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I was not expecting this, but given how active my levain was and how strong the 85% (!!!) hydration dough seemed to be, I guess I'm not that surprised!

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  • 83% hydration
  • 80% bread flour
  • 15% whole wheat
  • 5% semolina (cuz I ran out of whole wheat)
  • Bulk proofed at about 77F for 6 hours.
  • Fridge proof at 41F for about 12 hours
  • Baked at 450F in DO for 20
  • 450 on pizza stone for 20
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After years of experimentation, I think I'm finally starting to understand how to get the results I'm looking for.

Both of these doughs were prepared similarly:

  • 586g Central Milling ABC+
  • 53g semolina (Bob's Red Mill)
  • 53g whole wheat (Giusto)
  • 53g khorasan (Central Milling)

Autolyse this mix with 582g water for about 3 hours.

Hand mix in 150g mature levain (dome not yet deflated) and then do French folds on countertop. Let hang out for 45 minutes.

Add 18g salt and do French folds. Let hang out for 30 minutes.

Do 4-stretch and fold in bowl.

For every hour for the next 3 hours, do stretch and fold in bowl.

About 90 minutes after the last S&F, shape and put into the fridge and retard anywhere between 12 and 20 hours.

Take out next day, slash, and bake on pizza stone for 20 minutes at 485F, then lower to 450 and bake for another 20 minutes.

Interesting how these two doughs had different blooms given that they were the same dough.

The height of the dough that appeared to have less of a bloom on the first photo actually had a better spring, at nearly 4.5 inches.

I'm still working on shaping on the ends of the batard. They're always sloped this way. I'm not sure how to fix it, other than more tension.

Super happy with my open crumb, but not too open as to let butter slip through every nook and cranny.

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I fed my starter, and, at peak, instead of discarding it, I saved it in a jar to use as a "levain" the next day.

This was the resulting bake.

  • 255g Central Milling Bread ABC+ flour
  • 70g Central Milling khorasan flour
  • 260g H20
  • A sprinkle of poppy and sesame seeds (untoasted, although I realized I should've toasted these)

Let the oven heat up at 500F for about 1 hour before throwing the bread in.

Threw it in, baked it at 500F for 20 minutes, then lowered it to 450F and baked for another 20 minutes. No dutch oven, just on a pizza stone.

Edges are a bit singed—not sure how to avoid this, other than turning the oven down.

Happy with how it turned out! Didn't taste it because I gave it to our neighbor. :)

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Here were my weekend bakes. I took these to a picnic—one loaf sliced up, the other given to the host. I'm incredibly pleased with the way these came out. Everything from the crumb to the crust to the color was ace in my book.

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Had a dinner party this weekend and wanted to make Forkish's Overnight Country Blonde to cut up for an appetizer. I didn't schedule accordingly—whoops!—and ended up making Forkish's 80% biga instead. (I threw in some olives during the folding process for good measure.) Since I already started the dough for Overnight Country Blonde, I proceeded to close it up on Sunday, after the fact, but it's OK; I'm now graced with a boule for dinner tonight.

It's about 95F this weekend in Southern California, so I had to adjust the schedule.

1. Mixed active starter for the levain at 11 pm on Friday night
2. Autolyse flour and water at around 9 am Saturday morning
3. Mixed levain with autolysed flour at 10 am Saturday morning
4. Let the mixed dough rise (with about three instances of folding closer to the beginning of the rise) until around 4 pm, when I shaped the dough for the banneton.
5. Threw the banneton into the fridge. Baked at noon today.

The result is the photo!

Thanks go to dmsnyder and David Esq. for their tips on understanding starter vs. levain. I'm getting a better hang of this.

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Just made Ken Forkish's 80% biga white last night. This was the best bread I've made yet. Really happy with the results. Great dome; great crumb; wonderful, crackly crust.

This was my schedule:

9 pm: Made biga

8 am: Retarded biga in the fridge, since I had to go to work

7 pm: Took biga out of the fridge to warm it up to room temperature (right now, room temperature is about 78F!)

8 pm: Added the 100 g flour and all the other stuff (made only half the recipe), folded, and let it sit out for about 2.5 hours.

10:30 pm: Formed the dough and placed it in a banneton, then let it sit out for another hour

11:30 pm: Baked.

12:15–30 am: Done!

Yes, I stayed up quite late for this, but it was worth it!

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