When the weather gets warm it means dinners outside and bread from the grill. While the shapes can change based on the rest of the meal - they are mostly a basic pain au levain,
Part wheat and part rye levain - and then flour, water, salt. After so many loaves I still find the highest pleasure in pulling the most flavor out of those ingredients. A nice long ferment and the right mix of levain makes such a perfectly simple treat. The added flavors of the fire and outdoors is just enough to make the bread of summer a special treat.
I am occasionally tempted to throw in some olives, caramelized onions or other goodies. Sure it is tasty, but in the end hides too much of the wheat flavor I have worked so hard to make the star. I do like some seeds in the crust, as they don't seem to mask the flavors to me. I see breads with so many ingredients they seem a bit more like a complete sandwich than a loaf a bread. I am sure they are tasty and I am not judging them, but like so many things when you pull back until you are dealing with just the essence of what you are creating - there is something a bit more satisfying when it is delicious I think.
As I am reading "In Search of the Perfect Loaf" I think the baguette often takes on that role of only basic ingredients taken to an extreme level of taste, feel, and well, everything people use to judge bread.
I am not sure how many loaves like this have already come off the grill this year, they never make it into the house for a picture. This day there was enough baked to leave an end uneaten.
And as I slowly cool off as the sun sets, tomorrows dough has been cooling in the fridge already for hours the flavors building just waiting for tomorrow's bake.