Pre-shape, shape, score…
Having successfully followed Abe's advice and restricted the cold retard to just the bulk fermentation, the next step seemed to figure out the best way to score for optimal rise/bloom/oven spring.
This was basically a rerun of the previous bake, except that the add-ins were ground dried clementine peel and poppy seeds, as well as the multi-grain scald.
I started off by blowing the pre-shape, rolled them into logs, rather than boules, which was my intent.
Anyway, what is it about the shaping on the first loaf that just doesn't seem to go right? I know I'm not supposed to, but the first batard didn't feel like it had enough tension, so I patted it back out and did it over. Having rectified my error, I let the two boules bench rest for 30 minutes.
And, I finally remembered to hunt down a "small, clear, straight-sided container" so I could really try judge the final proof, rather than just winging it. I deliberately set it out on the bench before dividing and weighing so I would make sure to take some off and stuff it in the container. Well, obviously it was so clear, that I forgot it -- just didn't see it, didn't even remember until after I'd scored the loaves. Mmmph. Next time.
I got the impression that the "letter-folded" loaves rose more uniformly than the "backward crossant" one, so this time I shaped both in the letter-fold fashion and scored them differently.
So, the loaf on the left was the first one -- bungled pre-shape, twice-shaped and scored with two parallel cuts along the axis of the loaf. The second one was scored on the diagonal, possibly not as deeply as the first one -- I'm still having trouble judging the depth as I cut.
Well, is the mess on the left-hand loaf from bad shaping, or did I score too deeply and too far towards the end of the loaf? I guess the only way is to shape and score the next two loaves in exactly the same fashion, and see if I get exactly the same results. I'm willing to bet I won't :-D
Update: crumb shot
Thoughtfully provided (with a little prompting from granny) by grandson. This is the loaf on the left, with bad pre-shape and wonky scores, but the cross-section looks okay to me. Crumb isn't too dense, for which I'm thankful.
The saga continues…