Today's Loaves - First Batards
First, I have to say (again) thanks for how much knowledge I've gained from the fine folks here, I appreciate it so much. Both for responses to my queries and for any info previously posted.
So, today I was determined to make my first batards. Last night, before bed, I fed the starter and made a 300 gm levain with what I took off, and left it on the stove all night to work it's magic. This morning I put it together using a basic 1:2:3 but adjusted the water to give me a 65% hydration. They were proofed on a cotton tea towel with a tight weave since I don't have anything oval shaped that's close to the size. Everything is either too big or too small. Also, they were baked on a stone with no cover, and steam provided for 10 minutes by 8 or 10 ice cubs in a preheated CI frying pan.
To say I'm thrilled with the results would be the understatement of the year. Obviously my forming "touch" needs some work, but hey, it's only been ~ 5 weeks since I started my first starter "pet". I also think I need to have more patience with a longer proof, but in this case I wanted it out of the oven and cooled in time for supper.
You'll excuse the washed out colours of the crumb. For this hydration, I'm good with the result, both visually and texture.
What's with the cracks? Is this a bad thing? Is it related to underproofing or something?
Again, thank you to all who have provided comments, assistance when requested and criticisms where needed.