I was away from home and baking for a long time, but now I'm back (at least in the way that I count as being "at home.")
I had the chance to be with one of my oldest friends and some of his friends the other night and it hit me like a ton of bricks that my time in Okinawa had changed me in some pretty profound ways and that I will never be quite the same person ever again. I think it all came out on the plus side, but the changes are real.
So why keep baking the same old bread? So I decided to goose up some of my formulas.
The bear is still getting me as I get my hand skills back (Will I ever be happy with my scoring? No. I'm learning to live with that.) and of course, if you change everything, consistency (which is the bugaboo of little minds, but is something I like) takes a backseat. But though I'm not a picture taker the levain baguettes this week were worth a snap.
Formula (I'm leaving the math as an exercise because so many people like grams and I'm an ounces an pounds kind of gal.)
Using KA AP flour.
Liquid levain from liquid seed (inoculation 20%)
12% of the flour pre fermented
Hydration - a whopping 68% (!)
Flour, pre ferment, and water into the mixer (hooray I finally got me that mini spiral!) mix to shaggy mass. Autolyse for 20 minutes.
Mix 5 minutes on the sole speed. (could be mixed by hand using the "fold in the bowl" method)
5 hours total bulk ferment, one fold.
Pre shape (in oblongs - yes, I'm going rogue!)
Proof on couche 1 or so hours - seam up.
Bake at 500F for 4 minutes with steam then 14 minutes at 480F with convection. Remove from oven.
Bear is still getting me on the scoring, but that crumb is getting to look pretty nice (too bad I can't take pictures - it never was "my thing" and I'm thinking that part of me didn't change.) The crumb is profoundly yellow and the taste as always. Crust stays crispy even after cooling.
And I'm loving that new oven. Singing loaves every time!
I'm also working with a commercially yeasted baguette with two pre ferments, but that isn't ready yet. Stay tuned.
For any Marines out there - my best wishes as the anniversary of the founding of the Marine Corps approaches. Stay safe. And if I may say it "oorah!"