My first pain au levain
I went with Reinhart's "purist" version of the pain au levain. I actually managed to handle the higher hydration dough without becoming a sticky mess. I calculate that I ended up with a 75% hydration. Everything went pretty well and my only concern was that I over proofed the dough after forming. Once I t'ferred the dough from the basket to a peel, it immediately flattened out (quite a bit). I thought I was going to end up with an inedible pancake. While there was more oven spring than I anticipated, I think it's still a bit on the flat side...
The end result is a crumb that's more open than any of my previous attempts at an artisan bread. It's chewy but not too firm and melts in the mouth nicely. The flavor is really wonderful. While I was concerned with how sour it might be, it was just to my liking.
I was about to give up but now I'm feeling just a little better :)