This is my second bread from BBA. I decided to stick with boules even though Reinhart says this is the perfect dough for all kinds of fancy shapes. Everything went really well until the slashing. I bought a lame from a local kitchen store and it just was not slashing the dough. At all! I tried wetting it, oiling it, using the other side of the blade... nada. Finally I touched it with the tip of my finger and realized that it's fairly dull. Sad!
I grabbed a semi-sharp serrated tomato knife to do the slashing instead. While that actually cut into the dough, it did so with a fair amount of drag, so I didn't get the cleanest slashes. Ah well. Time to go to the hardware store to buy a package of razor blades, I guess.
The recipe said it made three loaves. They turned out to be rather small loaves, so next time I think I'll split it into two if I'm going to do the same shape. But there is something nice about these little boules, though.
The crumb on this is decent. The taste is good, but I think I like the taste of the pain de l'ancienne better. My husband liked the taste of this, but halfway through a big slice said there was an "aftertaste." I don't know if he's tasting the whole wheat component (hard red winter wheat berries I ground in my vitamix) or what. I don't think I let the bread overproof, and he said it wasn't an alcohol flavor, so I'm not sure what he's tasting.
Overall a fairly successful bake. It was my first time using a pate fermente. I even considered making two loaves and keeping the other third of the dough for a loaf tomorrow, but I haven't baked with a poolish yet so that might be my next project.