A Variation on Tartine 3's "Ode to Bourdon" and Some Experimental Slashing
Common sense suggests to tweak bread recipe variables one at at time so as to be able to better isolate and understand the effect of each variable. That is my usual practice but this was a "let's try all this and see what happens" weekend bake.
First of all, I received two flour sifters last week and decided it was time to get serious about milling and sifting my own high extraction flour. With that in mind I decided to bake a variation of Chad Robertson's Tartine 3 "Ode to Bourdon" bread. My bread is a mix of 500 g high extraction Marquis wheat /250 g whole grain Red Fife flour/ 250 g whole grain spelt/rye flour (substituted for the white whole wheat flour - I was hoping this would also balance out the hard red wheat flour). The autolyse was 3 hours at room temperature, 87% FDH. I opted for a young levain to moderate what I expected to be a vigorous bulk ferment with all the whole grain flours; some of the sifted bran was used for the levain and some for coating the shaped loaves. Bulk ferment was 3 hours; cold proof 10 hours.
And then the second tweak, after reading the recent post comments by Filomatic, Kat and Carole about Ecole internationale de boulangerie instructional videos, this one caught my attention: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sn0INYBr1fA. As Filomatic appreciated, there are some serious lame/blade skills on display but what intrigued me most was the explanation about the relationship between scoring and crumb structure. I decided to add yet another tweak to this bake and tried several of the scoring methods described and demonstrated in the video. It's not as easy as the instructor makes it appear and my results were mixed, to say the least! The boule opened up nicely, almost like the one in the video; my batard however looks completely random with only a slight resemblance to the example in the video. Interesting to note the crumb structure is very uniform though. And the bread tastes really good so it doesn't bother me as much that it doesn't have the same esthetic appeal as the Ecole internationale de boulangerie bread, just need more practice, more baking.