I made these loaves using Nancy Silverton's sourdough whole wheat recipe (The Breads From The LaBrea Bakery). I previously posted the photos individually. I hadn't made Ms. Silverton's recipe for a few years so it was a real challenge since I had to make the whole wheat sourdough starter from scratch and it took 3 days of T.L.C. But I managed to get them into the oven without losing them. She retards the dough in the fridge for 12-15 hours prior to bringing them out and allowing them to rise, in the bannetons, for 3-4 hours, at room temperture. The large loaves were a real challenge as they barely fit onto the baking stone in my oven. I doubled her recipe and made 4 boules (2 - 40 oz. loaves and 2 - 28 oz. loaves. It was a bit dicey getting the large ones into the oven in one piece but I managed to do it. The photo is the large loaves. This exercise (getting them into the oven in one piece) is good training for Cirque de Soliel. Anyway, I was pleased with the results. As I said in my previous posting, I know the scoring isn't a work of art but I had to work quickly. I had some minor problems with a single edge razor blade, scoring them, without tearing the skin but it worked out. Next time I'm thinking about using a long surgeon's scalpel (only kidding).
I used Danielle Forestier's baguette recipe from her demo on Julia Child PBS video to make these batards. My oven wasn't large enough to make baguettes so I opted for the batards. She doesn't use a pre-ferment, only yeast. I didn't get the nice large holes in the interior that are characteristic of French baguettes/batards but I suspect it was because the dough should have been a little wetter and I wasn't gentle enough with the dough when rolling, pinching and shaping it, but they tasted very good. I'll keep trying.
Has anyone had any experience baking with King Arthur (KA) French style flour? I ordered and received a few 3 lb. bags and have been using it to make baguettes (using the poolish and scrap dough method). I haven't had as much success with this flour as I have had with KA all-pupose flour. With the KA French style flour the baguettes don't seem to get enough good oven spring and the crust is hard, despite using steam in the oven at the onset of baking. The interior of the loaves are a bit tacky (the texture of the interior/crumb is slightly damp and tacky, similar to what happens when malt powder is added to the flour mixture, but I'm not using any malt powder). I also scored them and baked them until they were golden brown, 20-25 minutes. After several attempts at baguettes; making the dough wetter, being careful not to deflate the dough any more than necessary during shaping, etc. I went back and read the labels on both the KA French style and KA all-purpose flours and found that the KA French style flour has only 3g of protein per 30g or 10%, whereas, the KA all-purpose flour has 4g of protein per 30g or 13%. My understanding is that a minimum of 11%-11 1/2% protein is needed to make good baguettes, boules, etc. when using pre-ferment. My assumption is that protein translates into gluten during the mixing process, right? Anyway, I sure would appreciate hearing from anyone who has had experience with KA French style flour---or if you could recommend a better flour other than KA all-purpose (if there is one) for making baguettes.