The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

pain au levain

sasidhar79's picture

pain au levain


Please give me your expert feedback on the loaf.

I have attached the pictures.

Thank you



gmagmabaking2's picture

to me... how does it taste? The holes are nice and shiny and the crust looks evenly browned.... that is all I know about... mostly, how does it taste? If you love it, it must be perfect!


sasidhar79's picture

It tastes really good. Very creamy,nutty and slightly tangy.


I am a bit unhappy because it exploded instead of blooming at the slash.

I guess the gluten did not develop properly.



golgi70's picture

It looks great.  Nice crumb, good spring, well shaped.  All I'd suggest is baking it longer or at a higher temp to get a darker color.  Deep dark brown with red tones.  



dabrownman's picture

baking indeed.  I love everything about this bread!  Perfectly baked.

odinraider's picture

You achieved some nice oven spring. It almost looks like you brushed the crust with an egg wash before baking. Did you steam your oven? And how did you get that interesting shape? It looks like a brotform from the lines on the top, but the straight sides suggest some sort of pan was used. Quite interesting.


sasidhar79's picture

Thank you very much for all your praises.

The oven spring was good, but what happened was I punctured my left palm with a letter opener as a result I was able to knead the dough with my right hand only therefore no proper gluten development.

Yes I used an oblong brotform during the second proofing. The straight sides formed because I used romertopf clay baker. 

Finally the glistening crust happened because of steam, in this aspect I have tried this method and it worked for me,

I heat my apartment gas over to 475 F for 30 min and during this time I soak the top of the Romertopf clay baker in water in the kitchen sink and the bottom of the baker is heating in the oven. 

30 mins later I tranfer the loaf from brotform to the hot clay baker bottom and then place the soaked top on it and let it bake  for 45 min at 450f and then removed the top of the baker(now the top of the loaf is white and glistening) and let it bake at 475f for 15 min to 20min.


I still struggle with various aspects of baking like proper accurate proofing times, shaping appropriately and the most frustrating part which is slashing...