The Fresh Loaf

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Pain au levain with mixed sourdough starters - play with shape and flavor

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txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Pain au levain with mixed sourdough starters - play with shape and flavor


 


This is a formula from “Bread” by Jeffrey Hamelman, a lot of people have made it with good results. I won't duplicate the formula here, see this link for a scaled down version, or better yet, get the book. A few notes:


1 I made the full recipe, got 2 huge 1.5lb breads;


2. I tried out a fun new shape, see shaping video here;


3. Kept the dough at 68% as specified in the formula, it was a dream to dough to handle


4. Did overnight cold proof, then about 80min of warming up at room temp (78F, that's TX spring for ya)


 


One dough shaped and scored as a batard, the other one with the fun shape, both came out very pretty



 


Give it a bold bake, look at the crackling singing crust! It was messy to cut.



 


Crumb for batard



 


I thought the extra rolling and shaping would make the crumb tighter, but not really, the following is crumb shot for the fun shape loaf:



 


Both have crumb that's very open for a 68% dough. My white starter is very not sour, my rye starter is a bit more sour but with a deep rye flavor, I think using both does adds complexity to the flavor.



 


Submitting to Yeastspotting.

Comments

wally's picture
wally

Both are beautiful looking loaves, with a really rich, deep coloration.  I'm always amazed at how it's possible to achieve that kind of lovely open crumb with a relatively moderate hydration dough.  Just goes to show how important good handling, shaping and proofing are to the crumb structure.


Nice bake!


Larry

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Thanks Larry! Even though I like high hydration doughs for ciabatta and baguettes, for country loaves like these, I really like a moderate hydration level. I think 65% to 68% is enough to get an open crumb.

RachelJ's picture
RachelJ

WOW! that's really nice looking bread!

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Thanks!

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

Those loaves also look like they're begging for some thin sliced ham, Swiss cheese, and spicy mustard.

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Good idea! I believe we did eat them with ham and cheese!

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi txfarmer,


that's exactly the hydration figure I have come up with for this type of bread.   It is so good to combine these 2 tpes of leaven.


Lovely result


Andy

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Thanks Andy! 68% is wet enough to get an open crumb, yet low enough to keep good shape.

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Beautiful loaves, they look delicious and have lovely color and crumb, with your artistic handling and shaping they are real beauties!


Sylvia

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Thanks Sylvia, I really like this shape. That video site is like a gold mine, lots of shaping ideas.

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Your work should be featured in Bread Books, and set as model for how bread in recipes will look like!


Totally fantastic, txfarmer!

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

<Blushing...> Thank you so much! Truthfully, "Bread" is a book needs no picture proof, everything I bake from it turned out great.