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"Artisan inspired!" Why don't they just say, "fake artisan sourdough?"
You're obviously spoiled. Congratulations!
I'm recalling the frustrations you expressed in your early posts not very long ago. I hope you are appreciating yourself appropriately these days.
Looks very nice to me. You didn't show the crumb! I'm assuming it's got fairly small holes and a lighter texture from the way you describe it as being fluffy? Big holes doesn't always mean great bread. Small holes and a light texture can be very good, especially for toast, so the jam doesn't spill through!
Maybe the one you bought at the store is almost a perfect replica of the stuff you can buy here in most bakeries. You only really get good ones in small artisanal bakeries and there aren't that many!
As David says -- this is just great. I am really very pleased and excited for you. Like you, I have had my share of frustration lately, and I'm glad we are both coming out the other side of that stage now.
What are you going to try next????? I'm going to try scoring my next boule the way you did.
Thanks peeps! Yes I am definitely much happier with what's been coming out of the oven recently. Couldn't have done it without all the great advice and information I've gotten here.
Jane, the crumb wasn't all that great - quite uneven - incredibly dense in some places and more open in others. It's like the weight of the dough in the centre is too great even for oven spring (the centre is always the last to rise). I'm going to try using the grill (broiler in the US) briefly during the first minute that the dough goes in the oven to give an extra lift.
Glad to hear you're having success too Mary. The scoring has a *lot* to do with confidence in my experience; something I'm slowly gaining.