The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Batons au levain

SirSaccCer's picture

Batons au levain

Lately I've been enjoying the freedom to bake on a more... open... schedule, and I've been trying some combinations of techniques I've learned from a book or two and the supremely knowledgeable members of this forum. For sandwiches I love nothing more than piling tasty fillings atop a tasty baguette, so I thought I'd try using my levain to bake baguettes for the first time. Unfortunately I don't have a stone big enough for two-footers so I had to truncate these down to "baton" length.

This was a modestly hydrated dough (75%) leavened with a stiff starter that I worked up overnight in two feedings. I tried a bassinage (second water) step and I guess it worked alright, though I don't have any other experience to compare it to. I forced myself to be more patient during the bulk fermentation and final rise, to good effect I think. They taste delicious--pleasantly sour--and are nice and airy within.

Now I am just trying to figure out how to properly score, load and steam my loaves to get some nice ears (or pretty slashes or lack of blowout, for rounder loaves). I took a look at some helpful scoring tutorials but still need practice putting all of it together. I'm not thrilled to be stuck at home but it's a good opportunity to work on baking skills!