The Fresh Loaf

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My Daily Bread-Large Crusty Boule

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ehanner's picture
ehanner

My Daily Bread-Large Crusty Boule

I have been baking larger (2# ) loaves of rustic Italian formula free form recently. I decided to double the mix and drag out the large linen basket and try one more time to get the proofing right. Usually I over proof and the dough falls with a thud as I approach the slashing table with bare blades. I have been following Mariana's procedure for crusty Italian and my handling of the dough has been more on the gentle side with a strict 1 hour limit on the bulk ferment.

I had just watched a video of a french baker demonstrating how he shapes, slashes and handles his large boules. He bounced the boule out of the basket and onto the peel, slashed with confidence and into the oven. Very inspirational with little care of over handling. So I dumped the proofed dough out and slashed like I knew what I was doing and--well it worked out pretty well.
4# Crusty Boule4# Crusty Boule

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Comments

breadnerd's picture
breadnerd

It looks lovely.  I love the slash pattern!

edh's picture
edh

Eric,

Your loaves are always so lovely; how in the world do you get that spiral slash? Is it all one graceful swoop, or do you make several connected cuts?

Now that I'm finally getting serious spring on sourdough boules, my 10 year old has decided I need to move beyond the basic x shape on top (he's seen pictures of what all you lot can do), but I'm flummoxed. Even the x is a tentative "please don't snag or collapse" affair in my hands!

Thank you for your pictures; they inspire one to try harder.

edh

Susan's picture
Susan

Eric's loaves ARE lovely. Always. Thanks for asking him about the circle slashes, 'cause I want to know, too.

I came by this easy slash by way of several of our compatriots here, and it looks so good; your 10-year-old will love it! Slash it just as a straight pinwheel, and the rising will take over and turn it for you. I use a serrated tomato knife and, so far, so good, but I'm not sure a tomato knife will do that circle. Have fun!

 dough

Pinwheel slash: dough

 Boule

Pinwheel slash: Boule

Susan from San Diego

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Very nice.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Ha ha, I use a Lazy Susan to turn the dough and hold the blade with the other hand. You don't need to be a Lazy Susan you just need to have one!:>)

Eric

edh's picture
edh

I love the lazy Susan idea, but I guess that one will have to wait. Hmm, maybe I could have my son hold it over his head and turn around while I cut...

Susan, I love the pinwheel slash; I'll definitely try that on the next batch. It'll be a few days though; I just went on a spree and now there are four loaves and only three of us to eat them. Thank heavens for cooperative friends!

edh

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

Great loaf!  Maybe I'll get brave and try the lazy susan slash.  Is the video you watched online?  I've watched a few, but it always helps me to see another one, especially after I've shaped a few loaves in the meantime.

Susan's picture
Susan

I believe this is the video ehanner was referring to:

Le Boulanger

Enjoy.

Susan from San Diego

 

 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Yes, Susan sent me off to study the Masters the other day and it inspired me so I started to believe I could slash. I don't speak enough French to do more than find the men's room but the beauty is in watching his hands work the dough.

Eric

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

Thanks!  I'll take a look.  I just did a quick glance - strange seeing someone work with what looks like about 30 pounds of flour and a gallon of water!

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I have been trying to make Susan's Pinwheel slash work for a couple weeks. I think she puts some mechanical device in the dough to rotate it while it rises LOL:>) I swear that bowl she uses is magic! I have yet to get a decent twist. Mini-O and her have some secret procedure they use and pretend it's easy:>)

Eric

Susan's picture
Susan

My engineer DH wondered aloud this evening at supper, "What would a potato nail do for the oven spring of a loaf?" Hmmmmmm.

  1. Might make it rise really high in the middle. Hehe, a conehead loaf!
  2. Might let out all the CO2 and, therefore, make a really flat loaf.
  3. Might break out a few teeth if you forget to remove it.

Susan from San Diego

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

So are you going to try the nail?  ;~)

Susan's picture
Susan

but I think there is a landscape timber nail stuck in a flowerpot outside.  Guess that would work, if I cleaned it up.  Or, I could go buy one.  And I thought I had every kitchen gadget known to man!  Susan from San Diego

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

The minute I saw the spiral slash I thought to myself ..hmmm.. if I only had a lazy susan..made me laugh when I saw that was indeed what you used!!..now if I only had a lazy susan.....

Susan's picture
Susan

I'm here, I'm here!

All joking aside, Mini Oven gave me yet another pinwheel slashing to try: on a loaf proofed in a triangular brotform. Stay tuned...

Susan from San Diego

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

It was Mariana's slash on one of her boules. I could picture it in my mind how it was done. So lets thank her for her inspiration, maybe she'll tell us where it came from....  Thank you, Mariana

Nail thoughts:  I think the nail will heat up hardening the surrounding dough and create a deep hole in the surface (like a black hole vortex in space).  If this worked, it might create a nice place to deposite chocolate or pudding or hold up a flag.  18th tee anyone?   

Mini O

Susan's picture
Susan

Not as much spring as the last loaf, but the new slash turned out great!  Thanks, Mini-O.  Pinwheel Slash
Pinwheel Slash  Susan from San Diego  

davidg618's picture
davidg618

to be the finest form of flattery. My spiral slash, inspired by Eric, and done on impulse on the last of four loaves baked yesterday, is a lot more raggedy, but I still like it, and it delivered the highest oven spring among the four. Thanks, Eric.


David G

ehanner's picture
ehanner

That's harder than it looks. Good job David G.


Eric