two ~500g batards and two ~250g baguettes. And everything went dandy with minor exceptions, all pointing to the same culprit. The batard on the left was the poster boy for all the mishaps. It could have used better shaping, and although It received the same loving care and treatment as its brethren, when I removed the plastic bags covering the couche, the end of it was dried out as if the skin had been exposed to the air. Hmm. As we all should know, early mistakes are often magnified with each step down the production line. Therefore it didn't score as well, and didn't act the same during the steaming portion. Indeed, when all was said and done, the dry area looks it on the baked batard, and the bloom was just a bit weird on that one batard.
Both batards reacted with an incredible bloom and grigne, like something out of a sci-fi B-movie from the 50s. Or maybe from one of my goofy 3rd grade science projects.
Changes I made to David Snyder's formula and process:
- The obvious – batards as well as baguettes.
- I use my own stiffer than liquid levain rather than his SJSD liquid levain formula.
- No overnight retard after the initial mix – a mere 5 hours is all I gave it.
- After the bulk fermentation it went into the refrigerator for ~90 minutes before the divide and shape phase.
- Then retarded overnight on a couche. Total retard time at this step was 10 hours.
- Scored and baked directly out of the refrigerator.
Dry area in upper left batard.
Steam released and bread rotated. The Blob-like explosion on the batards is already evident.
And just for comparison, here is a shot of the Levain Gosselins from last year...
Crumb shot added. This is from the Frankenstein batard, as the other was a give-away. Not as open as the pure larger baguettes made last year, but to a large extent other than the being able to get a larger holed crumb, it really doesn't matter that much to me. As long as the crumb isn't tight and wet.