Sourdough French Bread
This past week I tried "Chad Robertson's Country Sourdough" as relayed by Shiao-Ping here:
Her formula (of course) turned out perfect. My attempt? Well, not so much. BUT- I was still very pleased with the results. :-)
On the last leg of the levain build, I was to add flour/water and ferment for two hours only. However, I was called away and had to cold retard again at this step so I resumed the next morning. So in all, I ended up with refereshing starter (of which I combined half of my 50% hydration starter and half of my 100% hydration starter to end up at the 75% hydration starter used in the formula) and then two more levain builds. Whew.
I used my couche for the first time, that was exciting! I do wish though that I had weighed each piece of dough before shaping as one ended up a bit larger than the other two. Practice makes perfect...
As for the slashing- hmmmm. I reallly tried here. I have even been practicing! I made a huge batch of AB in % dough just for the purpose of practicing shaping and slashing. I have both a lame and another scoring knife (kinda like an exacto with a handle) from King Arthur Flour. I held it at a 30 degree angle and went 1/4' to 1/2' inch deep but still can't seem to get an ear. I'll keep trying.
They tasted great but I'm starting to seriously consider some type of "sourdough" flavoring in my sourdoughs as my starters seem to be very mild. Just kidding, but I am having fun exploring how to get more sour from my starters. I had high hopes for the "levain builds" but it didn't seem to do much.
Overall though, great fun with this formula.